Benefits / Resources / Articles
July 28, 2022

Entering The International Photographic Competition For The First Time? Here’s What to Expect

If you’re considering entering PPA's International Photographic Competition (IPC) for the first time and wondering what to expect, this article will give you the rundown of what you need to know before submitting your images.

Entering IPC is often considered one of the best ways to improve your artistic and technical photography skills. The term "competition" might seem a little intimidating, but IPC is unique because the focus is on fine-tuning your craft. Trained jurors evaluate each image you submit and give you constructive feedback to help you become a better photographer. Jurors' goal is to help you improve, not to tear your work apart. Plus, PPA members have the chance to earn merits towards their degrees. 

Here's what Kira Derryberry, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, had to say about her experience:

“The International Photographic Competition is hands down one of the largest contributing factors to my growth as a photographer and artist. After competing diligently for the last 3 years, I'm proud to call myself a Master!” 

This year marks the return of our newest competition category, now in its third year: wedding photography. Meant for real wedding photographers and featuring work that was taken at an actual wedding, the Wedding Competition category leads to the Master of Wedding Photography degree from PPA.

IPC Judging & Critiques 

During IPC judging, jurors give competitors the opportunity to receive advice that will improve their future output and could land their work in PPA's Grand Imaging Collection and be honored at Imaging USA 2023 in Nashville!

If you choose to have your images critiqued, you'll get a recording of a judge going through each image you've entered in the photo competition, explaining how it stacks up against the 12 elements of a winning image, and what you could have done to take your image to the next level if you fell a little short. If you're a little anxious about submitting your work, remember that jurors want to help you create better images; the feedback they provide is constructive and clearly outlines areas to work on. 

To better understand how jurors review images, check out these recorded critiques from past years of IPC. These critiques are a fantastic way to learn exactly how you can take your photography to the next level. Ordering a critique will help you:

  • Understand what the judges expect from competitors 
  • Get an idea about the current state of your photography
  • Improve your work with advice straight from top photographers in the industry.

Having a judge take time to give personal advice on how to improve a specific image is just what you need to grow not only as a photographer but also as an artist! If you haven’t considered entering yet, you're missing out on a great opportunity to grow as a photographer.

Dates to Remember 

Early registration ends August 11 at 5 pm ET. Afterward, entries will be accepted with a late fee through August 30. Please note that no entries will be accepted after August 30 at 5 pm ET. Check out this year's IPC rules to get all the details on entering the International Photographic Competition.

How to Watch IPC Judging 

This year's entries will be judged September 11-15. Judging is streamed live and is open to the public. Bookmark today and sign up for a free account to watch the action unfold!

So what are you waiting for?
Enter your images early!