Log in


PPOC Image Competition Rules and Regulations

See digital image specifications here.

In 2021 PPOC and is again partnering to bring you the best in Digital Photographic Image Competition.

- Simplify the entry process - No more re-entry of contact info

- Allow you to enter PPOC and PPC under the same account (Separate Entry Fee's still apply)

- Allow for you to review your IC Score History

Premium Enrollment will allow for;

- Audio Commentary

- Access to over 24K images to review and learn from seeing other makers.

- See for full details

- NOTE: Due to COVID all competitions will be online until further notice: - If you cannot attend multiple without an approved proxy you may be disqualified for that evenings event without refund and/or year end awards. Questions comment that prevent you form attending contact I.C. at

Do be prepared to see a new site at time of entry.





Images that have been submitted in other affiliate competitions was awarded a merit. That image is not eligible in the PPOC competition.

Image Comp review:

New for 2019, two weeks prior How to image comp. Submit your favorite images (up to six at $10 each). for a panel critique and image markup/edit to show your images hidden potential that can give your images a improved chance of meriting during image competition. This is an open discussion. Edits cannot be saved. PPOC rules state must be direct by image maker.

Professional members:

Professional members may submit up to 8 images. New image competition fees as of 2019 are $15 per image. 

Aspiring members:

Aspiring members may submit up to 2 images per competition. Images to be submitted into the new critique only category. New image competition fees as of 2019 $15 per image.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES HERE!! - Be sure to read the updates and set up your account!!!

PPOC Digital Image Rules and Specifications

Images submitted must meet the following guidelines or they will not be accepted!!!

Individual must be present at the image competition to receive merit for submitted image

Follow the guidelines to submit your images

Failure to follow these rules means we can't import and use your image, and it will not be entered into competition.

Professional Members may submit maximum of 8 entries. Aspiring Members may submit a maximum of 2 entries.

Image size: 4000 pixels on the longest side at 200 ppi  Format: JPEG quality 10

You must use the online form to upload your images. E-mailed images will not be accepted.

Be sure to read submission details as several categories now require raw files along with your final JPG's 

Remember that images from Aspiring members, and images or subject matter that may have merited elsewhere are eligible for Critique only.

Image Categories:

  Album: A compilation of the creator’s images. *See album format below.

 Commercial: Industrial, table-top, advertising, stock, architectural, and aerial images. If there is a tear-sheet of the image, please you may submit it on line at time of entry. 

  Computer Artistry Creative: Subject non-living. An electronically manipulated photographic image. Thumb nail images suggested. For further definition see below. *

  Computer Artistry Living: Living subject. (Subject to be real or imaged- IE dragons). An electronically manipulated photographic image. Thumb nail images suggested. For further definition see below. *

 *Computer Artistry definitions:

The purpose of this competition is to allow the entrant to demonstrate their electronic imaging skill and expertise. Entries will be judged for digital, artistic and technical proficiency. Entries must have been sourced, composited, manipulated and/or produced by digital means.

Any entry that has 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 pasted on the back of the entry. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the Photographic Exhibition Committee, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law, that entry shall be disqualified.
Entries in this category shall include any subject (defined by category living/non-living). Entries may also include guide images.
If an entry includes guide images, they must be included on the submitted digital canvas.
Digital entries may be any shape with the longest dimension being 4,000 pixels. A horizontal canvas format is suggested if guide images are included.
Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998, and it must be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. Total file size should not exceed 3.5 MB.

  Critique Only: Any image submitted by ASPIRING members. Two images maximum.

   Nature/Landscape: Nature is defined as images where the flora and/or fauna are the dominant subject and no man-made objects are visible. Landscapes are defined as images of landscapes, seascapes, city landscapes, night landscapes being the dominant subject; people can appear in the image.

  Open: any image which does not fit in one of the above categories.

  Photo Journalism: Any image that captures a moment in time not of a Wedding type event. Raw files are submission. Photojournalism is intended to show the makers Camera Technical Skills. Images into this category should tell a story as it happens at that moment in time. The maker should not have control of the situation, subjects, wardrobe or surroundings captured in the image. 

The same rules regarding maker and image apply as set forth in image competition rules posted on our site Follow all file specifications listed below or your entry will not be accepted for the upcoming competition.

Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic image's content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.

No images in part or in whole may be added or removed to/from the original capture. Only cropping that does not change the original context of the image is allowed.

Only color correction, dodge/burn, and conversion to B&W which does not change the original context of the image will be accepted.

The original captured file (RAW/JPG) may be requested before or after judging.

   Portrait Categories:

Portrait: This portrait category is for studio and/or environmental images created using studio light and/or sunlight supplements with additional light or modifiers.  Photoshop and Photo-editing tools may be used for post-production editing. This category is most in-line with the PPA Portrait category.

