International Photographic Competition Artist Rules

Please review thoroughly!

The purpose of this competition is to allow the entrant to demonstrate their art skills and expertise in pursuit of the PPA Master Artist degree (previously known as Master of Electronic Imaging degree). Entries will be judged for digital, artistic and technical proficiency. Entries can be created using digital or traditional art (such as painting and airbrush) or a combination of both. Through this competition, PPA members are also eligible to achieve PPA Artist Exhibition Merits toward the PPA Master Artist degree.

  1. All entries must be registered at
  2. Entrants may submit prints, digital files or a combination for judging.
  3. Entrants are required to upload a digital file for each image (print or file) entered. NOTE: For print entries, the digital file submitted MUST match both the image and presentation. If, for example, the submitted print has a mat and the digital file does not show the mat, the entry will be disqualified.
  4. No changes to your entry are permitted once the entry deadline has passed. No refunds will be issued after the entry fee is paid.


Registration opens May 23, 2018. Register at:


  1. Entries may be reproduced from existing photographs, portraits, graphics or any other artwork so long as the entrant is prepared to provide appropriate written documentation indicating permission for usage. This documentation may be requested by PPA before, during or after the competition. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the International Photographic Competition Committee, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law and cannot be proven otherwise, that entry shall be disqualified and merits revoked, if issued.
  2. All processing, manipulation, artwork or rendering must be done by the entrant. Printing may be done under their direct supervision.
  3. The entrant's name shall not appear anywhere in or on the face of the entry.
  4. A maximum of four entries may be submitted per entrant.
  5. No entry will be eligible if it has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment. All images submitted must be self-directed. Images created in an educational environment under direct supervision from an instructor are ineligible.
  6. No two entries shall be of the same subject.
  7. Entries bearing the PPA Affiliated Exhibition Seal of Approval and submitted according to the rules of entry will be automatically accepted for exhibition only when submitted to the next PPA International Competition immediately following the District competition where awarded. (Entries submitted from within the maker's assigned District are eligible for Seals of Approval and will be validated at registration).
  8. Entry media includes photographic prints or digital files.
  9. Once an image has been awarded an exhibition merit in any category of PPA competition, it may not be entered again in any other category, at any time, by any entrant. No image that receives a merit may be entered more than once under any condition, including any image from a merited album.
  10. Makers may choose to have their Artist entries judged digitally or with physical prints.
  11. Entries in the Artist category shall include any subject and must have guide images.
  12. Guide images, must be included on the submitted digital canvas or mounted/included on the face of the print.
  13. A maximum of four entries may be submitted per entrant.
  14. Entrants do not need to be PPA members to compete, and can enter this Artist Competition. Only PPA members can earn merits when PPA Seal of Approval images are entered in the PPA International Photographic Competition.


  1. Images may be submitted in any shape and size on a mount board a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches, with the largest dimension no longer than 24".
  2. Print entries must be mounted on a standard mount material (double weight mat board, gator board, ¼" foam, or Sintra). Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8" to 3/8". "Float" mounting is accepted at entrant's risk for damage. Images on metal and mounted to another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges. No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames or conventional frames will not be accepted.
  3. No material may be added to the front or back of an entry that may damage another entry.
  4. A digital reference file must be submitted with each print entry. This file must match the submitted print entry, both image and presentation (if a real mat is used on the print, a reasonable facsimile must be used in the digital file). File specifications are the same as under the Digital Submission categories.
  5. If a print is submitted and correctly entered, the print will be judged.


See Video Tutorial:

  1. Files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels. Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. In most cases, total file size should not exceed 3.5 MB. Larger files will be accepted when necessary so long are they are JPG/10.
  2. Files are to be named, Image 1.JPG (No underscores or special characters)


For color management help, see Video Tutorial:

  • Prints: LED lighting, 3000K, EV8 (ISO 100, f/16@ 1 sec.)
  • Digital Files: Monitor Settings, D65, 120 cd/m2, 2.20 gamma


  • $99.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST., June 27,  2018. (non‐members: $65 additional) if you didn't enter a district competition.
  • $50.00 for PPA members registered by 5:00pm EST., June 27,  2018 that entered images in the 2018 district competition.
  • $130.00 for PPA members registering June 28, 2018 through July 11, 2018, by 5:00pm est. No registrations accepted after July 11. (non‐members: $90 additional)
  • $85.00 for PPA members that entered images in the 2018 district competition and are registering June 27, 2018 through July 11, 2018 at 5:00pm EST. No registrations accepted after July 11.
  • $39.00 per case for image critiques. Please allow 4-to-6 weeks following the completion of the competition. Critiques will be posted in your "My PPA" account.
  • Physical print entry cases must be received within 7 days of entry deadline.


  1. For print entries to be returned, they must be shipped in an approved print case. Entries may be shipped in any serviceable box, but they will not be returned. For more information go to:
  2. Ship to: PPA Photographic Competition, 229 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 2200, Atlanta, GA 30303
  3. PPA assumes no responsibility for damage to entries or print cases.
  4. Images shipped in an approved print case will be returned within 30 days of the conclusion of Imaging USA.
  5. Entries accepted into the Loan Collection will not be returned.

Note: Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification of entry. The decision of the International Photographic Competition Committee is final.

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