Image Competition FAQs

PPC generally follows PPA Merit Image Review rules.

PPC Membership FAQs

Do I have to be a PPC or PPA member to enter an image competition?
No, but the PPC non-member entry fees are customarily higher and you will need to be a PPC member to be eligible for awards.

What are Colorado Fellowship degrees?
You can find out more about the Fellowship Degree program

Image Prep

Can I enter PPC image competition if my image(s) has merited at the PPA MIR or gone through IPC (International Photographic Competition)?
-You may NOT enter any image that has previously merited at PPA or PPC. You may enter images that are entered into IPC for 2023, so long as they have never previously merited with PPC or with PPA in past IPC or MIR events. Any previously merited entries are subject to be disqualified.

-Images that have placed at non PPA competition events are welcome.

Can I enter a physical photograph?
For our PPC competition, no. We use only a digital judging format. We encourage you to bring print outs of your prints to our Image Competition Event and we will create a “leader board” with them as we go along.

Can I use added elements to a photograph for competition?
-For all categories other than the Artist Category, additional elements must be your own image/item/element to qualify.

-For the Artist category, you may add photographic or graphical elements if YOU have created or purchased them. AI generated imagery is not permitted.

Am I allowed to use someone else’s image in my entry?
-In the Photographic categories not only is it a violation of copyright laws, but it is also strictly forbidden in the rules to use images not created by the maker. Entries should show your creativity and not intentionally copy any existing work from someone else.

-In the Artist category, entries which have been reproduced from an existing photograph, portrait, graphic, or any other artwork produced by another person must be accompanied by permission from that maker and emailed to

Do I need to add a border and keystroke(s)?
Presentation is one of the 12 Elements of Design so it will be looked at for this kind of presentation. As to how large or small your borders, keystrokes, and the position of the image on the presentation, these are up to you.

Should I have my name or logo on the front of the image?
Absolutely not! If any of your identification is on the front of an image it will be DQ’d.

Can I have text on my image?
Yes, if it helps tell a story and is NOT your name or logo.

Should I give a title to my image?
Yes. A title helps tell the story and can enhance the impact of your image during the actual judging.

What size should my file be to upload for entry?
It should be sRGB color space, a jpg, and sized at 4000 pixels at the widest side of your image at 300DPI. On saving the file the compression should be at 10 to begin with. If your file is still above 3.5MB reduce the compression number to 9 or 8 …

What if my file size is larger than the suggested minimum after compression?
Refer to the last part above, please!

How do I name my files for upload?
For PPC competition please use the following format:
image01.jpg, image02.jpg, image03.jpg, image04.jpg
OR image1.jpg, image2.jpg, etc.

Image Submissions

Where can I go for registering entries? Then click on the “REGISTER” link from the menu bar. Fill in the information, as you will need to have a personal account at to submit images. Make sure you select the PPColorado button to register for the correct image competition!

How many images can I enter?
For PPC, you may enter 8 images in any combination of categories.

​​Should I enter 8 images? Can I just enter 2, for example?
You may enter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 images into the competition. Some PPC awards are based on total case score so entering at least 6 images is the smartest way to go.

Can I mix my 8 entries with Photographic, Artist, and Wedding categories?
Yes. You may mix your 8 entries in any of the categories.

Can you explain the differences between the categories? See the list of image categories.
-The Photographic categories are for photographic imagery.

-The Artist category is for composited imagery including photographic and graphic elements. You must have created or purchased the elements used in your image. In addition to consideration of the 12 elements of a merit image; for an image to be Merit worthy in the Artist Competition, additional evaluation is given to the skill level of the artwork done to the image as well as the creativity demonstrated by the maker. Ultimately the primary difference is the additional value or bias given to ability, technique, and the quality of the process to achieve the result.

-The Wedding category looks closely at the candid element and storytelling of a real wedding.

Reportage is for images that illustrate an actual public or nonpublic event, life, an area of human interest, telling news that have meaning on the context or record of events, high impact and/or lasting emotional response. Images that illustrate sporting events are included in this category. There are specific limitations on what you can and cannot do while processing your image in this category, be sure to check out the full list of categories for rules. 

AI Exhibition only of an AI generated image, this is the only acceptable use of AI in our competition. No AI elements will permitted in any other category.

I’m confused about choosing an entry category… General or Master?

-Makers who have NOT received a Master’s Degree from PPA should submit in GENERAL categories. Makers who have received any Master’s Degree from PPA should submit in MASTER categories. *Effective immediately if your degree has been published by PPA prior to Oct 10, 2023, but you haven’t walked the stage yet, you ARE in the Master categories.

-Non Members may enter, but please do not choose “member” from the top dropdown box on the form, leave that blank.

*Before submitting your registration and if you have a question, please feel free to contact Jeff Johnson at 303-921-4454 with any questions you may have.

Can I enter the same subject in another image if it is treated differently and is unrecognizable?
Yes you may! Each image needs to be treated as a unique subject from your other image entries. If a subject is thought to be in another image, the Jury Chairman will make sure that it’s not from another photographer first. If you enter more than one image with the same subject, regardless of the pose, clothing, location, etc., your image will be DQ’d after the judging. So, use the same model but make sure the images are very different from each other.

When entering albums as “Multi-Maker” do both makers submit the album files?
It is not necessary to do so. Both makers must be members in good standing and register the entry along with case fees.

If I and another photographer have photographed an event together, can we both enter an album?
Yes, but each would have to register and pay the image submission fee.

Can I enter a self-portrait?
Yes, you may. Remember, the judges DO NOT know the maker of the images they are judging.

Can I enter an image I created at a photography workshop?
No. Grey area here . . . but the official rule is NO.

Can I change an image or title after registering and uploading
Yes. Please call Jeff Johnson at 303-921-4454. But you’re gonna owe me …!

PPC Conference Image Competition Day!

Can I see my entries being judged?
Judging will begin on Sunday, October 15th with an in person watch Party in Centennial, CO or via zoom online we will start approximately 9:30 am and continue until we have finished all of the images. It is free and open to anyone. Join us at the party!

You may also be able to stream the competition live through

When will I know my entry score?
Your entry score will be announced immediately after the Judges scores are tabulated. If you are in the room or online, you will know your score. After that, your score will be posted on the website soon after the competition. You can also follow along online at Information on this feature is available on their website.

How can I get feedback on my images?
Before a competition, you can come to this program!! Or, seek out a PPA Master of Photography and ask if they would look at your images for feedback and critique. When submitting to a PPC competition, you can request a critique for an additional fee for each of your images. Video critiques take place after the competition, however!

After PPC State Image Competition

How can I win an award for my entry?
Entrants that are current members of PPColorado at the time of entry and entries marked “Print of Distinction”, scoring 80 points or higher, are eligible for awards. Awards are determined by the judges or by the print score itself. These awards will be announced at the PPC Awards Celebration & Holiday Party on December 9, 2023.