Benefits / Resources / Articles
June 11, 2018

Impact vs. Presentation in Portrait Competition

Sometimes holding back can be more rewarding than doing extra work. In portrait photography, you have to weigh the impact of the subject’s portrait against the presentation around and behind them. One way to practice this and really improve your work is to enter a photographic competition! Entering a photographic competition is one of the easiest ways to push your photography skills to the next level – especially if you have the opportunity to receive a critique of images you enter.

Luckily for you, PPA's annual International Photographic Competition (IPC) is currently open for entries! The judging for the IPC takes place August 5-8, 2018, and now it's time to submit the best images in your portfolio. This competition is an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself, so you definitely don't want to miss it! 

By entering, you'll get the chance to improve thanks to:

  • Getting critiques from certified jurors
  • The challenge of entering alongside other incredible photographers
  • Engaging with and learning from the PPA community
  • Watching the judging live stream and learning from real images and real judges, in real time!

If you've never had your work critiqued at the IPC before, you might be curious what the process entails. So check out a critique from last year's competition! The video below features "Old Master’s Modern Muse" by Tamara Knight being critiqued by IPC juror Tim Kelly. Tim gives Tamara advice on balancing presentation and impact that is based on the 12 elements of a merit image. Watching this video will show you what you're missing out on if you don't get your images critiqued!

Now that you've seen a critique, it's time to show your creativity and enter the IPC! To view the IPC Photographic Open rules and the IPC Artist Competition rules simply go to

Important Dates for this upcoming IPC:
Judging will be held on August 5-8, 2018 at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville, GA. It's open to the public and free to attend, but if you can't make it in person, you have to watch the free online streaming of the entire judging process! It's one of the best ways to learn what judges are looking for in this image competition. For that, bookmark: 

Don't forget to enter your images early to beat the crowd and save some money! Early registration to enter your images opens May 23-June 27, 2018 by 5 pm ET.

Entries after June 27 at 5 pm ET will be accepted with surcharge through July 11. Please note that no entries will be accepted after July 11, 2018, by 5 pm ET. Best of luck!