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Image Competition Information 

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Full CTPPA Image Competition Rules 2021-2022 tl/dr version of the rules on right

Email the Image Competition Co-Chairs:

2021 Seasonal Image Comp.

  1. 7-26-21 2pm (pdf)
  2. 9-20-21 5pm (pdf)
  3. 12-6-21 12noon (pdf)

January 2022: image naming sessions, image critiques for convention annual competition

Annual State Image

2022 Competition Date:

-- Competition Feb. 11th

-- Image Critique Feb 12th

-- Awards Night March 5th

Thinking about entering the annual state image competition? Visit our Annual (Convention) Image Competition page

Point System for POY:

Best in Show
1st Place
2nd Place

3rd Place

80+ (w/o award)





Image scoring shall be based upon "The 12 Elements" using the following standards:

100-95 Exceptional 

Superior 94-90

Excellent 89-85

84-80 Deserving of a Merit

79-75 Above Average 

74-70 Average 

69-65 Below Exhibition Standards 

    • Print will be used to run the image competitions. Register and pay your image entry fees at
      • Tip: With a premium account you can see ALL of the images for this (and other) image competitions.
    • Not sure about what to pick for competition? Want advice about keystrokes and presentation? Take advantage of our free Master's Image Competition Mentor Program.

    • The CTPPA Annual and Seasonal Image Competitions are all digital to encourage more entries and to save printing costs. 

    • We encourage everyone to enter this competition! You do not need to be a CTPPA member, although we encourage ALL CTPPA members all to enter image competition! 

    • Entering image competition may seem daunting, but it is a very rewarding experience as a professional -- and as an artist. 

    • Entering image competition pushes you as a professional photographer by letting you put your skills to the test. Find out what you are capable of while learning new skills and honing old ones.

    • You might be fearful, afraid of competing against other photographers, but in reality, you are competing against yourself. That is you should measure your improvement from competition to competition and from year to year. To this end, we have added a new award, the Blue Case Award, which is awarded to EACH photographer whose case images all earn 80+ (Case = 4 images Seasonal & 6 images Annual)

    • Entering a competition also provides fodder for publicity, which helps set you apart from other professional photographers. A fill in the Blank press release can be found on the CTPPA website.

    The tl-drtl/dr version of the competition rules: 
    • Files must be sized with 4000 pixels on longest side.
    • How many Images can I enter? 
      • Seasonal: You may enter up to 3 images/category. Top 4 = “case”
      • Annual/Convention: You may enter up to 4 images/category. Top 6 = “case”
    • Images taken in classes/seminars/workshops are NOT allowed (except by instructor). No images made under the supervision of an instructor or class assignment images.

    • PPA merited images are not eligible (see rules; CTPPA seasonal image winners ARE permitted at the CTPPA Annual/Convention competition).

    • Only one entry per subject is allowed (per competition).

    • Categories (Note: Image competition chairs may move images to other categories):

      1. Portrait -- kids under 16 (posed subjects and/or controlled lighting)
      2. Portrait -- Senior (16-18) (posed subjects and/or controlled lighting)
      3. Portrait -- Animals (under controlled/structured lighting)
      4. Portrait –General (posed subjects and/or controlled lighting)
      5. Fine Art -- Illustrative -- landscape/nature
      6. Fine Art -- Illustrative -- illustrative/commercial
      7. Reportage -- (Photojournalism [PJ] images, "SOOC") Original file SOOC (straight out of the camera) must be available upon request
      8. Lifestyle -- Candid images. The primary goal is to tell stories about people's lives. These images would be "A day in the life of" or "The art of the everyday" with people in candid situations. No setups, models, or paid/"time for" subjects.
      9. Artistry -- Purpose = to demonstrate art skills. MUST include guide images. In this category (ONLY) textures or copyright free images are OK
      10. Wedding -- must be taken in time constraints of an actual wedding

    To learn about or refresh yourself on the qualities of a merit image Download the "12 elements of a merit image".pdf to assist you when planning for your image competition entry. 

    A Mind Map of the 12 Elements on was published on by Lisa Dillon, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, and Bryan Welsh, Cr. Photog., API. They share a fresh perspective on PPA's International Photographic Competition. Specifically, they look at the "12 Elements of a Merit Image" in a new light. Rather than looking at the elements as a checklist, Lisa and Bryan created a mind map (a diagram used to visually organize information) for a unique take on these elements and how to succeed in the IPC.

    12 Elements of Image Competition

    1.  Impact: Compelling images evoke emotion—laughter, sadness, anger, pride.

    2.  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.

    3.  Creativity: The image is original, fresh, and an external expression of the maker’s imagination.

    4.  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.

    5.  Composition: The visual elements of an image come together to express intent, whether that is to please the viewer. The viewer’s attention is captured and directed where the artist plans it to be.

    6.  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.

    7.  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.

    8.  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.

    9.  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.

    10. Subject Matter: The subject matter is central to the story being told, so the subject should sync with the story.

    11. Technique: The approaches used to create the image—lighting, posting, capture, presentation—work together to be effective.

    12. Storytelling: 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.

    " We wish all who enter our image competitions all the best!"

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