Here is a PDF you may download or see rules below

2021 Print Competition and Exhibition Rules_Digital Only_Final.pdf


2021 Print Competition and Exhibition Rules 

Print Chair – Mark LaRowe, Mark@MarkLaRowePhotography.com, 406-577-6122

Please study, understand and follow these rules carefully. 

Failure to do so may result in disqualification of non-complying entries.

  1. Eligibility

A. Any professional photographer who is an active or associate member of MPPA and whose 2021 dues are paid before midnight on Sunday, April 25, 2021 may enter. Active Member being defined as a member in good standing according to the MPPA Code of Ethics.

B.In order to be qualified for all awards in the print competition (Fuji, Sunset, MPPA & PPA), you must have the appropriate entry fee paid online prior to the deadline of midnight, Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Non-MPPA members may submit entries for scores only, and are not eligible for awards.

C.Only one photographer per case.

D. Entrant must have captured and created the original exposure or exposures. All processing, manipulation and printing or rendering were done by the entrant or under their direct supervision. Furthermore, no entry will be eligible if made under the supervision of an instructor or in an educational environment or as a class assignment. STUDENTS may enter MPPA Print Competition, refer to Student Entry Section 9.

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

F.The entrant’s name shall not appear anywhere in or on the face of the entry.

G.A maximum of 6 entries may be submitted per entrant.

H.Any entry that has been created from an existing 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 Jury Chair, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law, that entry shall be disqualified. Exception is made for Artist Classification, see Section 4, F.

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

J.Entry media includes photographic prints, digital files, physical albums, and digital albums.

K.Images previously entered in any past MPPA or PPA District competitions are not eligible.

L.Entries submitted in the 2021 Print Competition and Exhibition may be used by MPPA in the form of awards night slide show, website display, association newsletter and general information packets.


A. All entries must be registered at www.printcompetition.com. Log in to your existing account or create a new account if this is your first time entering.After you log in, you can upload your images (you do not need to include a number or category in your image name – just your image by title using an underscore for spaces. Example: What_a_beautiful_day.jpg).

1. You will be directed to pay your competition entry fees from this site after uploading your images. Be sure and select the correct competition.
2. For print entries, the digital file submitted MUST match both the image and presentation. If, for example, the submitted print has a mat and the digital file does not show the mat, the entry will be disqualified. Another example would be if the print is in black and white but the print submitted is in color, they must be identical.

B.Registration is open and closes at Midnight on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. You can upload your images at any time during that period. You must enter your images as digital only either digital OR print entry. Both digital and print entries will require a digital upload of your image to printcompetition.com (Digital entries are NOT eligible for Sunset or Fuji gallery awards).

C.Entry Fees-

*MPPA members entry fee is $15.00 per image/entry with convention fees paid.
*Student and Judges entry fee is $10.00 per image/entry.
*Exhibitors entry fee is $15.00.
*Out-of-State entry fee is $25.00 per entry unless you are an MPPA Member.

*Entry fee without convention fee paid is $25.00.

*All Fees for entries MUST be paid online at www.montanappa.org

D.Shipping -
All physical prints must be delivered no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 25th, 2021 via UPS, Federal Express, First Class mail or hand delivered only! No bus carrier! Please call to make an appointment with Trevon if you are going to hand deliver your print case by the above date at (406) 212-3105.
Ship to: Trevon Baker, 6787 MT Hwy 83, Condon, MT 59826 There will be no cases/entries accepted at convention!

3. Print and Digital Entries

A. Print Entries

●  Images may be submitted in any shape and size on a mount board a minimum of 80 square inches to a maximum of 480 square inches with thelargest dimension no longer than 24 inches.

●  Print entries must be mounted on a standard mount material (double weight mat board, gator board, 1⁄4" foam, or Sintra). Recommended mounting thickness is 1/8" to 3/8". "Float" mounting is accepted at entrant's risk for damage. Images on metal and mounted to another standard material must have rounded corners and smooth edges.

