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PPA Today: PPA Competitions Archives

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By Chris Homer

As we start 2017, chances are you're looking at ways to improve your photography and your business. Start the year off right by entering your District Photographic Competition!

While the idea of having your images judged at competition can be intimidating, one of the comments we hear from folks who have entered in the past is that participating in competitions is the best way to improve your photography. The feedback and ideas you'll get from the judges is invaluable when it comes to having stronger images - which in turn leads to a better photography business! 

In the coming weeks, the various District Competitions will be open for entries. View the schedule of competitions below. If you're in the Southeast District, entries are open now!

2017 Judging Dates: February 24-25, 2017
Registration Dates (without late fee): January 16, 2017 - February 10, 2017 (by 5pm ET)
Registration Dates (late fee required): February 10, 2017 (after 5pm ET) - February 16, 2017

2017 Judging Dates: March 3-4, 2017
Registration Dates (without late fee): January 23, 2017 - February 17, 2017 (by 5pm ET)
Registration Dates (late fee required): February 17, 2017 (after 5pm ET) - February 23, 2017

2017 Judging Dates: March 24-25, 2017
Registration Dates (without late fee): February 10, 2017 - March 10, 2017 (by 5pm ET)
Registration Dates (late fee required): March 10, 2017 (after 5pm ET) - March 16, 2017

2017 Judging Dates: March 31 - April 2, 2017
Registration Dates (without late fee): February 14, 2017 - March 17, 2017 (by 5pm ET)
Registration Dates (late fee required): March 17, 2017 (after 5pm ET) - March 23, 2017

2017 Judging Dates: April 21-22, 2017
Registration Dates (without late fee): March 7, 2017 - April 7, 2017 (by 5pm ET)
Registration Dates (late fee required): April 7, 2017 (after 5pm ET) - April 13, 2017
By Tristin Vaccaro
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At Imaging USA 2017 we're awarding individuals for the outstanding photography work they produced in 2016!  There are dozens of awards to give out over the three-day convention, so join us at these special ceremonies to honor those who made significant contributions to the photography industry. 

Attending these ceremonies is great inspiration for many photographers, as you'll see the best images of the year at the Grand Imaging Awards, and get to see who is honored as the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner at the Award & Degree Ceremony!

January 9 | 6:30-7:30pm
The Grand Imaging Awards are awarded yearly at Imaging USA based on the results of the International Photographic Competition (IPC). Bronze, silver, gold, and platinum medalists are announced, along with the top winners from each of the six photographic categories, as chosen by IPC jurors. The top image from all categories will then earn the overall Grand Imaging Award! 

Following the announcement of the Grand Imaging Award winner, finalist images for the World Photographic Cup will be announced. This is a really big deal because these finalists form Team USA that will go on to compete against countries around the world for the World Photographic Cup! Get a glimpse of these finalists and their images that will go on to compete on the world stage. 

You'll see some great images at the Grand Imaging Awards, so you'll want to attend to soak it all in. You may even find some inspiration for future photography projects!

January 10 | 6:30-7:30pm
At the PPA Award and Degree Ceremony we honor those who have gone above and beyond to set themselves apart in the photographic industry. There are tons of awards to give away at this ceremony for individuals, businesses, and groups alike. Awards include the Directors Award, Imaging Excellence Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Also, those who have taken the extra step to earn a photographic degree will be honored with ribbons and medallions. Degrees include Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, and Master of Electronic Imaging. Obtaining a degree takes a large amount of commitment and hard work, and we are proud to name those who have shown this passion for photographic excellence.

So while our winners don't walk down the red carpet, there is great honor in being presented with a PPA award or degree. We want to recognize those who make this industry great, and we hope you will join us at Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX, to honor them, too! 

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By Autumn Rice

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There are great things happening at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio, including IPC mentor sessions! PPA International Photographic Competition jurors are offering FREE one-on-one sessions to help improve your images and make them IPC, and merit, ready!

Many photographers have reservations about entering the International Photographic Competition because they don't know what to expect, they're unsure of their work, and they don't know what the judges are looking for.  In these one-on-one mentor sessions, PPA-approved jurors will answer your most pressing questions, and give suggestions on how to improve your images to earn merits toward a PPA Master Degree. Your images must be printed or on a laptop or tablet. We are unable to review any images on phones.  

