Enter East Tennessee’s Annual Professional Photography Competition

Each year, PPETN holds one professional photography image competition that supersedes them all. The equivalent of the Super Bowl for professional photographers in East Tennessee, PPETN’s Annual Image Salon Photography Competition strives to show off the best work of every professional photographer and determine which image is the best overall image in East Tennessee in the last year. PPETN uses professional PPA judges to score and award all the images for this competition.

In addition, the best images in each category are also awarded coveted “Best in Show” titles. In total, many awards will be given to the best images of the year in an attempt to display and recognize excellence in photography in East Tennessee.

Do you have candidates for the best images of the year in East Tennessee? You may be able to claim a prized “Best in Show” award (among the many others given out). Don’t be afraid to enter—you can’t win if you don’t compete!

Submitting your images online for the Annual Image Salon Photography Competition is easy:

  1. Understand the participant eligibility requirements (middle of page), image eligibility requirements (bottom of page), submission requirements (bottom of page), and submission deadlines (middle of page).
  2. Submit your entry fee payment.
  3. Continue to the entry submission page after paying.
  4. Read the submission requirements, then double check your digital files to make sure they meet EVERY specification and guideline required.
  5. Upload your entries.

It’s that simple! Make sure you follow the submission guidelines, or your entry will not be accepted.

PPETN competition volunteers donate their time to facilitating and rewarding members in PPETN’s competitions—please don’t expect them to donate additional time to tediously correct simple submission guideline mistakes. Thank you!

  • Amy Greener

    Amy Greener

    2013 Best of Show - Commercial

    I joined PPETN in March 2013 and learned about the annual Print Salon competition at that meeting. I had never heard of a salon outside women's hair styling. I was pretty nervous about putting my images before a group of judges but since I was still a pretty green photographer and new to the area, I figured I didn't have much to lose.

    I was out of town for the night of the Print Salon but much to my surprise when I went online to the PPETN web site, there was one of my images with a yellow "Best in Show-Commercial" banner across the corner. Now I only wish I could have been to the meeting to learn what the judges said and to see all the other images being reviewed. Don't pass up this once-a-year-opportunity!

  • Colby McLemore

    Colby McLemore

    Top Ten International Commercial Photographer (PPA - 2013), Tennessee Professional Photographer of the Year (2011-2012)

    I've heard it said again and again, that print competitions don't help professional photographers. I love when I hear my competition say this! For me it has been a great way to distinguish myself from the millions of "professional" photographers out there. When you can say that your professional peers have acknowledged the quality of your photography, I think it means something or at least I believe it and therefore I am able to sell it.

    Not just from a marketing standpoint has it helped me, but it has constantly been an inspiration to creates images beyond my present skill set and I'm given feedback on what works and doesn't. It is like taking photography classes while at the same time getting a marketing angle from it. So, if you don't believe in them...GREAT, it just helps my business's marketing and me to become a better photographer.

  • Genna Sellers

    Genna Sellers

    Tennessee Professional Photographer of the Year (2013-2014)

    We only see what we know, and no one is truly self-taught. Besides taking formal photography classes, there are few opportunities to receive objective commentary to show us what we do not know when it comes to photography. The best part of participating in competitions held by PPA and their affiliates is that the judges are master photographers who have been trained in the process of judging.

    Whenever I compete I make a point to listen to the feedback given by the judges, either in person or later via video critique. And by incorporating the recommended changes my work has improved and scored higher at the next level of competition. Learning to see what the judges see has made me a better photographer. I am looking forward to continuing to learn from them in the future.

  • J. Wade Tipton

    J. Wade Tipton

    M.Photog., Cr., CPP, TCD, TSD, F-PPMO, F-PPO

    Print competition has become very dear to me while at the same time it is educational. It is a great way to get unbiased opinions of my work/art from a qualified panel of judges. Sure you need to have a thick skin as sometimes the critiques are tough to hear, but I feel they must be heard! Positive feedback is easy to listen to and take in. Once you hear a less than favorable review of your work/art, you have a decision.....use the critique to your advantage OR continue to give excuses why your work/art doesn’t measure up!

    Now, if all you want is praises, post your images on Facebook. I have never heard any constructive criticisms on Facebook. My images through the years have continued to improve due to entering print competition! I still have much to learn and I find that competition has provided me and will provide me with information I need to improve while at the same time giving me an outlet I so enjoy.

