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Channel Islands Professional Photographers Association CIPPA Serving Ventura and Santa Barbara CountiesMost presentations are on Zoom, with limited in-person events throughout the 2022 year. View the list of our events here: Want to become a member? View our page here:

Standing Rules:


There will be (4) four image competitions per year: February, May, August and November (or as adjusted by the Board of Directors). Category winners from the November competition will be awarded the CIPPA Photographer of the Year award for that category at the January Awards Dinner Gala.


1. ELIGIBILITY – Any member in good standing. All Active, Associate, Sustaining Service, Honorary and Student members may enter images in competition.


2. ENTRIES ALLOWED- The number of entries determined per image comp will be decided at the beginning of the year at the discretion of the VP of Image Comp. The total number of entries allowed per member at one competition can be 4 or 5 images. 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.


ALL entries must be submitted via e-mail by the deadline determined by the image comp chairperson.


Format Images: Size = 4000 pixels on the long side, JPG, sRGB or RGB at 150dpi, 50% quality. 


Images to be submitted titled as:  Category_Your Title_Your Name    

Please use spaces between the words in your titles and your name.  


N_A Green Leaf_Minor White.jpg          

L_A Very Deep Canyon_Edward Weston.jpg         

A_The King of Beasts_Ernest Hemingway.jpg


Animal= A
Architecture= AR
Children= Ch
Commercial/ Industrial= C
Electronic Imaging= EI
Family= F
Fashion/ Editorial= FE
Illustrative= I
Landscape= L

Lifestyle= LS
New Artist= NA
Portrait Environmental= PE
Portrait Studio= PS

6.  CERTIFICATION of RESPONSIBILITY: Entrants agree that they have created, composed and made the original and that the photography, processing, 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 image competition. Any entry that has merited 80 or higher at CIPPA local, regional, or national competitions will not be eligible.


Color, black and white, hand-colored or any photographically derived, images are eligible. The maker of the photograph shall designate the Category in which the image is to compete. The Categories are as follows:


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 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 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 to be scored and critiqued as 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 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. 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.

Scoring levels:

Exceptional 100-95   
Superior 94-90   
Excellent 89-85   
Deserving of a Merit 84-80   
Above Average 79-76   
Average 75-74   
Acceptable 73-70     
Unacceptable 69-0     


12 Elements:

Impact. Center of Interest. Creativity. Image Presentation. Style. Subject Matter. Composition. Technique. Lighting. Story Telling. Color Harmony. Technical Excellence/Image Quality


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 reasonable for running the image competition.

C. Judges’ Comments – It will be up to the image Competition Monitor to either limit the time allotted per judges’ comments or the number of judges allowed to comment. This is to expedite the image competition, while giving sufficient time for the maker to receive adequate critique on their images.

D. Any image receiving 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 images the images only after all scores have been recorded. Judges may challenge another judge's score decision. After the challenge is discussed, the image will be rescored. 

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



Images receiving a score of 80 or above shall be awarded an "Award of Merit" ribbon. The top image in each category shall be awarded a "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, Second, and Third places.


Annual Awards:

  1. 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.

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 Lifestyle
Best of Nature
Best of New Artist
Best of Photojournalism
Best of Portrait Environmental
Best of Portrait Studio
Best of Wedding


B.  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).


C. The award is given based on the highest aggregate score of an individuals’ four (4) entries in a single category. Only a photographer’s four (4) highest scores are totaled. 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.


D. 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.


E. 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

revised 01/30/2023

Channel Islands Professional Photographers Association, CIPPA, Camarillo, California. 

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