VPPA Annual Image Competition Rules for 2021
5. On-Line Entry
6. Digital Entries: Formatting
7. Photographic Elements
11. Category Divisions and Classifications
12. Best In Show
13. Commonwealth Collection
14. Virginia Top 10 Photographers of the Year
15. Virginia Photographer of the Year
16. Commonwealth Cup (District Award)
19. For Information - Contact
VPPA Annual Image Competition Rules – 2022
Merit / Non-Merit Evaluation
a. Annual Image Competition is open to everyone; VPPA Members, Non-members Virginia Residents and Non-Residents, who pay the entry fees by the published deadlines; however, only VPPA members whose dues are current are eligible for credits and awards.
b. Non-VPPA members may pay to enter unlimited images/albums in the VPPA Annual Image Competition to receive a score and can add a video critique. Any merited evaluated images are eligible for selection for the Commonwealth Collection.
c. VPPA Membership levels that are eligible to enter for awards and receive image/award credits are as follows. Restrictions apply to some membership levels as stated below: (membership descriptions can be found online at www.vppa.org)
i. Professional Membership and Life Membership: All Best of and Court of Honor Award categories and image/award credits. (Category exceptions: Retired. Aspiring, Non-Resident, Student)
ii. Non-Resident Professional Membership: Non-Resident Category Award, Vanguard Award, Commonwealth Collection, and image/award credits.
iii. Retired Membership: Retired Category Award, Vanguard Award, Commonwealth Collection, and image/award credits.
iv. Aspiring Membership: Aspiring Category Award, Vanguard Award, Commonwealth Collection (Note: Aspiring Professionals who enter image competition and receive image/award credits will have these archived until such time as the member upgrades to the Professional Category. These credits will then be applied toward State Degrees.)
d. Students at any education level (college to grade school) may enter Virginia’s Image Competition. Eligible for Student Category and Commonwealth Collection.
2. Entries Allowed:
a. Each entrant will be able to enter unlimited entries into the annual competition; however only the top six (6) evaluated eligible entries apply toward credits, awards, and degrees.
b. Entries may be of the same subject or object if they are significantly different. A different concept, look, clothing, background, etc.
c. No entries will be accepted where it is obvious that two or more photographers assembled and photographed the same subject or object (except albums–see album rules 6b) using the same set and or lighting conditions.
d. No entry will be eligible if it has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment. All images submitted must be self-directed. Images created in an educational environment under direct supervision from an instructor are ineligible.
e. All processing, manipulation, and printing or rendering should be done by the entrant or under their direct supervision.
f. Any entry that has been created from an existing photograph, portrait, graphic or any other artwork produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules. If an entry, in the good faith opinion of the ICC, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law, that entry shall not be displayed or published.
g. No entries of a prurient, pornographic, or questionable sexual nature will be accepted.
h. At the conclusion of VPPA’s Annual Image Competition any entries that are not part of the entrant’s Top Six (6) evaluated entries are considered “void” and ineligible. They may re-entered in a future VPPA Competition, regardless of score, with or without additional artwork.
i. Image Competition Chairman or his/her designee will have the final decision-making authority regarding eligibility of entries.
3. Entry Fees and Forms:
a. The fee is $15 per entry (image or album). Late fees may apply after deadline dates.
b. A critique will be available for $10 per entry (image/album). If you would like a critique, add $10 per entry (image/album) to the online entry at http://www.printcompetition.com for the entry(s)/album(s) you wish critiqued. Competition Committee will handle the distribution of video critiques, all critiques should be returned to the maker within 3 weeks of the critique deadline of PhotoConnect-VA. Critiques can be added prior to competition start and will reopen at the discretion of the ICC.
c. Entrants should read and understand the Certification Statement on the entry form and the penalties that apply if the entry is in violation of VPPA Rules.
d. Student entry fee is $5 per entry.
e. Theme Entry fee is $5 per entry and is a donation to a designated VPPA cause each competition. (See Section 11u)
a. Annual Image Competition will open on 12/15/2021 and close on 2/10/2022. Entries may be accepted after 2/10/2022 with prior approval from the image competition chair.
b. A late fee of $10 will be charged per entry (image or album) on all entries registered between 1/16/2022 and 2/10/2022.
c. A Registration is defined as creating the entry (place marker) at www.printcompetiton.com and paying for the entry. Registration of all entries for the VPPA Annual Image Competition will close on 2/10/2022. All entries to be judged in the annual competition must be registered by paying the entry fee on www.printcompetition.com by 2/10/2022. All entries can be changed, adjusted, or updated including titles, size, etc at any time until 10 p.m. on 2/10/2022.
d. All entries must be uploaded to www.printcompetition.com no later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 10th, 2022, (one week before the competition). Annual Competition will begin Thursday February 17, 2022 time TBD.
e. All access to and handling of entries will be limited to the Image Competition Committee members.
f. Failure to comply with the image rules will result in rejection of your entries by the Image Competition Chairmen.