Don't miss out on this opportunity to get a leg-up on the competition and get advice straight from the jurors. All you have to do is sign up for your 15-minute time slot! Sessions will be held from Sunday, January 8, - Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at the IPC area on the Expo floor.

Visit ImagingUSA.org/MentorProgram to sign up for your time slot with a juror! Space is extremely limited so sign up for your session today!

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The International Photographic Competition has seen substantial growth over the last few years due to the consistent efforts of its members, staff and competition volunteers. PPA is thrilled with the renewed interest in competition among its members. With this growth in mind, we're excited to share some changes in both the District and International Photographic Competitions.

Here are some of the changes coming to the 2017 Competitions:

  1. All panels convened to determine merit will operate with a five-member panel. This will increase efficiency in the judging. In 2016, a six-juror panel was seated and the lowest score was dropped, therefore five scores were used in determining score. This change is an alignment of the amount of scores required to determine a final score to be congruent with the number of jurors on the panel. The lowest score will no longer be dropped. When a judge associates an entry with an entrant, the judge is required to disqualify themselves from scoring an entry. When this scenario happens, the Jury Chair will enter a score for that entry. In the case of two jurors needing to disqualify themselves, the entry will be skipped until a panel with five jurors can be convened to score the entry.

  2. To further bring consistency between the District Competitions and the IPC, scores will be used to determine merit at both events. A majority of members surveyed stated that they would like the two scoring systems to be the same.

  3. The PPA Loan Collection will be determined in a different manner as well. Images scoring in the "deserving of a merit" category (80-84) will not be reviewed for the Loan Collection. Entries that receive a score of 80-84 at a District judging have the choice to send those Seal of Approval entries on to IPC for a merit towards their degree, or to break the seal to chance a higher score at IPC. 

    • Entries scoring 85-94 at the District or IPC will be reevaluated for the Loan collection at the IPC event. 
    • Entries scoring 95-100 will be automatically accepted into the Loan Collection. Entries in this scoring range from the District events will still need to be submitted to the IPC to be included in the Loan collection and to receive the merits associated with those entries.
  4. Critiques ordered in conjunction with the IPC will be produced off site from the IPC judging. Critiques ordered for both events will be available within four weeks of the competition.

  5. The review mechanism of "outs" will no longer be utilized. Currently, entries scoring 78-79 were reviewed again for merit. The introduction of the majority challenge effectively activates this review on each entry.

  6. Entries into the Artist Competition will now be required to have guide images within the entry.

  7. In the Photographic Open category, an entrant will now be required to have made all elements in the entry. Entries involving elements from other artists may be entered into the Artist Competition.

Beginning in 2018, all district competitions will utilize a minimum of two panels during their judging events. This will allow each district to continue to grow and accommodate those members who are looking to earn their Seals of Approval prior to the IPC.

Once again, PPA is looking forward to further encourage its members to take advantage of these incredible educational opportunities. Look for 2017 District Rules and Schedules this fall on PPA.com/Competitions

Be sure to check out the results from this year's exciting IPC

By Chris Homer

The 2016 International Photographic Competition results are now available! Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to all the photographers who earned merits or had an image be selected for the PPA Loan Collection! 

Don't forget that all the Loan Collection and merited  images will be on display in the International Photographic Exhibit at Imaging USA 2017, January 8 -10 in San Antonio, TX!

Go to PPA.com/IPC to view the 2016 results, and don't forget to register for Imaging USA 2017 to see all these great images in person! 

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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Come one, come all to the International Photographic Competition Exhibit at Imaging USA 2017 in San Antonio! The exhibit is free and open to the public, and features thousands of award-winning images from the 2016 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Loan and General Collections.

The Loan and General Collections are comprised of the best of the best entries from the International Photographic Competition, which selects the year's top images from around the world. Images that earn a merit become part of PPA's General Collection, and then those images are judged again for inclusion in the prestigious Loan Collection. The images in the Loan Collection are bound in a beautiful hardcover book, available through Marathon Press (PPA does not receive any money from sales of this book). These collections are also displayed at the Imaging USA IPC Exhibit every year, so PPA members AND the general public can marvel at the year's best of the best photographs!