    Other benefits of print competition include: “proving” your credibility to your clients as they do not have to use me as their photographer....this can provide your clients with a “peace of mind”! Also, it provides me with an edge on my competition and with so much competition out there these days, credibility is a necessity. One of the things I like to do is enter my everyday work in print competition to see how it stacks up! I have to say when an image of mine that was done for an assignment scores well I am most proud of that! This means that I am giving my clients my best!

  • Edward Foley

    Edward Foley

    I tended to shy away from print competitions because I was comfortable with what I was doing as a photographer/artist. I was probably photographing eight years before somebody convinced me to submit for print competitions, and I have never looked back. My growth as a photographer and as an artist has increased in leaps and bounds because I was willing to learn from judges offering constructive criticisms as a result of entering competitions.

    Print competitions has encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, and try new approaches. If things never change, they never change. Things have changed for me in a positive way because although, at first I was uncomfortable, I finally left my comfort zone and took steps that to me were edgier and bolder. Is it always successful.....no, but I am moving forward, and not remaining stagnant.

  • Michael Broyles

    Michael Broyles

    Our print salons and PPA print competitions has helped my grow as a photographer AND helped my photography business. Yes, I fall in love with much of my work AND it does pinch a bit when someone says it is less than perfect. However, with a bit of thick skin I have learned so much about how to create better portraits and with these improved images I have better sales.

    Further, the competitions have helped me become an artist. Having already had a vision in my work, due to participation in the competitions I now have more insight as to how to achieve my vision for my guests. NOTE: There is a difference between what a client will purchase and a competition standard. However, working for competition has shown me how to be a better photographer and artist.

Image Categories
  • PORTRAIT (subcategories Child, Male, Female, Pets)
  • GROUPS (subcategories Couples, More Than Two)
  • ILLUSTRATIVE (subcategories Abstract, Editorial, Photojournalism, City/Landscape, Commercial/Architectural, Wildlife)
  • WEDDING/EVENT (subcategories Bridal Portrait, Event)
  • ALBUM (subcategories Open, Wedding)
  • MASTER ARTIST (The purpose of adding the Master Artist category to the PPETN competition is to allow the entrant to demonstrate their art skills and expertise in pursuit of the PPA Master Artist degree (previously known as Master of Electronic Imaging degree). Entries will be judged for digital, artistic and technical proficiency. Entries can be created using digital or traditional art (such as painting and airbrush) or a combination of both. Through this competition, PPA members will gain valuable experience and benefit them in their efforts in becoming eligible to achieve the PPA Master Artist Degree.)
  • Best in Show Overall – the highest scoring image of all entrants.
  • Best in Show – the highest scoring image (receiving a minimum score of 80) in each category.
  • 1st Place – the highest scoring image (receiving a minimum score of 80) in each subcategory after the Best in Show image.
  • Distinguished – the second (and sometimes third) highest scoring image(s) (receiving a minimum score of 78) in each subcategory.
  • Judge’s Choice – each judge will choose their favorite image of the competition (maker receives award at end of event).
  • First Time Competitor – Best in Show – the highest scoring image of all first time competitors.
Step 1 of 2: Annual Salon Photography Competition Entry Fee Payment

The first step to entering the Annual Salon Photography Competition (ASPC) is to submit your entry fee payment below. After receiving your entry fee payment, you will be directed to another page to submit your entry and upload your images.

  • The competition opens on Feb. 28, 2018.
  • First Time Competitor pricing is $25 for up to 6 submissions during entire submission window, no early bird discounts.
  • Early bird pricing ($25 off entry fees) ends on March 6, 2018 at 11:59 pm.
  • All entries must be submitted by March 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm.
  • The competition is on March 22, 2018.

You must submit your entry and upload your images immediately after submitting your payment, so make sure your entire case is ready to submit prior to payment.

Eligibility Guidelines for the Annual Salon Photography Competition

Eligibility Guidelines for Submitting Images:

  • Participant Eligibility
    • Any member of PPETN (or any other PPA local affiliate) in good standing may submit images to the competition for scoring.
    • Only paid Active, Studio, or Aspiring members in good standing that have attended four of the last twelve meetings may win awards. Members who have joined for the first time are waived from this requirement.
  • Deadline
    • All Image submissions and entry fees must be completed by the deadline posted on this page—no exceptions. If the entry information, images, and fee is not received by the deadline, the entry will NOT be accepted.
  • Entry Fee
    • A case is a member’s set of entered images. Submission cases must be accompanied by your entry fee: 4 or less image submissions for $75, 5 or 6 image submissions for $100, or for first time competitors in the Image Salon – $25.
  • Early Bird Discount
    • The Early Bird Discount is $25 off entry fees. The discount applies to entries submitted from the date the competition opens to the Early Bird Entry deadline, posted on this page. Early Bird Discounts do NOT apply to first time competitor entry fees.