5. On-Line Entry:
All entries will be entered and payments online through http://www.printcompetition.com
6. Digital Entries: (Formatting)
a. Image Entries:
i. Only electronic entries will be accepted in the image competition, no physical prints will be accepted.
ii. Image files should be sized with the longest side at 4000 pixels, quality 10 jpg with an imbedded color space of sRGB or AdobeRGB 1998.
iii. Files are to be named, Image_Title (use_for spaces, e.g. See_Spot_Run.jpg). Avoid special characters, as they are sometimes not recognized.
iv. Borders and strokes, although not required, are suggested as part of the overall image presentation.
v. Studio identification or entrant’s name cannot appear on any part of the entry. Image/Album will be considered ineligible and disqualified.
vi. Please make sure you update the Title within www.printcompetition.com
b. Album Entries: (Event or Non-Event Album)
i. Each page/spread may contain as many images as you desire.
ii. An entry shall contain a minimum of 5 page/spread files up to 36 page/spread and follow the same size requirements as single digital entries (see above)
iii. Files are to be numbered in viewing order using two (2) digits, i.e. 01.jpg, 02.jpg, 03.jpg,etc.
iv. Studio identification or entrant’s name cannot appear on any part within the album entry.
v. Longest album spread should be sized at 4000 pixels on the longest side and contain a color profile of either sRGB or AdobeRGB1998.
vi. In the case of any Multi-Maker album, images in the album must be the work of the entrants, with a minimum of 20 images per entrant. Multi-Maker albums will be judged as one entry. Both makers should submit the files/images.
vii. You will be required to submit a jpg image as the “cover” and the album file in a zip format to www.printcompetition.com
viii. No photographs entered in an album may be entered as a separate entry in another category at any time.
ix. Please make sure you update the Title within www.printcompetition.com
c. RAW entries: The entrant will upload their untouched NATIVE CAMERA RAW file and the untouched JPG image for this entry. Do not change the file name for the JPG or RAW file. Please make sure you Title the image within www.printcompetition.com
d. REPORTAGE entries: The entrant will upload their untouched NATIVE CAMERA RAW or JPG file and the minimally retouched JPG image for this category. Please follow guidelines for Competition entries (item 6a) sizing, titling, etc. the file name for the JPG or RAW file. Please make sure you Title the image within www.printcompetition.com
7. Photographic Elements:
a. Creative Rule: The VPPA Annual Image Competition is to show the photographic knowledge and skills of the maker. However, a maker can use supporting photographic elements that they did not create, provided those elements are referenced as guide images on the face of the entry. The original photographic capture by the entrant should be merit worthy despite the work that was not their own. Elements created by the maker must not be part of the guide images. This includes images within an album entry.
b. Artist Category: Purchased digital backgrounds and image parts or elements will be accepted because it is judged on the work done to the image. An entry in this category Must include a compilation of parts, steps or stages used to make up the image on the front side, top or bottom of the image file (“guide images”). (See Item 11t)
c. All other categories: Photographic elements must be photographed by the maker. Purchased digital backgrounds and image parts or elements will not be accepted.
d. 12 Elements:
i. Impact - Compelling images evoke emotion—laughter, sadness, anger, pride.
ii. Technical Excellence - The quality of the actual image as presented for viewing. Aspects such as retouching, sharpness, printing, color, and exposure should be spot on.
iii. Creativity- The image is original, fresh, and an external expression of the maker’s imagination.
iv. Style - The subject matter meshes with the presentation. Style can also include the characteristic ways that an artist applies his or her specific lighting, posing, or compositional style to underscore the desired impact.
v. Composition- The visual elements of an image come together to express intent, whether that’s to please the viewer or otherwise. The viewer’s attention is captured and directed where the artist plans it to be.
vi. Presentation- The way an image is showcased gives it a finished look. Everything in the presentation—mats, borders, color choices—should work to enhance the image.