Every year at Imaging USA, PPA hosts the Grand Imaging Awards, where IPC winners compete for the best of 2016's Loan Collection in six categories: Event Albums, Non-Event Albums, Illustrative, Artist, Portrait, and Wedding. One of those six winners goes on to win the Grand Imaging Award!

Following the Grand Imaging Awards is a presentation by the World Photographic Cup! This is an international competition designed to bring together photographers from all over the globe in a spirit of friendship and unity. The United States team is made up of images from the Grand Imaging Awards, and in all, more than 25 countries are vying for this year's World Photographic Cup!

Want to enter the International Photographic Competition but don't know where or how to start? Consider enrolling in the Imaging USA pre-convention class "The Competition You Can't Lose" featuring Jessica Vogel, M.Photog.Cr., CPP and Timothy Walden, M.Photog.Hon.M.Photog.Cr., CPP, F-ASP.

We understand it's a big question: "Why should I enter the International Photographic Competition?" This program will answer this question AND it will guide you through the process, showing you how this competition is an investment in yourself and your business. Separate registration is required for pre-convention classes at ImagingUSA.org/Register.

The IPC Exhibit is inside the Merit Café, where you'll also gain a first look at the new IPC rules that are in effect for the 2017 competition, as well as a series of short seminars geared to getting you familiar with and better prepared for future photographic competitions! Seminars cover Creating Portraits, Technical Excellence, Competition Concepts, Print Presentation, Lighting, Landscape Composition, Marketing, Degrees, and much more. Questions will be more than welcome, so ask away! You'll also have the opportunity to get one-on-one advice from official IPC jurors about how to improve your photos for the competition. These 15-minute sessions are limited, so be sure to reserve yours today!

We can't wait to see you at Imaging USA in January. But hurry up and register by Dec. 8 at ImagingUSA.org/Register for the Early Bird savings, OR use the Join & Go option to become a member of PPA and your full access pass to Imaging 2017 will be FREE as a welcome gift!




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By Autumn Rice

The entries are in, now let the judging begin! 

For the third consecutive year, the International Photographic Competition judging will be streamed live on Stream.theIPC.org. Save the date for July 31- August 4, 2016 and be a part of all the IPC action!

The live stream is a great opportunity for competitors and spectators to immerse themselves in the world of PPA competition, and follow the judges as they critique images and even decide scores. During streaming, viewers will get the chance to see exactly what the judges are looking for, what they like and don't like, and understand the method behind the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. And if you entered, you might get to see your own image being judged! Gather your friends to watch and cheer together.

Also returning this year will be the IPC Live broadcast hosted by renowned Florida wedding photographer and co-host of The Photobomb Podcast, Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP. Each day at 10:15 am and 2:15 pm EST, IPC Live will feature live critiques, interviews with the judges, and live Q&A sessions.


All you have to do is go to Stream.theIPC.org, sign in on your computer with your PPA account, or simply register with your email if you're not a PPA photographer - it's free either way! Once signed in, you can select which judging room you'd like to watch (portrait, illustrative, and event and non-event album). Don't worry, you can switch between rooms at any time. 

Here is the full schedule (all times are Eastern Standard): 

IPC Judging Live Stream
  • Sunday, July 31, 4:30 pm-6:30 pm EST
  • Monday, Aug. 1, 8:00 am-6:00 pm  EST
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2, 8:00 am-6:00 pm  EST
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3, 8:00 am-6:00 pm  EST
  • Thursday, Aug. 4, 8:00 am-6:00 pm  EST
  IPC Live broadcast hosted by Booray Perry 
  • Monday, Aug. 1, 10:15 am & 2:15 pm EST
  • Tuesday, Aug. 2, 10:15 am & 2:15 pm EST
  • Wednesday, Aug. 3, 10:15 am & 2:15 pm EST
  • Thursday, Aug. 4, 10:15 am & 2:15 pm EST

You can also attend IPC in person! Come to Gwinnett Technical College, Building 100, 5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. There will be signs directing you to IPC.

