“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” – John D. Rockefeller (1839 – 1937)
Sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to growth and success you would never have dreamed possible. With a big push (aka a kick in the rear) from two professional photographers whose work I admire, I took a big step and entered the International Print Competition sponsored by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). I wanted to push myself and my art to a new level.
I am proud to say that out of the four images I entered in the IPC, three of those images merited and one went into the Loan Collection. For every Merit I earn, I take a step closer to earning my Master of Photography (M.Photog.) degree from PPA, which they award for superior photographic skills. I still have a long way to go, but the journey has begun.
How Does It Work?
There are two rounds of judging. The first round is to determine which images meet the standard to Merit or not. Each image is judged against 12 standard elements by four judges who have been trained by the Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of PPA. In order to Merit an image much receive a score of 80 or more. Images earning a Merit are then placed on exhibit the International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA, the annual PPA convention.
Images that earn a score of 85 or more are then judged for the Loan Collection. These are the “best of the best” as judged during the competition. Images judged worthy to be in this collection are then published in the annual Loan Collection book and are exhibited at the convention.
Although I am thrilled with the results of my first IPC, the most rewarding part of the experience was working with the wonderful mentors who helped me prepare each image for competition. I learned an incredible amount during that process. I am already looking forward to next year’s IPC and seeing what I can create for it and how that will influence my work overall.