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Photographic Competition: What is it and why should you enter?

06/04/2022 6:03 PM | Lisa Hill (Administrator)

You’ve heard about photographic competition, but what is it and why should you enter?

It can be confusing if you’ve never entered before. You may have heard about state competitions, Districts, IPC, merits, seals, and Imaging Excellence Awards.

When we talk about photographic competition through GPPA or PPA, we’re referring to an opportunity for each photographer to push their skills to a higher level. While the term competition is used, it’s not traditional competition. You’re not competing against other photographers, you’re competing against yourself to grow professionally.

In today’s blog you’ll learn more about photographic competition through Georgia Professional Photographers Association.

What is a merit?

A merit is basically a unit of measure. It helps us keep track of your successes and contributions to GPPA. Earning a merit can be very exciting, and one way to earn merits is through photographic competition.

A competition merit is earned when an image scores 80 or higher. The scores are based on the judge’s interpretation of your image and how it exhibits the Twelve Elements of a Merit Image (each of the twelve elements will be discussed in future blogs).

Why should I enter photographic competition?

Personal Growth: Learn how competing brings out your best and gives you an impartial opinion from judges who have been extensively trained in the twelve elements.

Rewards and Recognition: Have you ever seen a photographer walking around with a ribbon and medallion around their neck? Some ribbons are covered in pins and bars! Each ribbon, pin, and bar represents merits, degrees, and awards earned by the photographer.

You can earn these, too! GPPA offers the Fellowship Degree which is earned through photographic competition and education.

Personal Portfolio Builder: Competition encourages you to branch out into areas that you might not otherwise try. You may be a portrait photographer by day, but your competition self can be anything you want it to be – a wildlife, macro, commercial, wedding, or abstract photographer to name a few.

Are you ready to give a try?

Watch for more blogs that will talk about the twelve elements and how to enter.

To see past merited images for inspiration, click here.


2021 Merit Image: Orange You Glad to See Me | Javon Longieliere

The Georgia Professional Photographers Association is a proud affiliate of Professional Photographers of America 

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