All entries must be registered at www.printcompetition.com

The Professional Photographers of the Ozark’s annual photographic competition offers two separate divisions for entries. The divisions are Photographic Open and Artist. Participants, also referred to as makers or entrants, can enter cases in one or both divisions. The term “case” consists of the combined 4 top scoring entries entered by that maker from one or both division. Only digital entries will be judged.




All members of the Professional Photographers of the Ozark’s, (PPO) are eligible to enter the Photographic Competition. PPO members who meet the requirements defined below may enter the General Exhibition or, if qualified, the Masters’ Exhibition.

1. Entrant MUST BE REGISTERED and dues paid to attend the Fall Convention. Entrant must be present at the banquet to be eligible for awards.

2. Non-members can enter the Image Competition but images will be judged for score only.

3. All Entries must be uploaded online by 6:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, September 28, 2023. Upload digital entries to www.printcompetition.com


The entrant agrees to hold PPOzarks harmless against liabilities or claims arising out of PPOzarks consideration, publication promotion or use of each photograph or other materials submitted to PPOzarks.


1. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE UPLOADED ONLINE at www.printcompetition.com by 6:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, September 28, 2023. No exceptions will be made except by the Image Chairman, and only in extreme circumstances.

2. No changes to your entries are permitted once the entry deadline has passed. No refunds will be issued after the entry fee is paid.


1. $10.00 per image for PPO members.

2. $15.00 per image for non - PPO members.


Monitor Settings: D65, 120 cd/m2, 2.20 gamma


1. Files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels. Each file must contain an embedded color profile or either sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. In most cases, total file size should not exceed 3.5 MP. Larger files will be accepted when necessary so long as they are JPEG/10.

2. File names are to be spelled and capitalized the way you want the file and title announced.

3. There is NO limit to the number of entries submitted by each maker.

(Note: Black & White or Color may be entered in the same category.)

(Any image entered into the wrong category will be placed in the correct category by the Print Competition Committee)

(Any image that does not meet the image competition specifications will be removed and can be re-submitted correctly within 24 hours of email notification of removal.) 


Juries will judge in open session and follow the PPA affiliated association judging procedures and the 12 elements of a merit image.

The point system is used with scores ranging from 100 to 65 as follows:

Exceptional 100-95

Superior 94-90

Excellent 89-85

Deserving of Merit 84-80

Above Average 79-75

Average 74-70

Below Exhibition Standards 69-65

The final score shall be the official score on these and on any challenged entry.


The purpose of this competition is to allow photographers to enter digital images to be judged against a standard of excellence using the 12 Elements of a Merit Image.

  1. All photographic elements must have been created by the maker. No stock or AI images will be allowed.

2. All processing, manipulation and rendering, must be done by the entrant or under their direct supervision.

3. The entrant has obtained and has access to all necessary releases (model or property) and agrees to hold PPO harmless against all claims and liabilities arising out of PPO's display, publication and promotion or other use of each image submitted to PPO.

4. Entries will be disqualified if the photographer’s name, studio name or title appears on the entry.

5. Makers may enter any number of entries. Their “case” will consist of their top 4 images they entered in Photographic Open.

6. No entry will be eligible if it has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment. All images submitted must be self-directed. Images created in an educational environment under direct supervision from an instructor are ineligible.

7. Any entry that has been created from a photograph, portrait, graphic or any other artwork produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules and will not be judged, accepted or displayed. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the PPO, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law, that entry shall not be displayed or published.

8. Entries of the same subject in multiple images will be allowed, as long as the images are entirely different concepts.

9. Entries previously entered in a PPO Photographic Competition will be disqualified. An image that has been awarded a merit in IPC or a PPA District will be disqualified.


A maker may enter unlimited entries in the exhibition for which he or she qualifies. The entrant may also enter a case in the Artist Exhibition/Division.

1. GENERAL EXHIBITION: This exhibition is open to all members who do not hold the PPA Master of Photography and/ or Master Artist degree. Entries may be made in any of the print categories (see below).

a) FIRST TIME ENTRANT: (special subset of the GENERAL EXHIBITION) Any member who is entering 1st time in any State, Regional, or National photographic competition which is affiliated with PPA is eligible for this category. First time entrants in this division are eligible for a special trophy and entry forms should be marked accordingly.

2. MASTERS EXHIBITION: This exhibition is open to members who hold the PPA Master of Photography and/or Master Artist degree. Entries may be made in any of the print categories


AWARD CATEGORIES: All PPO member entries scoring 80 or above are eligible for an award. 

Photographic Open Division:

Portrait - Photographic Images can portray a subject or subjects from all walks of life and should reflect the personality of the subject(s). (All work must be by the maker) 

1. Children - This sub-category must contain a child or children from birth to age 16. 

2. High School Senior - This sub-category portrays a male or female high school senior age 16 to 18. 

3. 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. (Not wild, zoo, or nature park animals)

4. 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.

5. Weddings - Photographs pertaining to brides, grooms or candid wedding images.

6. Classical Photography - Portrait presented with minimal post processing or Photoshop work.  (Cropping, B&W conversion and very basic retouching only, NO added secondary images or elements, no compositing, no image stacking or merging).

Illustrative: Photographic Images capturing the beauty of nature, wildlife, industry, architectural, and conceptual images, are considered illustrative. (All work must be by the maker)

7. Landscape: Images include landscapes, outdoor scenic, sunset/sunrises, urban landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes.

8.  Nature:  Images include nature images, animals in their natural environment, flowers and insects.

9.  Commercial - An image that is designed to help sell, advertise or market a product, service, person or persons.  Industrial images are included in this category.

10.  Illustrative:  An image that is designed to illustrate a story.   This category would include any images that do not fall in the Portrait, Landscape, Nature, Commercial or Artist categories.

Artist Division:

Artist: Entries may be created in various artistic mediums. Photographs may be used in this category in creating an entry, but it is not a requirement. Entries may include freehand drawing or digital painting applications. Entries can include stock photography, photographs, or artwork from other artist (s) with written consent to use those sources. Documentation may be requested by PPO before, during or after the competition.

1. Artist - Images displaying technique proficiency and artistic skill. These images typically include painted and composited images to convey a story, theme or message. In this category the maker may use images that are not created by themselves. These entries must display guide image(s) showing the different element and pieces of the original work(s). You are being judged on the artistic skill it takes to create the overall image. ((examples))



1. The best accepted entry in each the General and Masters category within the Photographic Open division will be awarded a First Place Trophy. Awards will be given to the best entries of the various categories and divisions by the majority vote of the judges in closed session.

2. Second and Third Place ribbons will be given in both General and Master’s Divisions for each category.

3. Awards will be given for the most outstanding body of work submitted. Trophies awarded for total points are determined by adding together the top 4 scoring images of all entries by each entrant in his or her case with the highest print case total winning. In case of a tie, the majority vote of the judges decides the winner.

a. General Photographer of the Year for highest case total in the General Division.

b. Master Photographer of the Year for the highest case total in the Master’s Division.

c. First Time Award for the highest case total in the First Time Entry in the General Division.

4. Each entrant (members only) that receives a total of 4 of 4 merits will be awarded a 4/4 pin.

5. Certified Professional Photographer Award is given to the PPA Certified entrant with the highest scoring entry.

6. People’s Choice Award is given for the print with the most votes by registered convention attendees.

7. Best of Show Award is given for the judges vote from all of the first place trophy winners

8. Judges may give “Judges’ Choice” ribbons for prints selected by individual judges at their discretion.

9. Top 10 Ribbons will be given for the top ten highest scoring print cases from PO and Artist divisions (General and Masters combined.)

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