●  No mount that could potentially damage other entries or pose a danger to print handlers will be accepted. Masonite, glass, stretcher frames, acrylic or conventional frames will not be accepted.

●  No material may be added to the front or back of an entry that may damage another entry.

●  A digital reference file must be submitted (printcompetition.com) with each print entry. This file must match the submitted print entry, both image and presentation (if a real mat is used on the print, a reasonable facsimile must be used in the digital file). File specifications are the same as under the Digital Submission categories.

●  Completed entry forms and proof of payment must be enclosed in every print case.

●  All printed entries must be shipped in a fabric, fiber, plastic or metal shipping case only. Entries delivered in cardboard or any other type of container will not be opened.

●  Print entries are viewed with LED Lighting, 3000K, EV8 (ISO 100, F/16@1sec).

B. Digital Submission

●  Files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4000 pixels.

●  Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe
    RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10. In most cases, the file     size should not exceed 3.5 MB. Larger files will be accepted when necessary so long as they are JPEG/10.

●  To most closely fill the monitor, the best size is 13:20 ratio which is 2600px by 4000px. 

●  Present your final images just as you would when printing them. 

●  Calibration: The monitor used in judging is calibrated to 6500k, 2.2 gamma, 120 lumens. If you have a device, like a Spyder or ColorMunki, use it to calibrate your display to these settings in order to have the most accurate preview on your own monitor. Follow this link to PPA tutorials for further     information on profiles and calibrations. http.//www.ppa.com/ipc_tutorials

C. All Entries, whether prints or digital, shall abide by the following:

  • Files are to be named, Image_Title (use _ for spaces, e.g. See_Spot_Run.jpg.). The title of the image for competition should be the name of the file. 
  • Each entrant must enter ALL entries as digital or ALL entries as physical prints.
  • Please read SECTION 12: Awards, if you are wanting to qualify for any awards.

4. Classification of Entries - General AND Master Divisions

A. Portrait -

  1. Man (teenage or adult)
  2. Woman (teenage of adult)
  3. Child (one subject)
  4. Couples (two subjects)
  5. Pets ( A Domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship, does not include wildlife)
  6. Groups (Family, teams, groups, etc)

B. Wedding - Images pertaining to brides, weddings or social event

C. Album - Albums will be judged for impact, creativity, style, print quality, technique, story content, expressions of subjects, lighting, presentation and saleability of work. Albums count as 1 entry. Album entries may be submitted  in the form of a Traditional printed album or a digital entry.

1. Physical Album Entries

a. All photographs must be from the same wedding/event/session.
b. Submission of an album will be counted as one print entry
c. Album cover must be minimum 63 square inches and maximum 400 square inches.
d. Album must be shipped in fabric, fiber, plastic or metal shipping case. Entries delivered in cardboard or any other type of container will not be opened.
e. Albums must be a single volume; two volume albums will not be accepted.
f. An image that is part of an album may not be entered as an individual submission in another category.

g. Entries will be judged under current PPA lighting conditions. 

2. Digital Album Entries - See Video Tutorial : www.ppa.com/ipc_tutorials 

a. All page/spread files must have the longest file dimension at 4000 pixels, have an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10.
b. Each page/spread file may contain as many images as you desire.

c. An entry shall contain a minimum of 5 page/spread files up to 36 page/spread files. 

d. Files are to be numbered in viewing order using two digits, i.e. 01jpg, 02 jpg, 03 jpg, etc.
e. All individual files must be compressed into a single ZIP file. ZIP file must be named: Album Title (use _for spaces, e.g. Summer_Wedding.zip) 

f. Studio identification or entrant's name cannot appear on any file within the album entry. 

g. Digital Files: Monitor Settings, D65, 120 cd/m2, 2.20 gamma 

D. Unclassified/Illustrative - Includes but not limited to creative, scenic, wildlife, photographic art, photojournalism.