vii. Color Balance - Color work together to evoke feelings in the viewer. For example, it can bring harmony to an image and enhance the emotional appeal. It can also be incongruous to arouse diverse feelings.
viii. Center of Interest - This is where an image’s creator wants a viewer’s attention focused. There may be primary and secondary centers of interest. Sometimes all the elements in an image work together to create the center of interest.
ix. Lighting - The image demonstrates excellence in the use and control of light, whether natural or additive. Light informs dimensions and shape, sets tone and mood, and enhances the image.
x. Subject Matter - The subject matter is central to the story being told, so the subject should sync with the story.
xi. Technique - The approaches used to create the image—lighting, posting, capture, presentation—work together to be effective.
xii. Story Telling – The image evokes the viewer’s imagination. While the act of creating is a personal thing, so too is the act of viewing. Each image is a story, and the one it tells a viewer may be unique to that person.
8. Damage or Loss:
a. The VPPA assumes no responsibility for damage, loss, storage, handling, or exhibiting of entries.
b. Entrant Agrees to hold VPPA harmless against any liabilities or claims arising out of the VPPA’s consideration, display, or other use of photographs, entries, or other materials submitted by entrant to VPPA.
9. Model Release:
a. Entrant must be able to submit, on request, a model release from each subject if the image is of recognizable people or pets, private homes, private possessions, or businesses.
b. Model Release forms, if required, will be available by request.
a. Student Award: Awarded to a Student entry. The entrant must be a current School Student (College or lower). It is based on the highest evaluated eligible entry by a Student.
b. Non-Resident Award: Awarded to a member who has a current Non-Resident VPPA Professional Membership but resides in or has registered their business in a state other than Virginia. It is based on the highest evaluated eligible entry by a Non-Resident VPPA Professional Member.
c. Retired Award: Awarded to a member who has a current Retired Membership. It is based on the highest evaluated eligible entry by a Retired Member.
d. Aspiring Award: Awarded to a member who has a current Aspiring Professional Membership. It is based on the highest evaluated eligible entry by an Aspiring Professional Member.
e. Best of Category: Awarded to the evaluated eligible merited entry chosen by the panel of Judges best meeting the Category definition. (Current VPPA Professional or Life Membership)
f. Court of Honor Category Award: Awarded to the evaluated eligible merited entry chosen by the panel of Judges as the 2nd best entry meeting the Category definition. (Current VPPA Professional or Life Membership)
g. Non-Master Award: Awarded to the highest evaluated eligible entry by a current VPPA Professional or Life Member who does not currently hold the PPA Master of Photography Degree. Recipient must be a current member of PPA.
h. ASP Award: Awarded to the highest evaluated eligible merited entry by a current VPPA Professional or Life Member who is a current member of ASP. Recipient must be a current member of PPA.
i. PPA CPP Award: Awarded to the highest evaluated eligible merited entry by a current VPPA Professional or Life Member who is a current CPP and PPA member.
j. VA CPP Award: Awarded to the 2nd highest evaluated eligible merited entry (not awarded another award) by a current VPPA Professional or Life Member who is a current CPP and PPA member.
k. Vanguard Award: Awarded to the highest evaluated eligible entry (not awarded another award) by a current VPPA Member who has entered the Virginia annual image competition for the first time. This award was established to honor Nancy Justice (Northern District).
l. Best in Show Award – Chosen from the Commonwealth Collection by the Jurors. Recipient must be a VPPA Professional or Life Member. (See Section 12)
m. Commonwealth Collection – All evaluated eligible merited images are considered for acceptance. (See Section 13)
n. Top 10 VPPA Photographer of the Year: Top 10 Awards will be given to the top 10 current VPPA Professional or Life Members based on the total of their Top Six (6) evaluated eligible entries (See Section 14)
o. VPPA Photographer of the Year: The current VPPA Professional or Life Member with the highest image/award credit total. Credits will be determined based on the entrant’s Top Six (6) highest evaluated eligible entries. (See Section 15)
p. Commonwealth Cup – Districts (Blue Ridge/Capital/Northern/Tidewater) will compete against each other for the highest average evaluation. (See Section 16) No credits are earned for this award. This Award was established to honor Randy Searle (Tidewater).
q. Ribbons/Credits: The Top six(6) highest evaluated eligible entries per entrant will count toward ribbons (gold, blue and red) and category/award considerations for First Place and Court of Honor (2ndplace). (See Section 17)
r. Only the top six (6) highest evaluated eligible entries will be calculated and eligible for degrees (SP&FP).
s. Kodak, Fuji and Lex-Jet Awards will not be considered in VPPA Judging as of 2017. Vendor awards will no longer be oﬀered for state image competitions. Further, these may be awarded at PPA District and IPC Competitions. Please check the PPA District and IPC Rules for each vendor if you are interested in your prints being considered for these awards as prints are still accepted at these competitions.
