2019 International Print Competition
Last week one of the biggest print competitions of the year took place. Hosted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), it is the grand finale of competitions. Though not required, many photographers enter local, state and district competitions to gauge how their images will do at International Print Competition or IPC for short. For those of us in the industry, it is the Olympics of photo competitions.
Photographers can enter up to 4 images each in two categories - Photographic Open and Master Artist. For Photographic Open (PO), the category I entered, images are judged by a panel of judges based on 12 elements. These include technical excellence, impact, and composition among other criteria. Judges score each image based on a scoring system. Images that earn an 80 or above receive a “merit” and are added to the General Collection. Images that score an 85 or higher are judged for the Loan Collection and if accepted, receive a second merit. Merits are applied toward a Master of Photography degree, bestowed upon the photographer by PPA.
I am thrilled to share that all 4 of my images were accepted into the General Collection, meaning they all scored an 80 or higher. One of my images went on to be judged for the Loan Collection, but was not accepted. I was honored to have any of my images even considered for this prestigious collection! Earning a merit on a case (4 images entered) means I earned the Bronze Medal. This is the second year I have competed, and I couldn’t be more excited with the results!
One of the biggest rewards for me was learning and growing from this experience. Even though there were times I wanted to quit, I pushed myself working hard right up until the late deadline to complete my case. I am so glad I didn’t give up!
A couple of weeks before the deadline, I attended a workshop where I learned some new lighting techniques. I was bound and determined to use these new skills to create images for my case. I stretched myself artistically and technically, producing work unlike anything I had done before. There was a lot of trial and error and hundreds of images to delete. By the time I hit the “submit” button hours before the deadline, no matter what the outcome of the competition, I was proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone. Earning merits was just the cherry on top!
This would not have happened without the support of my friends and fellow photographers who gave me advice and suggestions on how to make my images better. Below are the images I submitted. The second image “Ruff Day at the Office” was the image judged for the Loan Collection. I am already looking forward to next year’s print competition having started to sketch out some ideas I can’t wait to photograph!