E. Commercial/industrial -

F. Artist - Entries may be reproduced from existing photographs, portraits, graphics or any other artwork so long as the entrant is prepared to provide appropriate written documentation indicating permission for usage. This documentation may be requested by MPPA before, during or after the competition. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the MPPA Print Committee, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law and cannot be proven otherwise, that entry shall be disqualified and merits revoked, if issued. All processing, manipulation, artwork or rendering must be done by the entrant. Printing may be done under their direct supervision. Entries must have been sourced, composited, manipulated and/or produced by digital means.

You must provide guide/reference images, which must be on the front of the entry (digital and physical) and placed either to the side or above/below image. This is to show judges what images you started with, whether it is a composite, painted image, etc.

G. Senior Folio - Senior Folio Competition is intended to be a showcase of a photographer’s unique presentation of a Senior Folio. 

1. The Senior Folio must be presented in either a traditional 8 opening folio OR a digital design folio, in either a barn door or book style. Inside mat may be a standard 4x5 or a design of the photographer’s choice. Manipulation is encouraged! 

2. Image total is limited to a maximum of 8 finished images of ONE individual’s senior session(s). Folios with multiple seniors will NOT be accepted. Prints are intended to be finished and manipulated at the photographer’s discretion. 

3. Folio cover as purchased from a dealer is required. Either a 2 wing or 3 wing folio. Maximum print size not to exceed 200 square inches. No    modifications of the outside cover will be allowed. The inside of cover presentation is at the discretion of the photographer. If present on the folio, the Studio name and/or maker’s name is required to be covered. 

4. All General, Masters, and Students will compete in one category--- awarding only one first, second and third place awards. 

5. Judging will be based on technical quality, lighting, posing, finish, composition, impact, variety and overall storytelling presentation. 

6. Only one (1) Senior Folio entry per member is permitted.
7. A Senior Folio submission will not be added to the total number of prints     entered per case. 

8. Senior Folios will not be included in any other scoring.

5. Identification

A. No title, name of maker, award ribbons or seals may appear on the front of any entries. 

B. Studio Imprints in Albums or Folios must be covered so as not to be visible. 

C. Each physically entered print shall have a completed Official Print Competition Entry Form taped correctly on the back in the upper right hand corner of each print. These will be sent to you after you enter and make your online payment.

6. Masters Division

 A. Only those MPPA members holding the PPA Master's Degree are eligible to enter the Masters Competition. 

B. To be eligible for Master Photographer of the Year and/or Top 5 Master Photographers entrant must enter a minimum of 4 entries (excl. senior folio) 

Masters images are also eligible for Judge’s Choice, Sunset and Fuji Masterpiece Awards.

Note: Check the Masters box when signing the certification on the entry form.

7. Student Entries

A. Student entries must be original and may have been created, composed, or exposed as part of any past class assignment or under direct or indirect supervision of an instructor or any other person. The final print entry must have all printing and any special effects done by the Student or under hers or his direction. 

B. Student entries must adhere to all other rules and requirements herein stated. 

C. Student entries will only be considered for "Student" awards. 

    Student Entries will not be eligible for Fuji Masterpiece awards.

8. Exhibitor Entries

A. Any commercial supplier, color lab representative or other photographic product exhibitor at our convention may enter. 

B. Entries must comply with all previously stated rules. These entries will be judged under the same criteria but will not be eligible for any MPPA awards other than "Best Exhibitor" award. 

9. Judging

A. The factors considered are: Impact, Technical Quality, Presentation, and Adherence to rules. 

B. Judging will be performed by a panel of five judges and Jury Chairman. 

C. The point system scores from 0-100 will be used. Images will be scored using the following scale: 

Exceptional....................................100-95 Superior...........................................94-90 Excellent……………………………. 89-85

Deserving of Merit…………………. 84-80

Above Average................................79-75 Average………………………………74-70

Below Exhibition Standard..............69-65 

D. Prints judged at this convention are not considered pre-judged or eligible for PPA "Seals of Approval". 

E. An automatic challenge occurs when a judge's score is 10 points above or below the average of all five judges. 

F. The Jury Chairman will have the authority to decide any questions not specifically covered by these rules. Decisions made by the Jury Chairman are final. 

