The rules for the 2019 Image Competition can be accessed by clicking the link below...

VPPA  Annual Image Comp Rules 2019.pdf
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VPPA Annual Image Competition Rules for 2019

1.   Eligibility:

a.  Annual Competition is open to all VPPA Members, both Virginia Residents and Non Residents, who pay the entry fees by the published deadlines; however, only VPPA members whos dues are current are eligible for credits, awards and trophies.

b.   Non VPPA (Out of State) members may pay to enter unlimited images/albums in the VPPA Annual Image Competition to receive a score and a critique.

c.  All Membership levels will be eligible to enter and receive print credits.  Restrictions apply to some membership levels as stated below:

•     Professional Membership and Life Membership All Awards 

•     Retired Membership One Retired Award given annually 

•     Non-Resident Membership One Non-Resident Award given annually and Non Resident VPPA Members    qualify for a Top Ten Photographer Award 

•    Aspiring Membership  – One Aspiring Award given annually  

✴   Note: Aspiring Professionals who enter image competition and receive print 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.

•    New Professional Members who joined before the annual image competition will be eligible for the New Member First Time Entrant Award (The Nancy Justice Award)

2.   Entries Allowed:

a.   Each entrant will be able to enter unlimited entries into the annual competition; however only the top six (6) eligible entries apply toward credits, awards and degrees.

b. The VPPA Professional or Life Membership entrant with the highest total credits will receive the Virginia Photographer of the Year Award.  Credits will be determined based on the entrants top six (6) highest scored eligible entries. (See Section 14 - Credits.)

c.   The Top 10 VPPA Photographer of the Year Awards will be given to the top 10 entrants based on their top six (6) eligible image scores regardless of the total number of  entries.  There is a formula for determining award winners in the event of a tie which is described in this document.

d.  The Top six (6) highest scoring eligible entries per entrant will count toward ribbons (blue, red and white) and category/trophy considerations for First Place and Court of Honor (2nd place).

e.   Only the top six (6) entries will be calculated and eligible for degrees (SP & FP).

f.   Entries may be of the same subject or object as long as they are significantly different.  A different concept, look, clothing, background, etc.

g.  No entries will be accepted that were made while attending and or under the direction, supervision of an instructor at any seminar, trip, class or safari or other type of gathering or event.

h.   No entries of a prurient, pornographic, or questionable sexual nature will be accepted.

i.   Trademarked subjects. (Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Norman Rockwell, etc.) will not be judged.

j.  Any entry that scores 80 or above at the Annual Image Competition, is ineligible for entry in any other VPPA future image competition. 

k.  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/album).

b.  A critique will be available for $10 extra per entry (image/album). If you would like a critique, add $10 per entry  (image/album) to the online entry at for the image(s)/album(s) you wish critiqued.  

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.

4.  On-Line Entry:

a.  All entries will be made on-line through

5.  Digital Entries:

a.  Only electronic images will be accepted in the all image competitions, no physical prints will be accepted.

b.  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.

c.   Files are to be named, Image_Title (use _ for spaces, e.g. See_Spot_Run.jpg).

d.  Boarders and strokes, although not required, are suggested as part of the overall image presentation.

e.  Studio identification or entrants name cannot appear on any part of the entry.

6.  Deadlines:

a.  Annual Image Competition will open on 12/15/2018 and close on 2/7/2019. Entries may be accepted after 2/7/2019 with prior approval from the image competition chair or assistant image competition chair.

b.  A late fee of $10 will be charged per entry (image or album) if images are entered between 1/17/2019 and    2/7/2019.

c.   Pre-registration of all images for the VPPA annual image competition will close on 1/17/2019.  All images have to be registered by paying the entry fee on by 2/7/2019.  All images can be changed, adjusted or updated including titles at any time until 10 p.m. on Thursday 2/7/2019.

d.  All entries must be uploaded to no later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 7th, 2019, one week before the judging.

e.  All access to and handling of entries will be limited to the Image Competition Committee members.

f.   Failure to comply with the print rules will result in rejection of your entries by the Image Competition Chairman.

7.  Awards:

a.  Kodak, Fuji and Lex-Jet Awards will not be considered in VPPA Judging as of 2017.  Vendor awards will no         longer be oered to state image competitions.

b.  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.

c.   Aspiring Award: Awarded to members who have paid for an Aspiring Membership and are only eligible for the Aspiring Award.  It is based on the highest scoring eligible image by a Aspiring Professional member.

d.  Retired Award: Awarded to members who are Retired from photography and who have paid for the Retired Membership.  It is based on the highest scoring image by a Retired member.

e.  Non-Resident Award: Awarded to a member who is a VPPA Professional Member but resides in or has registered their business in a state other than Virginia.   This  award is based on the highest scoring image by a Non Resident Professional member.

f.    First Time Entrant: Awarded to a VPPA Professional Membership entrant who has entered the annual image competition for the first time. This award will be determined by the entrant who qualifies and has the highest scoring eligible entry.

g.  Non-Master Award: Awarded to the VPPA Professional Member who does not currently hold the PPA Master of Photography Degree. This award will be based on the highest scoring eligible entry.