Traditional Portrait (in camera): This portrait category is for studio and/or environmental images created using studio light and/or sunlight supplements with additional light or modifiers.  The only retouching allowed would be basic wrinkle removal, clean up of bags under eyes or lighting dark areas around the eyes.  Also, removal of skin blemishes, cleanup of eyes/catch lights and skin smoothing.  Dodging and burning are also allowed. - This category intention is to highlight the in-camera creation of a portrait with minimal use of post-production editing.

What is not allowed would be any change that requires head swaps, background changes (included green screen swap), color changes, adding additional elements that were not part of the original exposure.  Any element that is not part of the original exposure is not permitted.

Think of what you can do with-in Adobe Light Room without having image moved to Photoshop or using non-native filters. Photoshop and other editing are allowed.  Final decision rests with the I.C. Staff.

   Pet Photography: Main subject Living. (non-human). studio or environmental. Image can be in a composite.

   Wedding : An image captured for a wedding event.



  • The UPPER DIVISION category(s) is an open category intended for ADVANCED/EXPERIENCED photographers and image makers. PPOC Considers Image Competition to be both a learning platform as well as a competition platform. While we have always had this belief, we have never had a distinction of skill class may it be in Camera, Postproduction (Photoshop/CaptureOne or other means) or even an overall combination of technique. This has created a very challenging learning platform as a new photographer and a PPA Master could be competing at that same time in the same category.

    The UPPER DIVISION Category is intended for makers who are submitting images that they hope will have the best chances for success at upper division competitions such as PPC, Western States or PPA. As such the comments provided on images in this category will be ‘more critical’ with the idea that makers want the feedback for the best chances of upper division success.

    Does your work belong here or PPOC’s traditional categories? There is no Black and White criteria however this is what we can tell you. We are an educational platform, if you have already won;

  • 1)     Several 8 plus best of category or best of show rosettes over the past 3 years (combined awards – individual merits do not count)
  • 2)    If you have won 3 or more Best of Category Year End Awards over the past 2 years
  • 3)    If you have won Photographer of the year more than 1 time
  • You probably belong in the PPA Bound Open Category. If you have achieved any of the above accomplishments cumulatively in multiple organizations for those of us who have chosen to belong to more than 1 affiliate or have been talented enough to reach these levels within a single organization. 

    If you are not sure, where you belong reach out to the PPOC Image Comp Team Leaders, John Aranas or Duane Murphy and we can help clarify where you most appropriately belong. 

    PPOC’s Image Competition Team or Board of Directors has the ability to move your images to or from this category if for some reason, point of clarity or otherwise your images will more properly support the overall Image Competition elsewhere.

    This category will award its makers with at least 2 awards at the end of the year

    When entering the UPPER DIVISION CATEGORY - Please title your image as follows.  CATEGORY - IMAGE TITLE. For CATEGORY please refer to the existing categories such as PORTRAIT, OPEN, PJ (PHOTO JOURNALISM), EA (ELECTRONIC ARTISTRY) NATURE/LANDSCAPE. EXAMPLE: PORTRAIT - The Family or Nature/Landscape - The Mountain, or Wedding - The Happy Couple.

  • Submitting images in -  Upper Division subcategories: Album, Commercial, Computer Artistry - Creative, Computer Artistry - Live, Open, Pet Portrait, Photojournalism, Portrait Traditional, Portrait, Wedding. 

Once a Member submits images in the “Upper Division” Category(s), no longer eligible to submit images in the general categories.

1)    PPOC Outstanding Photographer of the Year – Must exhibit work in at least 2 Genra’s – See the traditional OC Category List for the Genera’s.
a.     Those genera’s will include portrait, open, nature/landscape, photo journalism, Electronic Artistry…
2)    IF the number of entries are significant enough, we will award additional ‘Genera Awards” within the UPPER DIVISION Category, i.e. Upper         Division Portrait and Upper Division Electronic Artist. 
  • When entering an image file. naming convention: subtile.title-image name,jpeg. (ie; portrait-midnight dream.jpeg) 

There is a $15 fee required for each image or album.

2020 Update - PPOC will accept only one image from a series for meriting purposes. If another image from that series has merited at another higher affiliate please do not submit it here at PPOC, It will be moved to the Critique ONLY CATEGORY AND ANY MERIT WILL BE DISQUALIFIED for that image(s) if more than one from that series has been submitted to PPOC. 

