Benefits / Resources / Articles
February 19, 2019

PPA’s New Wedding Degree Brings Changes to the International Photographic Competition

You've probably already heard the buzz surrounding the creation of PPA's new degree, Master of Wedding Photography, but now more details are beginning to take shape.

Nearly half of the membership of Professional Photographers of America identifies as wedding photographers and, with this in mind, PPA has created a new degree designed to encourage and reward hard-working wedding photographers, and help them stand out in the wedding photography field by earning a credential that signifies mastery of the education and experience needed to obtain a degree through PPA.

52% of PPA members (which is about 16,000 of you) report weddings as at least part of their business. Almost half say it is 1/3 of their business. Clearly, there is a need for more emphasis on wedding photographers and PPA is stepping up to fill this need.

All of this means there are also some exciting changes in store for the International Photographic Competition, which is where photographers can merits toward this new degree (as well as PPA's other degrees: Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, and Master Artist).

The new Wedding Degree categories are Wedding Open, which will be any wedding single entry and Wedding Album.

In the Photographic Open competition, the Wedding category and the Event Album category were eliminated because they are now in the Wedding Degree competition.

There are 2 additional changes in the Photographic Open competition:

  • In Photographic Open, entries of the same subject in multiple images will now be allowed, as long as the images are entirely different concepts. 
  • A new trophy category called "Creative Open" has been added. Creative Open consists of images that have additional elements not created by the maker. All elements not created by the maker must be shown in a guide image. All other Photographic Open rules still apply; the purpose of this new category is to allow makers to enter some of their everyday images that may contain digital backgrounds or other elements that were previously not allowed. You will still be required to have all the releases necessary. The jurors will be instructed to evaluate the entire image but the elements that were created by the maker must still be merit-worthy, as well as the overall image.

There is 1 change in the Artist competition:

  • A "restoration" trophy category has been added to the Artist competition. This is designed to reward the image-restoration artist.

We will keep you posted on any further rules changes or developments with the 2019 IPC, but these changes, along with the new district schedule and creation of the Wedding Degree, mean that this year's IPC is going to be different from anything that has come before!

See you in competition! Edit: watch the replay of the free webinar PPA hosted to discuss the new wedding degree here.