G. MPPA follows PPA’s national standard of The Twelve Elements of a Merit Image for judging: 

The 12 Elements for Success in Print Competition 

1. Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements. 

2. Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought. 

3. Technical excellence is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the image. 

4. Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker. 

5. Lighting is the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image. 

6. Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds. 

7. Image Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used should support and enhance the image, not distract from it. 

8. Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest. 

9. Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image. 

10. Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect. 

11. Technique is the approach used to create the image. Lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image. 

12. Story-Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. Each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image. 

10. Awards

A. General Division: 

1. "Photographer of the Year" award--- will be determined by the highest total score of the four (4) highest scored images of each entrant. Master            and Student entries are ineligible for this award. In the event of a tie, both people would receive the award. 

2. “Top Ten Photographers in Montana" award--- will be determined numerically by using the ten highest total scores of the four (4) highest  scored images of each entrant. Master and Student entries are  ineligible for this award. 

3. "Top First Time Entrant" award --- will be determined by the highest total score of the four (4) highest scored images of each entrant. Only first time entrants are eligible for this award. 

4. First, second and third place category awards--- will be awarded in twelve categories (refer to section 5. Classification of Entries). Awards will be determined by numeric score values. In the event of a tie the Judges will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Only images scoring 78 or above will be considered. 

5. Fuji Masterpiece (eligible images only. See section E below for  specific guidelines. Forms will be e-mailed to you and must be correctly  attached to the back of your print.) 

6. PPA Certified Professional Photographer Award

B. Masters Division:

1. "Master Photographer of the Year" award--- will be determined by the highest total score of the four (4) highest scored images of each entrant. General and Student entries are not eligible for this award. 

2. Top Five Master’s awards--- will be determined numerically by using five highest total scores of the four (4) highest scored images of each entrant. General and Student entries are not eligible for this award. 

3. First, second and third place category Master’s awards— will be awarded in twelve categories (refer to Masters Division Rules, sec5&6.) 

Awards will be determined by numeric score values. In the event of     a tie, the Judges will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Only images  scoring 78 or above will be considered for awards. 

4. Fuji Masterpiece awards (eligible images only. See section E below for specific guidelines. Proper forms will be e-mailed to you and must be correctly attached to the back of the print).

C. Student Division:

First, second and third place Student’s awards--- One overall first, second and third place award will be determined from the total of the four (4) highest scored images from each student. Student entries are not be eligible for other MPPA awards

D. Fuji Masterpiece Awards:

1. Images MUST be printed on Fuji paper to be eligible for the Fuji Masterpiece award.
2. The Fujifilm Masterpiece Award is given to the best image, usually indicated by the highest score in the Portrait & Wedding category. 

3. The image must score at least an 80 out of a potential 100 points to be eligible for the award.
4. Affix Masterpiece Award label to the back of each eligible print.

E. Sunset Award:

Please visit www.sunsetprint.comfor more information.

1. All inkjet-printed entries are eligible to win, however Sunset media is highly encouraged.
2. To qualify for the National competition you must enter PPA District competitions. Winners of the Sunset Print Award at each District competition are then automatically entered in the National competition.
3. An image must be submitted and be judged as a print
4. The award is given to the highest scoring print over 80.

5. The image cannot have previously won a Sunset Print Award.

F. PPA Certified Professional Photographer:

The PPA Certified Professional Photographer award will be awarded to the “Highest Print Score” by a CPP. This can be awarded to any CPP from any state or PPA Master Level. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mark LaRowe at: mark@marklarowephotography.com or 406-577-6122 

Good luck to all!

Montana Professional Photographers Association- Copyright 2019

Montana Professional Photographers Association

Helena, MT 59602


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