11. Category Divisions and Classifications:
a. Student: Any student can enter. This category is to allow student’s learning photography to enter a professional image competition and to be evaluated.
b. Raw: The purpose this category is to allow the entry of non-manipulated imagery. This category is designed for images which come straight from the camera. You must enter your unedited, unmanipulated untouched NATIVE CAMERA RAW file. All other competition rules apply (model release, same subject, trademark images, instructor.)
c. Reportage: Images that illustrate an actual public or non-public event, life, an area of human interest, telling news that have meaning in the context or record of events, high impact and/or lasting emotional response. Images that illustrate sporting events are included in this category. ONLY basic color and brightness adjustments, cropping, dodging, and burning in are allowed. Only single-capture images will be accepted. Composite and multiple exposure images will not be accepted. The entrant will upload their untouched NATIVE CAMERA RAW or JPG file and the minimally retouched JPG image for this category.
Social Event/Wedding Division:
In addition to the twelve elements, for an image to be merit worthy in the wedding category, additional evaluation will be considered for the entries that illustrate the personality of the subject or subjects and the story of the wedding as well as the artistic and technical skills of the image maker. Judges will keep in mind that the maker has limited control over many aspects of a wedding. For example: subject matter, environment, and time of day. Ultimately, additional consideration will be given to the maker for technically and artistically executing at a merit level despite challenges involved at a typical wedding. Images and all elements of an image in the Wedding competition must be created in connection with an actual wedding. The entrant or entrants must have captured all elements of the final submission from that wedding. Images in the Wedding competition should reflect the personality or personalities of the subject(s) or the story of the wedding as well as the personality, artistic and technical skills of the image-maker. Images should include some kind of visual wedding reference(s). The original captured image (in RAW or jpg) must be available if requested by the ICC committee.
d. Social Event Portrait: Posed portraits made at a social event. They may be of individuals or groups, including but not limited to brides, grooms, family members, Bar/ Bat Mitzvah participants or groups, and wedding parties.
e. Social Event Candid: Candid photographs made on a wedding day, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other social event. The purpose of this category is to show how well a photographer can operate under the pressure of a social event.
f. Event Album: A collection of images highlighting one or more individuals associated with a Wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzvah. All photographs must be from the same social event. There may be more than one maker for an Event Album; such an album will count as one entry for each maker and should be so indicated on the entry form.
g. Non-Event Album: Group or collection of images used to express people, places, or things, not specifically in a social setting. The album should have photographs from the same portrait sitting, commercial assignment, or be a “Day in the Life”, “Baby to Adult”, or High School Senior type album. It could also be a compilation of images from one trip or one assignment.
h. Portrait of a Child: Portrait of ONE (1) Child. Category must contain a child from birth to age 16 (Image with pets allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
i. Portrait of a Woman: Adult Woman (Image with pets allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
j. Portrait of a Bride: Brides photographed in the studio, outdoors, indoors or on location. Bridal portraits made on the wedding day must be entered in Social Event Portrait. There should be no other people in the photograph.
k. Portrait of a Man: Adult Man (Image with pets allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
l. Portrait of High School Senior: Only portraits made in the studio, outdoors, indoors or on location of an individual high school senior are eligible for this category Male or Female ranging in age between 16-18. They may be composites, if desired. (Image with pets allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
m. Portrait of a Group: Includes more than one person of any age group, with or without pets.
n. Portrait of Pets: This Category captures an animal(s) portrait using structured lighting in a studio or outdoor environment, where the owner or photographer controls the animal. (Image with people allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
o. Illustrative: This category includes macro photography, still life, vignettes, creative art pieces, etc. (Image with pets or people allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
p. Landscape: This category includes scenic photography, seascapes, cityscapes, urban landscapes, and sunsets. (Image with pets or people allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
q. Nature/Wildlife: This category includes nature and wild animals in an uncontrolled lighting environment, zoo animal, insects, flowers, field, etc. (Image with people allowed, but should not be the center of interest)
r. Commercial/Industrial: These are photographs made for advertising or for depicting activities associated with business, industry, sales, marketing, branding, commerce, etc.
