I recently attended the Professional Photographers of America’s annual International Print Competition. The PPA is a non-profit organization of professional photographers for professional photographers. One of its missions is to help us grow our businesses and become more profitable. The PPA boasts more than 27,000 members in over 50 countries; the PPA International Print Competition is the largest and most difficult photography competition in the world.
Every photographer enters one print case consisting of four photographs. These are the four photographs I entered:
There are two rounds of judging. In the first round the judges decide if the photographer is “merit-worthy,” and they are incredibly selective. Only a handful of photographers receive merits. The photographs are judged according to 12 different characteristics that range from technical aspects, such as lighting and color balance, to more creative or artistic aspects such as impact, storytelling, and style.
Those who receive merits move on to the second round of the competition. In this round a second set of judges determine which photographers are deserving enough to be included in the “Loan Collection.” Those included in the Loan Collection are some of the best photographers in the world, and their photographs are some of the best taken. This round is even more selective — if not downright brutal — than the first round. The judges are top notch and painstakingly discerning: nothing escapes their eyes.
Those whose photographs are selected to be included in the Loan Collection are honored at the National Convention, which will be held in Nashville in February.
I am honored to have received Merits all of my photographs. And one of the four, “The Conductor,” was selected for the Loan Collection. It’s fair to say that this honor instantly became one the highlights of my career.