Image Competition Rules

Revised 02/05/14


There will be (4) four  image competitions per year: February, May, August and November (or as adjusted by the Board of Directors).

Any member in good standing. All Active, Associate, Sustaining Service, Honorary and Student members may enter image in competition.

The total number of entries allowed at one competition shall be five. More than one photograph of the same subject must be created in such a way as to produce entirely different photographs.

An entry fee of $10 per image shall be charged for each image submitted for competition. 

ALL entries must be submitted via e-mail one week (or date determined by the image comp chairperson) prior to the designated image comp chairperson.

ALL image competition entrants must submit an image 4000 pixels on the longest edge, in a Jpeg format file only,  to the designated image competition chairperson by the designated deadline.

Prints to be submitted titled as Category_Image Title_Makers Name.Jpeg

Animal= A
Architecture= AR
Children= CH
Commercial/ Industrial= C
Electronic Imaging= EI
Family= F
Fashion/ Editorial= FE
Illustrative= I
Landscape= L
New Artist= NA
Portrait Environmental= PE
Portrait High School Senior= PHS
Portrait Studio= PS

Entrants agree that they have created, composed and made the original and that the processing, printing, and any special effects were made by the person submitting the image or under their direction. Photographs made under the supervision of an instructor are ineligible for print competition. Any entry that has merited 80 or higher at CIPPA or national competitions will not be eligible.

Color, black and white, hand-colored or any photographically derived,  image is eligible. Because CIPPA’s image competition is often times used to prepare for State and National competitions, CIPPA has adopted PPA/PPC’s classifications. The maker of the photograph shall designate the classification in which the print is to compete in. The classifications are as follows:

Photographic Categories (17)

Album -  All images must be from the same wedding, social function, individual, family group or non-wedding event. The album must consist of images of a series of pages or layout of no less than ten pages.

Animal- Images of animals created in a studio setting or outdoors. Man-made objects are permitted in the image.

Architecture- Exterior and/or interior Images of a structure.

Children – Images of a child or children in a studio or outdoor setting.

Commercial/Industrial – Tabletop, advertising, stock, aerial, architecture or industrial images. If there is a "tear sheet" of the image, please include it in a 9x12 envelope and submit it to the Image Competition chairperson or designee prior to the start of judging.

Family – Images of a family group of two or more people in a studio or outdoor setting.

Fashion/Editorial – Any image of a person or persons that would be considered fashion, high-fashion or glamour in nature.

Illustrative – Images representing an alternative type of creativity, photography, and/or not meeting the requirements of any other category.

Landscape – Images of landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, nightscapes being the dominant subject. People may appear as a very small part of the image.

Nature – Images where the flora and/or fauna are the dominant subjects and no manmade objects visible.

New Artist – First-time entries in competition may be entered in this category for the calendar year only.

Photojournalism – Images captured of a candid moment that reflects the storytelling. No posed images, studio produced images or digitally manipulated subject matter will be allowed in this category.

Portrait Environmental – Images captured in a non-studio setting.

Portrait High School Senior – Images of High School Seniors captured in a studio or outdoor setting.

Portrait Studio – Images captured in a studio environment.

Wedding – Images captured for a wedding.

Electronic Imaging-  E.I. competition is judged using different criteria than the other photographic categories. In the other photographic categories, just the final image result is considered when applying a score. With EI, the final result is a factor, but the execution of technique and degree of difficulty are also considered. Guide images are encouraged to help the judges understand the process used and techniques involved in creating the final image. Techniques may be electronic or traditional (actual paint for example) or a combination thereof.
An image that may be worthy of Merit in other photographic categories, may not be so in EI if the final image did not require significant artistic expertise to accomplish the result. Use of technique plays a major factor in the awarding of Merits in this category.


The point system is used with scores from 100 to 0   
Images are judged utilizing the 12 Elements of a PPA merit image.

Exceptional 100-95                   1. Impact                7. Center of Interest
Superior 94-90                          2. Creativity            8. Print Presentation
Excellent 89-85                         3. Style                    9. Subject Matter
Deserving of a Merit 84-80       4. Composition       10. Technique
Above Average 79-76               5. Lighting               11. Story Telling
Average 75-74                           6. Color Harmony   12. Technical Excellence/Print Quality
Acceptable 73-70     
Unacceptable 69-0     

A. Selection of Judges –  The Image Competition Chairperson shall select at least three, but not more than five judges.

B. Image Competition Monitor – the Image Competition Chairperson or designee is the person responsible for running the image competition.

C. Judges’ Comments – It will be up to the Image Competition Chairperson (Monitor) to either limit the time allotted per judges’ comments or the number of judges allowed to comment at each image competition. This is to expedite and keep the image competition moving in a timely manner, while giving sufficient time so the maker receives adequate critique on their images.

D. All images that receive a score of 10 points higher or lower than any judge’s score will automatically be challenged. A judge or judges may discuss or critique the images only after all scores have been recorded. Judges may challenge another judge's score decision. After the challenge is discussed, the print may be rescored.  All images receiving an initial score of 79 shall be automatically reviewed at the end of the image competition. On the re-judging, a change of a score shall be by a two-thirds vote. Approved images shall receive a new score of 80. The judges’ decision on the re-judged score shall be final.

E. Final Decision –  The Image Competition Chairperson (Monitor) shall decide any questions not covered in these rules and their decision will be final.

F. Notification of judging results - Image competition scores of each quarter will be e-mailed to each member of the association. Merited images will be posted on the Gallery at www.cippa.org and award of merit print corner is available upon request.


A. Images receiving a score of 80 or above shall be awarded an "Award of Merit" corner. The top image in each class shall be awarded "Best of Class" ribbon. In case of tie scores, the judges shall decide by a process of elimination. The images from Best of Class, scoring 80 or above will then be judged by a process of elimination, for Best of Show.

B. Eligibility- To be eligible for any of the Category Awards below, the photographer must have entered at least two (2) of the four (4) image competitions throughout the calendar competition year.

C. Category Awards
Best of Album
Best of Animal
Best of Architecture
Best of Children
Best of Commercial/Industrial
Best of Family
Best of Electronic Imaging
Best of Fashion/Editorial
Best of Illustrative
Best of Landscape
Best of Nature
Best of New Artist
Best of Photojournalism
Best of Portrait Environmental
Best of Portrait High School Senior
Best of Portrait Studio
Best of Wedding

D. The above awards require a photographer to enter a minimum of four (4) entries in a specific category spanning at least two (2) separate competitions (with the exception of album category, where only a total of two (2) entries are required in at least two (2) competitions).

E. The award is given based on the highest aggregate score of an individual’s four (4) entries in a single category. Only a photographer’s four (4) highest scores are totaled if more than four (4) entries were submitted. If there is a tie between two or more photographers in any category, the photographer with the highest scoring image will be the winner of that category.

F. The above Category Award(s) are given only if there are four (4) or more images entries competing in that particular category throughout the year with at least one image scoring 80 or above. If any image scores 79 or below it can be re-entered again in any future competition.

G. Photographer of the Year Award is awarded to the individual with the highest aggregate score of their four (4) best scores in three different categories. An individual must have entered at least six (6) entries spanning at least two (2) separate competitions to be eligible for this award. The first tiebreaker will be the next highest score in any category. The next tiebreaker will be the next highest score in a non-duplicated (twice scored) category

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