So save the dates, July 31-August 4, and bookmark Stream.theIPC.org, so you'll be ready for the IPC Judging Live Stream and IPC Live Broadcast hosted by Booray Perry. 

Tune in to Be More Competitive! 

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By Chris Homer

Be sure to enter your images to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) by July 7 by 5pm EST! July 7 will be your last chance to enter this year's IPC!

If you've never entered the IPC before, you'll be surprised to learn that past entrants say entering the competition is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a photographer. That's because images are judged by PPA jurors based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 Elements define what makes an excellent, professional image, so learning how to create while keeping these elements in mind is sure to help you improve as a photographer! And remember, if you aren't continuously improving your skills - you're falling behind other photographers! 

The feedback you can get on the images you enter to the IPC becomes even more valuable if you choose to order critiques on your entries. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. Check out a critique from last year's competition. 

Once you've entered your images, make plans to attend the judging July 31- August 4, 2016 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public and free to attend, so come and adsorb all the judges' comments on the entries - you never know what you might learn! And if you can't attend the judging in-person, you can also stream it all online via Stream.theIPC.org

So, get those images entered by July 7 by 5pm EST and see first-hand how entering the IPC can help your photography! Enter today and see how competition can help you Be More Skillful!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.



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By Chris Homer

The early registration deadline for The International Photographic Competition (IPC) is quickly approaching. Be sure to enter your images today by 5pm EST to avoid the additional fee! 

IPC gives photographers the opportunity to improve their work through competition and critiques from some of the most noted photographers in the business. Entering the International Photographic Competition has many benefits, including:

  • Engage with the passionate and supportive photographic competition community 
  • Improve your best work (Raise your hand if you want to get better!)
  • Earn the admiration and recognition of your peers
  • Ultimately improve your business
Your images will be evaluated based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. By competing and getting your images critiqued, you'll learn what you do well as a photographer, as well as identify the areas in which you may need improvement. It's an amazing learning experience!

Entering your work in a competition can be scary for first-timers. So, to make it a little easier, here's an actual critique from last year's International Photographic Competition. This image is "Determined" by George Austin and is being judged by International Juror Mary Fisk-Taylor, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, ABI, API.

Take a look back and see how constructive criticism from the judges and application of their feedback can improve your work as a photographer.


We hope this critique will give you a better understanding of what the judges are looking for when scoring your images. Enter your images into the International Photographic Competition today! Registration is open until June 22, 2016 at 5pm EST. Late registration extends to July 7, with an additional fee. Be sure to enter your images by 5 pm EST today to avoid paying the extra fee! The IPC judging dates are July 31-August 4, 2016 and you can stream it live at Stream.theIPC.org. Be sure to request a critique so you can receive some personalized feedback on your works of art. Familiarize yourself with the rules for the Photographic Open and Photographic Artist categories today at www.PPA.com/IPC


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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Be sure to enter your images to the International Photographic Competition (IPC) by June 22 by 5pm EST for the lowest price! 

If you've never entered the IPC before, you'll be surprised to learn that past entrants say entering the competition is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a photographer. That's because images are judged by PPA jurors based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image. The 12 Elements define what makes an excellent, professional image, so learning how to create while keeping these elements in mind is sure to help you improve as a photographer! And remember, if you aren't continuously improving your skills - you're falling behind other photographers! 

The feedback you can get on the images you enter to the IPC becomes even more valuable if you choose to order critiques on your entries. You'll receive a recording of an IPC Judge giving you dedicated feedback and explaining to you how the elements are present and impact YOUR image. Check out a critique from last year's competition. 

Once you've entered your images, make plans to attend the judging July 31- August 4, 2016 at Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA. Judging is open to the public and free to attend, so come and adsorb all the judges' comments on the entries - you never know what you might learn! And if you can't attend the judging in-person, you can also stream it all online via Stream.theIPC.org

So, get those images entered by June 22 by 5pm EST for the lowest price! Late registration extends until July 7, but you'll have to pay an additional fee. Enter today and see how competition can help you Be More Skillful!

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the PPA Competitions category.

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