image competition

Image Competition is the most intense photographic education you can get. Through this process, you will learn to see and view your work more objectively while developing a more refined skill set that carries over into your everyday work. We welcome everyone to participate in Image Competition. Newcomers or seasoned veterans, we all have something to offer and something to learn.

this is a digital only competition


Competition date: July 19, 2024

Entry opens: TBA

Deadline date: TBA

All images MUST be pre-registered and uploaded to


Image Competition Scoring

Image competition through our State Affiliate, MOPPA, is based on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image established by the Professional Photographers of America.

While PPA merits are NOT earned from our competition, MOPPA does offer its own awards to be given to Missouri members of the Missouri Professional Photographers Association. Fellowship Points are also awarded based on the above-mentioned awards and honors. You can read more about those here MOPPA Fellowship.

The image chair(s) has/have the right to question/reassign the category of any entry. The judges also have the right to question the category of any entry. Entries that do not fit the category or abide by the category rules may be reassigned.


Member: $15 per image

Non-Member: $20 per image

Photo Credit: MOPPA Member - Angela Hughes


Portrait - Images can portray a subject or subjects from all walks of life and should reflect the subject's personality. The human or animal should be the main subject. The goal is to show the photographic knowledge and skillset of the maker. However, a maker can use supporting photographic elements that they did not create, provided those elements are referenced as guide images on the face of the entry. Composite and non-composite images, and manipulated images, are allowed.

Illustrative - Consists of commercial/industrial images, scenic, and similar subject matter. Capturing the beauty of nature, wildlife, industry, and architectural areas is considered illustrative. The goal is to show the photographic knowledge and skillset of the maker. However, a maker can use supporting photographic elements that they did not create, provided those elements are referenced as guide images on the face of the entry. Composite and non-composite images, and manipulated images, are allowed.

Reportage - Images that illustrate an actual public or non-public event, life, or an area of human interest, telling news that have meaning in the context or record of events, high impact, and/or lasting emotional response. Images that illustrate sporting events are included in this category. ONLY basic color and brightness adjustments, cropping, dodging, and burning in are allowed. Only single-capture images will be accepted. Composite and multiple-exposure images will not be accepted. The originally captured image (in RAW or jpg) must be available if requested.

Wedding - Images in the Day of Wedding category must be done in connection with an actual wedding event, (not a stylized session). Images must reflect the personality of the subject(s) and/ or illustrate the story of the event. They must include some visual reference(s) that defines the wedding event (traditional clothing, church flowers, etc.). Composite images are allowed as long as post-production is not a significant part of displaying the essence or the personality of the subject(s). (Non-wedding day photos can go in portrait or illustrative, etc.)

Artist - This category aims to allow the entrant to demonstrate their art skills. A conceptual image is altered or manipulated from its original condition. A maker can use supporting photographic elements they did not create, provided those elements are referenced as guide images on the face of the entry. Composite images and highly manipulated images are allowed in this category. All processing, manipulation, artwork, or rendering must be done by the entrant.

Click on categories to view subcategories and awards available.

Photo Credit: MOPPA Member - Roy Nierdieck

Image Specifications

  • Files must be sized, so the longest dimension is 4,000 pixels

  • Resolution of at least 200 pixels per inch

  • Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998

  • Save each file at JPEG quality setting 10 (Photoshop) 80 (Lightroom) or equivalent

  • The total file size should not exceed 3.5 MB

  • Files are to be saved and named: Image 1.JPG, Image 2.JPG, Image 3.JPG, and Image 4. JPG. No underscores or special characters.

  • Please add your titles (named anything you want) in the registration area when you upload your files.

  • Image titles are part of the entrant’s total presentation and must be announced.Each entrant may enter a total of ten entries


  1. Entries with the same person in the same setting and/or the same object in the same setting will not be accepted. Only one entry per subject is allowed. You may not enter the same subject in different files in the same case.

  2. Entries previously merited at any MOPPA Competition are not eligible.

  3. Entries previously merited during PPA’s Merit Image Review, are eligible for MOPPA Competition. This rule applies for 2023 onward.

  4. Images awarded in IPC, are not eligible for MOPPA image competition.

  5. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the judges, violates copyright, trademark, or any other applicable law, that entry shall not be displayed or published.

  6. Submission opens 3 weeks before the cutoff submission date.

  7. The cutoff of submission of entries will be 6:00 am CST on the Monday before the competition. No changes to your entry are permitted once the entry deadline has passed. No refunds will be issued after the entry fee is paid.

Photo Credit: MOPPA Member - Molly Beale

Photo Credit: MOPPA Member - Jan Seals


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

  2. The entrant's name shall not appear anywhere in or on the face of the entry, with no watermarks.

  3. All images submitted must be self-directed, not created in an educational environment under direct supervision from an instructor unless you were the instructor.

  4. All processing, manipulation, and printing or rendering were done by the entrant or under their direct supervision.

  5. Each entrant may enter a total of 10 entries.

  6. The entrant retains all rights to any image submitted, including ownership, if applicable. By submitting any image(s) for entry, you grant MOPPA a nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to archive and use your image(s) and name in all MOPPA promotions, publications, slide shows, audiovisual presentations, and any other format that may arise for MOPPA marketing.

Point System

Entries will be judged by the PPA “12 Elements of a Merit Image” Scoring shall be based on the following standards:

  • Exceptional 100-95

  • Superior 94-90

  • Excellent 89-85

  • Deserving of a Merit 84-80

  • Above Average 79-75

  • Average 74-70

  • Below Exhibition Standards 69-65

Images scoring 76-100 will earn a virtual ribbon on:

  • White 75-76 – Award of Accomplishment

  • Red 77-79 -- Award of Excellence

  • Blue 80+ -- Award of Expert

Photo Credit: MOPPA Member - Terry Gray


Missouri PPA Awards - Missouri Image Competition awards are appointed to eligible Missouri resident photographers. They must be a MOPPA member, and their permanent residence (based on information on is within 25 miles of the state border to accommodate those living in metro areas, except for the Out-of-state award.

Deadline date to enter the next print competition: 2024

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