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FWPPA Merit Image Evaluation Rules


The FWPPA’s guild-level Merit Image Evaluation (MIE) is intended to help you prepare for PPA’s Merit Image Review panels. The goal of this evaluation to foster a peer-group learning environment where everyone learns from the evaluations and ensuing discussions of the images submitted. This level of assessment is also beneficial in offering educational growth which will improve your photographic skills and benefit your business.


Entering in FWPPA's monthly image evaluation does not award merits or ribbons but rather seeks to provide constructive feedback from a panel of judges. While the judges may or may not be PPA Approved Jurors, they will be of quality and expertise to evaluate images against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image criteria as defined by the PPA. In addition to assigning a Merit Image category, judges will write brief comments as to why the image placed in a given category and how it stood out or could be improved.


The cost of FWPPA Merit Image Evaluation is included for Active and Associate members paying dues monthly and $5 per image for members who elect to pay annually. Cost is $10 per image for any non-members electing to participate. A total of two images may be entered per month.



Photographic Open


PORTRAIT: Consists of portrait images.

ILLUSTRATIVE: Consists of commercial/industrial images, scenic, pictorials, digital paintings, and similar subject matter. Portraits and weddings are not appropriate for this category.

REPORTAGE: Images that illustrate an actual public or non-public event, life, an area of human interest, telling news that has 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.

ALBUM: consists of portrait and story-telling albums.




WEDDING OPEN: Images can portray a subject or subjects from all aspects of a wedding including traditional portraits, candids or detail work.

• SINGLE MAKER WEDDING ALBUM: Multiple images combined into a digital album collection exclusively showcasing a specific wedding.

• MULTI - MAKER WEDDING ALBUM: Images in the album must be the work of the two entrants, with a minimum of 20 images per entrant.



• ARTIST OPEN: Artist Division requires guide prints





1. There will be a Merit Image Evaluation at every regular monthly meeting except December. The Board of Directors may cancel a scheduled Merit Image Evaluation for any month for example in the case that a live evaluation is planned for our monthly program.


2. The evaluation for determining an images Category levels will be done by a three-person panel, usually consisting of the guest speaker and two master photographers or other qualified persons from the guild.


3. Image Category levels are based on PPA assigned Categories and two out of three judges must place an image in Category C to be considered a merit image or in Category D to be considered Imaging Excellence:


The jurors will place your image(s) in one of 4 levels:


Category A: No merit and low potential for future merit

Category B: No merit, but with potential to merit with some improvement by the maker

Category C: Merit Image

Category D: Image Excellence


4. All guild members who register for the monthly meeting may vote for the member's choice. The judging will still be on the 12 Elements of a Merit Image but with an emphasis on lighting, posing, composition, color harmony and impact (elements that will help prove and increase our sales).


5. The images submitted for FWPPA Merit Image Evaluation will be reviewed and discussed during the social time prior to the start of the regular guild meeting. Evaluations from the judges will be shared with attendees unless the maker opts out of the review session on the entry form. This will allow attendees and makers to discuss and learn from evaluations of a variety of images. Makers are encouraged to participate in the discussions of the images presented – and take the opportunity to ask questions of the judges or veteran competitors during this time.


6. Digital entries for the FWPPA MIE must be a maximum of 1920 pixels on the longest side and a maximum of 1080 on the tallest side, have an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB 1998, and be saved as a high quality.


7. Each participating member will get one entry into the Educational Tuition Awards drawing for every MIE entered after a minimum of 6 entries has been met. Entries are defined as the number of months a member entered Merit Image Evaluation – and not the total number of images entered.


8. To be considered in a monthly MIE, entries MUST be received by 6:30 p.m. the Saturday before the regular meeting or by the deadline announced by the Competition Director.




1. Any Active or Associate member of FWPPA, in good standing, may enter a monthly Merit Image Evaluation.


2. All images submitted for Merit Image Evaluation will be discussed, and critiques shared with all members present during the social time prior to the meeting start at 7pm unless the maker opts out of the Merit Image Evaluation review by checking the box on the entry form. This is not intended to intimidate makers in any way, rather we hope entrants will find this session helpful peer level learning experience for all members of various competition experience.


3. Images that do not receive 2 out of 3 Category C or D votes may be re-entered in future Merit Image Evaluations if the maker so choses.


4. New Active and Associate FWPPA members, in good standing, may participate in monthly Merit Image Evaluation beginning the month they join FWPAA.


5. A wedding album must contain prints from the same event.


6. The entry must have been captured and created by the entrant. Exceptions are for Restoration work and an Electronic Imaging entry with a ‘before & after’ included on the print.


7. The entrant's name or studio name shall not appear visible anywhere on the face of the entry.


8. No entry will be eligible that has been made under the supervision of an instructor or as a class assignment.


9. Entries previously merited at any PPA affiliated Judging are not eligible, including an image from a merited album.


10. All images must have a title.




1. The Photographer of the Year Award is based on monthly Merit Image Evaluation from each month with a regular Merit Image Evaluation.


2. Merit and Imaging Excellence worthy images will be tracked by the Image Evaluation Director.


3. To be eligible, an entrant must enter a minimum of 6 monthly FWPPA Merit Image Evaluations.


4. The person with the most Imaging Excellence awards through the Merit Image Evaluation process will be named Photographer of the Year and will receive a trophy at the December FWPPA meeting.


Educational Tuition Awards


1. A total of $1,000.00 will be awarded at the December FWPPA meeting annually. Divided into


(3) awards:


(1) $500.00


(2) $250.00


2. Eligibility for this award is based on each month of Merit Image Evaluation of the current calendar year.


3. Each entry in the monthly Merit Image Evaluation will be eligible for one (1) entry into the drawing.


4. A member must have participated in a minimum of six (6) FWPPA Merit Image Evaluations to be eligible for the $500 Educational Tuition Drawing. There are no minimum participation requirements for the two $250 awards.


5. The winners of the year's Educational Tuition Awards $500.00 award will be determined by a drawing held at the December meeting of FWPPA. The names of all the eligible participants being placed in the drawing based on the number of monthly Merit Image Evaluations entered - January Merit Image Evaluation entered = 1 entry, January/February/March/April Merit Image Evaluation entered = 4 entries, etc. The winner need not be present at the drawing to win.


6. The remaining (2) $250.00 awards are to be drawn from Active and Associate members in good standing who have entered at least 2 Merit Image Evaluations. The winner need not be present at the drawing to win.


7. The awards are not exchanged for cash.


8. Awards will be reimbursed to the recipient upon receipt and attendance at any PPA, TPPA or Affiliate Guild educational event.

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