Available Events

All PPA members can enter. The events are held once a month, February through November.

You only need to enter one image, but you can enter up to four images in each of the three degree review categories. (Master Artist, Master of Wedding Photography, & Master of Photography degrees)

You can earn up to 8 exhibition merits in each of the degree categoriesper year.


Merits are the unit of measure PPA uses to keep track of members’ activity within PPA. Merits earned through Merit Image Review are called exhibition merits. Additionally, members can earn service merits for activities such as participating in/or teaching classes, serving on committees, volunteering at Imaging USA, having an image published by Professional Photographer Magazine, and through a variety of other activities!

Yes. You earn an exhibition merit when an entry is accepted as a merit-level image or when it falls into the image excellence level during the Merit Image Review.   

Although some groups refer to a certain score as a “merit” and may count them toward achieving local or state fellowship, or other program awards, these do not count toward PPA degrees. Exhibition merits only count toward PPA degrees if earned at the Merit Image Review. Local and State competitions are a great place to get feedback on an image, but no PPA merits can be earned.

Yes. You can make changes to the image and resubmit later.

Entering the Merit Image Review

A total of three different types of exhibition merits can be earned in the Merit Image Review: Photographic Open (PO) exhibition merits, Wedding exhibition merits, and Artist Exhibition merits. Photographic Open merits earned through the Merit Image Review go toward the Master of Photography degree. Wedding exhibition merits count toward the Master of Wedding Photography degree. Artist exhibition merits count toward the Master Artist degree.

Yes, you can still enter wedding images in the General Portrait category. The difference is that your images will be reviewed by Photographic Open (PO) jurors and not Wedding jurors. Any merits earned on these images would go toward a Master Photographer degree rather than the Master Wedding Photographer degree.

Submission categories will be:

  • Photographic Open: Portrait, Illustrative, Albums
  • Artist Open
  • Wedding Open and Wedding Album

There will be a panel of 5 PPA Approved jurors reviewing each image. It will take 3 merit votes for the image to receive a print merit.

All images will be placed in one of the following categories by a majority of 5 jurors.

  • Category A - No merit and low potential for future merit
    • (This category suggests to a maker that choosing another image might garner more success.  This result suggests that there is a base exposure issue, lighting issues, focus problems, conceptual flaws, low-impact subject matter, or an overall lack of execution of 1 or more of the 12 elements.)
  • Category B - No merit, but with potential to merit with some improvement by the maker
    • (This entry is very close to crossing the merit threshold but falls short for correctable reasons such as dust sensors, cropping, minor post-processing issues, retouching issues, and other correctable issues)
  • Category C - Merit Image
    • (Images that meet the level of merit-worthy professional photography as it relates to the 12 elements)
  • Category D - Image Excellence
    • (This entry, which successfully portrays all 12 elements at the highest level, will be published in the Image Excellence Collection book) 

You can earn a Master of Photography degree, Master Artist degree, Master Wedding degree, and the Imaging Excellence medal and bars.