Benefits / Resources / Articles
March 13, 2024

Merit Image Review: The Way to Earn Your PPA Degree in 2024

At PPA, we talk about the importance of filling in the gaps in your education, as well as the importance of community and giving back. In this article, we’ll explore the Merit Image Review process and its pivotal role in achieving a PPA degree.  

Earning Exhibition Merits, One Image at a Time

The Merit Image Review (MIR) caters to the diverse schedules of photographers, allowing PPA members to submit between one to four images monthly for review. This opportunity is available ten months a year, from February through November. 

Submissions to MIR are accepted year-round, but evaluations by PPA’s panel of trained jurors only occur between February and November. This schedule accommodates the busy holiday and PPA’s annual conference, Imaging USA

When you submit an image, you’ll be able to view the results of your submission immediately following the review that takes place–the same month you submit. To check on these results, go to your myPPA portal and check “myAchievements.


The Value of Unbiased Feedback 

When you opt in for a critique upon submitting to the MIR, you’ll receive expert video feedback on how to improve your image. Trained PPA jurors assess images based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image standard and provide you with guidance on how to improve an image based on this criteria. These elements serve as an indispensable roadmap to elevating your artistry! Learn more about their significance here.  


What Does it Take to Earn a PPA Degree?

Merit Image Review is essential for accumulating exhibition merits towards a PPA degree. The four distinct PPA degrees—Master of Photography (M.Photog.), Master of Wedding Photography (M.Wed.Photog.), Master Artist (M.Artist.), and Photographic Craftsman (Cr.)—require varying combinations of merits.

The 3 Types of Merits

  • Exhibition Merits: Achieved by submitting work for review, these merits acknowledge your artistic and technical excellence.
  • Speaking Merits: Earned by sharing expertise at events or schools, these merits celebrate educational contributions.
  • Service Merits: Awarded for volunteer work within the PPA community, such as participating in Imaging USA.


The Magic Number for PPA Degrees

Each degree requires a specific combination of merits:

  • Master of Photography: Photographers need 13 exhibition merits and an additional 12 exhibition, speaking, or service merits.
  • Master of Wedding Photography: Photographers must obtain 13 wedding exhibition merits and an additional 12 exhibition, speaking, or service merits.
  • Master Artist: A total of 13 artist exhibition merits are required, plus an additional 12 exhibition, speaking, or service merits.
  • Photographic Craftsman: To obtain this degree, a total of 12 exhibition or service merits are required plus 13 speaking merits.


Achieving a PPA degree not only boosts your confidence but also connects you with a broader community of professionals. It serves as a remarkable marketing tool and builds trust with your clients. Start your journey today by submitting your images for review!