s. Architectural: Photographs of building exteriors, interiors, or architectural details.
t. Artist: A conceptual image altered or manipulated from its original condition. Creations can be a subtle application using post processing techniques, or a dramatic combination of details to suggest a larger story. The artist is responsible for the idea behind the image and the work done to create the finished art piece. Artist category is designed to judge the technique of the artist. An entry in this category must include a compilation of parts, steps or stages used to make up the image on the front side, top or bottom of the image file (“guide images”). The maker will be judged on how well he/she handled the medium used in the image. This category will include enhancements/ restoration, composited images, and single image files.
u. Theme: These entries are Completely FUN! The Image Committee will select a theme for each competition and entries should follow that theme. The Committee will designate a prize for the chosen winner. The judging panel will choose their favorite. Monies raised from this fun competition are donated to a designated VPPA fund (established each competition) these entries are not considered for any other credits, prizes, or awards. It is best to follow image submission guidelines. This is also a great way for folks that typically do not enter Image Competitions to participate.
12.Best In Show:
The Panel of Jurors will select the Best in Show entry from the Commonwealth Collection. The recipient must be a current VPPA Professional or Life Member.
The Commonwealth Collection is chosen by the Panel of Jurors from the evaluated merited images. All Entrants are eligible for this collection.
14. Virginia Top 10 Photographers of the Year:
Must be a current VPPA Professional or Life member to be eligible for this Award. The recipients are determined by the Top Six (6) evaluated eligible entries. This calculation is based on the total Image Credits. Tie Breaker: The committee will then add in Award Credits. In the event of another tie: The Committee will add the total number of Commonwealth Collection acceptances. If there is still a tie, the Committee will ask the jurors to decide in head-to-head judging.
15. Virginia Photographer of the Year:
Virginia’s Top Photographer of the year is awarded to the current VPPA Professional or Life Member with the highest total image / award credits. Credits will be determined based on the entrant’s Top Six (6) highest evaluated eligible entries.
16.Commonwealth Cup (District Award):
Districts (Blue Ridge/Capital/Northern/Tidewater) will compete against each other for the bragging rights to this Award. Only the Top Six (6) evaluated eligible entries will be calculated per entrant. The committee will add the total number of each Entrant’s Image Credits then divide by the number of entrants to reach a District average. No additional credits are earned for this award. This Award was established to honor Randy Searle (Tidewater).
a. Image Credits are accumulated from Evaluated Entries and ribbons; Gold=Commonwealth Collection, Blue=Merit, and Red=Non-Merit. (See section 17e)
b. Award Credits are accumulated by earning Best in Show, Best in Category (selected by the judges from all evaluated eligible entries), Court of Honor (2nd Place)
c. The total number of credits from your Top Six (6) entries are used toward earning VPPA degrees (FP & SP)
d. If for any reason an entry is disqualified it is ineligible for any credits, awards or towards one’s degree.
e. Schedule of credits:
*Only your top six highest evaluated eligible entries will be considered for
Ribbons/Credits and Awards.
Evaluated Image Credits:
Gold Ribbon (Commonwealth Collection) 5 Credits
Blue Ribbon (Merit Image) 4 Credits
Red Ribbon (Non-Merit Image) 3 Credits
Award Credits: (in addition to Image Credits above)
Best in Show 5 Credits
Best of Category 4 Credits
Court of Honor (2ndPlace) 3 Credits
i. NOTE: These credits are awarded only at the annual PhotoConnect-VA not at Imagefest-VA or District Meetings.
ii. NOTE: No additional credits are given for the Virginia Photographer of the Year Award, Top Ten Photographer, Vanguard Award, CPP, VACPP, ASP, or the Commonwealth Cup.
a. There will be a five (5) Juror Panel with a minimum of three (3) Approved Aﬃliate IPC Jurors and a maximum of two (2) IPC Jurors in Training.
b. All image judging will follow as close to PPA’s IPC Rules (International Photographic Competition) as possible.
For more information:
Jamie Hayes, Image Competition Co-Director – firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 740-9307 (studio)
Andee Moore, Image Competition Co-Director – email@example.com or (804) 222-4111 (studio)