You must submit your images and pay your fee to submit your images through

Digital File Specifications for Competition Image Uploads

Files submitted for competition using the following specifications:

File Size: 4000 pixels on the longest side at 200 ppi

Format: JPEG quality 10 (file size must not exceed 3.5 MB)

Imbedded Color Profile: sRGB

Album Competition:

CD Format Album Entry:

First create a category for albums and select the type 'single-maker' album.  This, when chosen by the maker, will give them a second upload tool for a single zip file of album pages.  The regular upload is simply for the cover image or a representative page.

The maker should:

1) Make one zip file of jpg pages/spreads. Image size: 4000 pixels on the longest side at 200 ppi  Format: JPEG quality 10.

2) Include the cover if applicable. No Studio or maker identification on images.

3) Name the jpg files using leading zeros in the page numbers. Below is an example.

Example Pages:














Limit (1) album entry per CD.

NOTE: In the case of any Multi-Maker album entries:

Each entrant must pay the appropriate entry fee.
Images in the album must be the work of the entrants, with a minimum of 20 images per entrant.
Multi-maker albums will be judged as one entry.
Professional Photographers of Orange County

Image Critique – Rules of Entry

The best learning experience occurs when you submit images into competition. The PPOC Image rules are based on the International rules presented by the Professional Photographers of America. While our guidelines are not as strict as PPA, the guidelines are in place to prepare our members for the degree of Master of Photography. They are also in place so that we can encourage our members to participate and learn from their peers.

SCHEDULE – Image critiques are held every quarter, beginning in February. To participate, you must be a current PPOC member.
ENTRIES ALLOWED – You may enter up to eight entries per critique. Of the four entries, one can be an album. The album may be an event or non-event entry. An event would be considered to be a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, anniversary party etc. A non-event album would be considered to be a record of a commercial project, sporting or any record of project. All entries must be titled.

2a) Images must be created by the Entrant. If a composite image, as in the case of Computer Artistry, the entrant must have created or used with written permission any contributing image. Any usage authorizations must be provided to the Competition Director upon request. Images may not be created in part or in whole from any Class, Workshop or NON-PPA, PPC, PP-Affiliate (OC, LAC, SDC or other) workshop, or meet-up group. Professional Photographers of America, CA, or Local Affiliate Safaris are permissible.

2b) Any image that has earned a Merit at any other Affiliate (National, State or Local level) is no longer eligible for entry into PPOC in any category other than Critique Only.

CATEGORIES – There are 9 categories. They are Portrait, Wedding, Commercial, Open, Nature/Landscape, Computer Artistry, Photo Journalism, Album, and Critique. Special categories may be added for special competitions as decided by the image committee and the PPOC Board. Members are responsible for filling out the entry forms. If you need help in deciding what category to enter, see a member of the image committee. Images entered must be named in the format listed above.
IMAGE DIMENSIONS – File Size: Longest dimension 20” at 200 ppi Format: JPEG quality 10 (file size must not exceed 3.5 MB)
Embedded Color Profile: sRGB

SCORING – Judges will score each image using a 100 to 0 scoring range. All images receiving a score of 80 or higher will be considered a Merit image. Any image receiving a score of 78 or 79 will be reviewed by the judging panel to further determine if the image is of merit quality. Using thumbs up/down method, 2 out of 3 judges must approve to move the image into the merit category.
JUDGES – The image chairman will invite judges to participate in the image critique. A maximum of 5 judges can judge at any given time. The makeup of the panel should include at least 2 Masters of Photography. No one serving as a judge can enter image in that competition.
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR/OVERALL – Photographer of the Year-Overall will be awarded to member who maintains the highest average score of any 5 images from any of the above categories. Each entry must have scored a score of 80 or higher and from at least 3 categories.
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR/CATEGORY – There can be up to 7 category winners. The winner will be determined by the member who maintains the highest average score of 5 entries from that category. Only those images receiving a merit score of 80 or above are eligible for determining the average score. Wedding albums will be included in the wedding category. Other albums will be included in the appropriate category.
IMAGE ELIGIBILITY – Any photograph that has previously received a PPC/PPA merit is not eligible for entry in the PPOC image competition. All entries must have been created by the entrant. For each entry, the member states that the image was made by him/her or under their direction.
SPECIAL AWARDS – Special awards can be determined by the PPOC Board and the image committee. This competition will be announced in advanced and will have a special award.
Any issue that is not covered by these rules will be determined by referring to the PPA print competition rules. The PPOC print competition is the first level of a four-level competition that covers PPOC, PPC, Western States and the PPA International. Each of these competitions occurs annually leading up to the top photographs displayed at the annual PPA Imaging USA convention.

The degree of Master of Photography is one of the most highly sought degrees in professional photography. The members of PPOC strive for photographic excellence each and every day. It is through these competitions that the road to the Master's Degree begins.

    © Professional Photographers of Orange County .  .  
    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software