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Update to print competition rules

19 Feb 2020 12:54 PM | John Tulipano (Administrator)

The following is presented to attempt to clarify the competition rules.

To begin, the next section is the category descriptions for District Awards by PPA



Images can portray a subject or subjects from all walks of life and should reflect the personality of the subject(s).

  • Children - This sub-category must contain a child or children from birth to age 16.
  • High School Senior - This sub-category portrays a male or female age 16 to 18.
  • Animal - This sub-category captures an animal(s) portrait using structured lighting in a studio or outdoor environment, where the owner or photographer control the animal.
  • General Portrait - This sub-category includes families, groups, couples, and adults (18 and older), relationships, models, and fashion portraits, in addition to tastefully artistic figure studies.


Capturing the beauty of nature, wildlife, industry, and architectural areas are considered illustrative.

  • Landscape/Nature - This sub-category shares joy and adventures while expressing a sense of place. Wild animals in an uncontrolled lighting environment, zoo animals,  flowers, seascapes, cityscapes, urban landscapes, and sunsets with or without people can be placed here.
  • Illustrative/Commercial - This sub-category is used when images are created for a commercial client to advertise a product and promote a brand or company. This can be an interior or exterior of a structure or within an industrial environment. Illustrative can also be conceptual images that tell a story.
  • PO Album: consists of portrait and story-telling albums.

Creative Open

This category consists of images that have additional photographic elements not created by the maker. All the other PO rules still apply with the exception that an entrant may choose to use photographic elements in the image not created by the maker. These photographic elements must be shown in a guide image. The purpose of this category is to allow makers to enter everyday images that may contain digital backgrounds or other photographic elements not created by the entrant. All necessary releases are required. The jurors will evaluate the entire image, but the photographic elements that were created by the maker must still be merit worthy as well as the overall image.


Images created at or in connection with a wedding.

  • WEDDING OPEN: Images can portray a subject or subjects from all aspects of a wedding including traditional portraits, candids or detail work.
  • SINGLE MAKER WEDDING ALBUM: Multiple images combined into a digital album collection exclusively showcasing a specific wedding.
  • MULTIMAKER WEDDING ALBUM: Images in the album must be the work of the two entrants, with a minimum of 20 images per entrant.  Each entrant must individually enter the competition and pay appropriate entry fees. Multimaker Wedding albums will be judged as one entry.


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.

  • Artist Open
  • Restoration

PPANI awards Best of Categories for the following:

Best Album (only in February)

Best Artist                              Best Portrait

Best Illustrative                     Best Commercial

Best Wedding                       Best Creative Open

Best Black & White (Monochrome) chosen from all of the other categories.The B&W checkbox must be checked on the entry form.

Best of Show chosen from all the Best of Categories.

PPANI is changing to judging all categories separately instead of mixing them all together in an attempt to avoid possible confusion during judging.

The Creative Open category was just added for us and needs some clarification.

We have discussed for years how much of an image must be photographed or otherwise made by the maker. Small elements can be used for any of the categories as long as the majority of the image is photographed and designed by the maker. This includes purchased backgrounds and props as long as they are Not Photographic.

If the background is a photograph or a muslin or canvas made from a photograph, and looks real it can only be used in the Creative Open category and must be shown as a ”thumbnail” or “guide” image on the side of the main image in the final presentation. Things like “clipart” are allowed in all categories as long as they are minor elements in the makers design. These do not need to be thumbnails in the Creative Open images. Recently we had a Harley Davidson emblem shown as guide image. This was not necessary because it was not photographic. The following image will illustrate the Creative Open requirements.

The entire background of this image is very realistic because it is from a photograph (NOT taken by the maker) which is properly shown as a thumbnail on the right.This image has only one, but if there were more they would be lined up above the one shown.

The judges now can evaluate what work the maker did to accomplish this result.

The following is an example which has a photographic background which was photographed and then manipulated by the maker. This should be entered in Photographic Open in the Portrait or maybe Illustrative categories. Creative Open is not appropriate for this. It doesn’t eed any thumbnail accompaniment. The same hold for the “Tempest in a Teacup” where all elements were photographed by the maker.


           The Artist Category is much different in that the final image is only part of what’s important. The maker must demonstrate all the elements that went into the creation. The thumbnails will include all elements (photographic or not) so the judges can mentally follow the creative process. The two images following demonstrate this.

I hope this helps to clarify competition images.

Bruce Van Pelt

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