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.

10. Districts (Blue Ridge/Capital/Northern/Tidewater) will compete against each other for the highest average score award by percentage of participation in each District. Only the top 6 scores will apply per entrant.

11. Top 10 Photographers of the Year:

a.  These numbers are calculated based on the cumulative scores of the entrants top six (6) eligible entries. The  10  entrants with the highest scores will receive one of these awards.

Tie Breaker:  Determined by the single highest scoring elibible entry.  In the event of another tie, the second highest scoring eligible entry will be determined to break the tie.  As ties continue the winner will be determined by the next highest scoring eligible entry at each level until a winner is determined. 

12. Photographic Elements:

a.  All photographic elements must be photographed by the maker. Purchased digital backgrounds and image parts or elements will not be accepted; except, for the Artist category because it is judged on the work done to the image.

13. Category Classifications:

a.  Portrait of a Man:  Adult Man (Image with pets or animals allowed)

b.  Portrait of a Woman: Adult Woman (Image with pets or animals allowed)

c.   Portrait of a Child: Portrait of one (1) Child. Can be an image with pets or animals.

d.  Portrait of a Group: Includes more than one person of any age group, with or without animals.

e.  Portrait of Pets or Animals: All animal photographs, individuals or groups of animals, wild or tame, large or small. People should not be the center of interest

f.    Portrait of a Bride: Brides photographed in the studio, outdoors, indoors or on location. Bridal portraits made on the wedding must be entered in Social Event Portrait.  There should be no other people in the photograph.

g.  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. They may be composites, if desired. 

h.  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.

 i.   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.

j.  Architectural:  Photographs of building exteriors, interiors, or architectural details.

k. Illustrative: Includes photographs which could be used for advertising in fliers, brochures, greeting cards, calendars, printed matter of all types and websites.  Subject matter is a varied as the category.

k.  Pictorial: Scenic or landscape photographs, still life, or close-ups of the natural world; people may be in the images, but should not be the center of interest. 

l. Photojournalism: All images made “on the spot”, except for social event photography.   Subjects may be crowds, individuals, street scenes, fires or accidents, racing or athletic events; these are typically the types of images seen in newspapers and news magazines.

m. Creative: Anything goes here as long as it is legal, within the boundaries of good taste and is creative.

n.  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.  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. 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.

o. Commercial/Industrial: These are photographs made for advertising or for depicting activities associated        with business, industry, sales, marketing, commerce, etc.

p.  Albums:  Two Categories -

          i.  Event: This sub-category is a collection of images highlighting one or more individuals associated with a social event, and held at a destination other than a studio.   All photographs must be from the same social event like a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, etc.  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.

        ii.   Non-Event:  This sub-category contains a group or selection 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.

        iii.  Event or Non-Event Albums: No photographs entered in an album may be entered as a separate entry in another category at any time.

 q.  Digital Album Entries:

           i.   Each page/spread may contain as many images as you desire.

           ii.   An entry may contain up to 36 page/spread and follow the same size requirements as single digital entries ( see above number 5 digital entries section )

           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 entrants 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 Adobe 1998

           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.

14. Credits:

a.  Print Credits are accumulated by earning Best in Show, Best in Category (selected by the judges from all eligible entries 80 and above), Court of Honor (2nd Place) and ribbons (blue, red & white).

b.  The total number of credits from your top 6 entries are used to determine the Virginia Photographer of the Year.

c.   The total number of credits from your top 6 entries are used toward earning a VPPA degree (SP, FP).

d.  Schedule of credits:

                     Best in Show                                                                 9 Credits   (4 for Blue Ribbon + 5 for Award)

                     Best of Category                                                          8 Credits (4 for Blue Ribbon + 4 for Award)

                    Court of Honor (2nd Place)                                         7 Credits   (4 for Blue Ribbon + 3 for Award)

*Only your top six highest scoring entries will be considered for

Ribbons/Credits and Awards.

                     Blue Ribbon (Score of 80 & above)                             4 Credits

                     Red Ribbon (Score of 79 - 75)                                      3 Credits

                     White Ribbon (Score of 74 - 70)                                 2 Credits

        i.            NOTE: These credits are awarded only at the State Convention; not at Seminars or District Meetings.  

        ii.           NOTE: No additional credits  are given for the Virginia Photographer of the Year Award, Top Ten Photographer of the Year, the Nancy Justice Trophy, the PPA CPP Award. the VA CPP Award, the  ASP Award, Randy Searle District Winner, the PPA National Award or the Virginia Award.

15. Judging:

a.  There will be a five (5) Juror Panel with a minimum of three (3) Approved Aliate IPC Jurors and two (2) IPC  jurors in training.

b.  All image judging will be compliant with IPC Rules (International Photographic Competition).

For more information:

Jamie Hayes, Image Competition Chairman – or (804) 740-9307 (studio)

Andee Moore, Ass’t Image Competition Chairman – or (804) 222-4111 (studio) 

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Virginia Professional Photographers Association

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