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CIPPA Image Competition Categories


  • Album - All images must be from the same wedding, social function, individual, family group or non-wedding event. The album must consist of images in a series 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 submit a jpeg of it to the Image Competition chairperson along with your entries.

  • 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, and nightscapes are the dominant subject. People may appear as a small part of the image.​

  • Lifestyle– Portrait/people photography that captures and documents real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner. Lifestyle is not as controlled as portrait photography or as unscripted as photojournalism. Imagery will not be as polished or as meticulously created as a studio or environmental portrait and not as restricted as photojournalism. You can direct, help pose, move, light, interact with the subjects, and edit, alter, add, and delete in post-production. Subjects are almost unlimited: families, kids, sports, hobbies, careers, jobs, service, metro, rural, or pieces of life - it doesn't have to be a person.

  • Nature – Images where the flora and/or fauna are the dominant subject with no manmade objects visible, and not created in a studio setting.

  • New Artist – New CIPPA Members and first-time competitors may enter this category in their first calendar year. Images are to be scored and critiqued for all other categories.

  • 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. Normal burning, dodging, contrast adjustments, cropping, and spot removal are allowed.

  • Portrait Environmental – Images captured in an outdoor, non-studio setting.

  • Portrait Studio – Images captured in a studio setting.

  • Wedding – Images captured for a wedding.​

  • Electronic Imaging - E.I. competition is judged using different criteria than the other photographic categories. 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 and techniques involved in creating the final image.  An image that may be worthy of Merit in other categories, may not be so in EI, if the final image did not require significant artistic expertise. The use of technique plays a major factor in the awarding of Merits in this category.

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