Preparing Your Image Case For Submission

Entry Requirements for the Annual Image Salon Photography Competition

Required Guidelines for Image Eligibility:

  • Entrant must have captured and created the original exposure.
  • If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the Jury Chairperson, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law, then that entry shall be disqualified.
  • The entrant’s name or studio name shall not appear anywhere in the file name or on any image entered.
  • No entry will be eligible that has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment. Entries created at a class or workshop completely independent of instruction or input, and not as a class assignment, are eligible.
  • No two entries in the same case shall be of the same subject.
  • Entry media is for digital files only. Images and album pages will only be accepted as digital files.
  • A total of six (6) entries are allowed.
  • The Jury Chairperson will have the authority to decide on any image’s category classification or question not specifically covered by these rules and the Chairperson’s decision will be final. Any entries not following these rules may be disqualified.
  • An entry in the Master Artist category may be reproduced from an existing photograph, portrait, graphic or any other artwork produced by another person as long as the maker is willing and able to provide appropriate written permission for use at any time before, during or after the competition.
Competition Categories

You must designate one of the below categories for each entry.

  • Portrait
    • Child (Individual): P1
    • Male (Individual): P2
    • Female (Individual): P3
    • Pets: P4
  • Groups
    • Couples: G1
    • More Than Two: G2
  • Illustrative
    • Abstract: I1
    • Editorial: I2
    • Photojournalism (sports, news, etc.): I3
    • City/Landscape: I4
    • Commercial/Architectural: I5
    • Wildlife: I6
  • Wedding/Event
    • Bridal Portrait: W1
    • Event: W2
  • Album
    • Open: A1
    • Wedding: A2
  • Master Artist
    • All Master Artist: M1
Image Display Conditions

Digital files are judged with calibration settings of D65, 120 cd/m2, 2.20 gamma.

Digital Single-Image Entries
  • Image Resolution: Must be sized so the longest dimension is 4,000 pixels at 200 pixels per inch.
  • Color Profiles & File Size: Each image must contain the embedded color profile of Adobe RGB 1998 and be saved at the highest JPG quality setting where the total file size does not exceed 3.5 MB.
  • File Names: Must use this convention: CategoryAbbreviation_Image-Title (using – for spaces). Studio identification or maker’s name may not appear on any file name in the image entry.
    • Example: A1_See-Spot-Run.jpg
  • The Maker’s Name: Must be embedded in the IPTC metadata under Creator/Author.
    • Example: Doe_John
  • The Image Title: Must be embedded in quotation marks in the IPTC metadata under Title/Document.
    • Example: “See Spot Run”
  • The Maker’s Copyright: Must be embedded in the IPTC metadata under Caption. Website is optional.
    • Example: © John Doe, http://website.com/
Digital Album Entries
  • Page/Spread Resolution: Must be sized so the longest dimension is 4,000 pixels at 200 pixels per inch.
  • Color Profiles & File Size: Each page/spread must contain the embedded color profile of Adobe RGB 1998 and be saved at the highest JPG quality setting where the total file size does not exceed 3.5 MB. The entire ZIP file must be less than 45 MB.
  • Image Quantity: Each page/spread file may contain as many images as you desire.
  • Page/Spread Quantity: An album entry shall contain a minimum of 5 pages/spreads up to a maximum of 36 pages/spreads.
  • ZIP File & File Names: All individual files must be compressed into a single ZIP file (less than 45 MB total size), the name of which must use this convention: CategoryAbbreviation_Album-Title (using – for spaces). Studio identification or maker’s name may not appear on any file name in the album entry.
    • Example: B1_Kaylee-Senior-Album.zip
  • The Maker’s Name: Must be embedded in the IPTC metadata under Creator/Author for each individual page/spread file. For a multi-maker album, include each maker.
    • Example – Single-Maker Album: Doe_John
    • Example – Multi-Maker Album: Doe_John, Smith_Andrea
  • The Image Title: Must be embedded in quotation marks in the IPTC metadata under Title/Document for each page/spread, and the viewing order (2 digits) added for each file.
    • Example – Cover: “Kaylee-Senior-Album_01”
    • Example – First Page/Spread: “Kaylee-Senior-Album_02”
    • Example – Second Page/Spread: “Kaylee-Senior-Album_03”
  • The Maker’s Copyright: Must be embedded in the IPTC metadata under Caption. Website is optional.
    • Example: © John Doe, http://website.com/