Each year we have two Juried Image Competitions, or Salons.  This is where the real learning comes in.  Your images are judged by Photographers with years of experience.  During the process, you find out what it takes to create better photographs. If your image scores 80 and above, it receives a merit.  All merited prints are then entered again for the judges to deem for First, Second and Third Place in each category.  An award will go to Best in Show.

There are twelve elements that determine a merited image.  Each image will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior image will reveal obvious consideration of each one. 

The Twelve elements the judges look for are listed below are in accordance to their importance.

  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 element
  2. Technical Excellence is the print 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 physical print.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image not distract from it.
  7. 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.
  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. Lighting —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 man-made or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.
  10. Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.
  11. Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, 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. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.


Please study and follow carefully. Not doing so will prevent judging of your entry. All entries must be completed online at

ELIGIBILITY: Any member of BPPA in good standing.

ENTRIES:  A total, not to exceed six images, may be entered by one photographer per salon judging.  Images previously entered in BPPA Salon Competitions may not be entered again in Salon or Print of the Month whether it merits or not.  No two images shall be of the same subject.

IMAGE SUBMISSION:  Go to and click the FREE REGISTRATION OF NEW USER.  After creating the account click the BPPA logo.  Click the CREATE NEW ENTRY button.

ENTRY FEE:  Entry fee is made online at through PayPal.  Payment can be made either through your PayPal account or with your credit card.  The entry fee is $10.00 for one to three images or $20.00 for four to six entries.

ENTRY DEADLINES:  The deadline for entering your images is by Noon on the Sunday prior to the Salon meeting.  The deadline date will be posted on when you click on BPPA.

FILE NAMING:  When submitting your entry, the title of your entry is your file name.  Do not add your name, category or any underscores to the entry title.  Always SAVE a copy of your competition file to your computer.

CLASSIFICATION OF ENTRIES:  Entries must be designated by the entrant in one of the six (6) categories listed on the entry form. If the chairman feels the entry is placed in an incorrect category, he/she may change the entry’s category. Color and Black and White images will be judged together in all categories.

  1. PORTRAIT: This category includes portraits of men, women, children, couples (two people), groups (three or more people) and environmental portraits.
  2. SOCIAL FUNCTION: This category includes social function portraits or candids.
  3. COMMERCIAL: This category includes advertising illustration, industrial, architectural, product photography and photojournalism.  Live models may be used for these entries.
  4. UNCLASSIFIED: This category includes abstracts, pictorials (non-portrait), animals, figure studies and photojournalism.
  5. ELECTRONIC IMAGING: This category includes digital restoration, image enhancement. Entries will be judged for digital, artistic and technical proficiency.
  6. ALBUMS: This Category includes wedding albums, story book and portrait albums. Albums can be from one or more makers.


Create a new file in Photoshop with a black background that is 4000 x 4000 PIXELS (20 inches wide at 200 PPI). Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10.  The total file size should not exceed 7 MB.


All page/spread files must have the longest file dimension at 4,000 pixels (20 inches at 200 ppi), have an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10.   Each page/spread file may contain as many images as you desire.  An entry may contain up to 36 page/spread files.  Files are to be numbered in viewing order using two digits (i.e., 01 jpg, 02 jpg, 03 jpg, etc.).  All individual files must be compressed into a single ZIP file.  The ZIP file must be named: LastName_Album_Title (use _for spaces, e.g.  Studio identification or entrant’s name cannot appear on any file within the album entry.  Send ALBUM ENTRIES ONLY 24 hours before salon to


Each salon will be judged by a panel of three qualified judges using FPP and PPA guidelines including point scoring procedures. The score of the three judges will be totaled and averaged for the final score. When a judge’s score varies 10 points or more from the average score, it becomes an automatic challenge and the photograph must be discussed and re-scored. A judge may initiate a challenge at any time.


Prints are scored from 0 to 100 as follows: 
100 to 95 – EXCEPTIONAL
  94 to 90 – SUPERIOR
  89 to 85 – EXCELLENT
  84 to 80 – VERY GOOD
  79 to 76 – GOOD
  75 to 74 – AVERAGE
  73 to 70 – FAIR
  69 to 0 - UNACCEPTABLE

All entries receiving scores of 78-79 are automatically challenged and re-judged. On the re-judging, the change of a score is by a 2/3 majority vote of the judges. AWARDS:  Ribbons will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place in each category. Merit ribbons will be awarded to all prints scoring an 80 or above. A Best of Show ribbon will be awarded to the print judged best by the panel of judges.

Salon Competition