Everything You Need to Know About WPPI Competition

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What is the difference between First Half, Second Half, and Annual Print competition?

The First Half and Second Half competitions are only for WPPI members only and both of them are online only. That means that you submit your entries in an electronic format and they are judged by judges virtually. 

The Annual competition is print only (except for Film, Camera Artistry, and Album categories). The competition is open to all international entries. The judging takes place in Las Vegas during the annual WPPI conference, typically in Feb/March. The judging takes place in multiple rooms and you can sit in them to watch the judging for various categories. 

Should I enter the Premiere Category?

The Premiere category is only for those photographers that have not entered in the past any professional print photography competition. If this is your first time entering a professional competition, this Category is an OPTION. It's not mandatory that you enter it. You can still enter other categories if you would like.

Can I enter more than one photo into a Premiere Category?

If you qualify to submit entries to the Premiere category you can submit one or more entries to it. You can submit all, none or some of your entries into Premiere category. Again, only if you qualify to enter it, meaning you have never entered a professional print competition.

Can I submit to the Annual Competition a photo that I entered into First or Second Half competitions?

You can submit a photograph into the Annual Competition if you submitted it to either First or Second Half Competition the previous calendar year. However, if you entered a print into the Annual Competition, you cannot enter them into the First or Second Half competitions following the Annual Competition. 

What size must the prints be for the annual competition?

All print entries must be 16x20. However, that does not mean the prints need to be 16x20. They can be, but great majority of entries are 16x20 mats with a smaller opening for the photograph. The WPPI rules states that the actual photo must be at least 4 inches on the short side and at least 10 inches on the long side. As long as those minimal size rules are met, the size of the photo, opening in the mat, position of the opening within the mat is completely up to the maker. If you work with a print maker such as WASIO Master Print, you can discuss with your print maker the size and position of the photo to be displayed with the 16x20 mat.

Does the photo need to be matted?

As I mentioned above, it doesn't have to be but I would say 99% of entries are. 

Will I receive my prints back?

It's really up to you. You do have to pay extra for WPPI to send the prints back to you. Also, your prints must be shipped in a Uline artbox if you would like WPPI to send them back to you.

Do the prints need to be printed on a specific paper?

No, they don't. Part of the creative print making process is to decide which paper will be the best option for a given photograph. Photos print differently on different papers. We recommend that if you make your prints through WASIO Master Print, you select the paper choice as WASIO Master Print Choice. 

Here is a great article from RangeFinder Magazine describing various paper types - https://www.rangefinderonline.com/news-features/power-of-print/pick-right-paper-photo-prints/

Which category should the photo be entered in?

Some photos may qualify for more than one category but this is rather an exception than a rule. For detail explanation refer to WPPI rules found here: https://wppiawards.com/fbcontests/profiletab/2019wppi16x20#categoryrules If you are unsure which category your photo should be entered into, we recommend to post a question to the WPPI Competition Facebook Group

Do I also need to send an electronic version of my photo?

For the Annual Competition, even though it's a print competition, you do need to send an electronic version of your photo (it doesn't have to look matted). The electronic photo is used to display on the projector during the competition for the audience to see it. It's also displayed on the big screen during the gala if you win an award, on WPPI competition site if you merit or win an award, and in Range Finder Magazine if you win an award. The size of the image has be to 1920px on the long side.

Do I need to submit my original RAW file?

For certain categories where composites are not allowed, the RAW files need to be submitted as well. This is to verify that image manipulation that is not allowed was not performed on the submitted image. 

Who judges the competitions?

The WPPI judges are hand selected by WPPI competition committee. The judges are some of the most awarded, experienced, professional photographers from around the world. Each print is judged by 5 judges and the final score is usually an average of their individual scoring. However, for a photo to merit (score 80 and above) at least 3 judges must score a print above 80. For each print a constructive feedback is given explaining the score. 

When and where are the photos judged?

The prints are judged during the annual WPPI conference in Las Vegas around Feb/March. In 2019 the judging will take place in Excalibur Casino on Monday February the 25th and 26th. Two full days of judging!

Can I watch the judging?

Absolutely! We strongly encourage to sit in as much judging as possible! Even if your prints have been already judged or you simply did not enter any prints, listening to the critiques is a fantastic way to learn and actually improve your photography!

Will I be notified when my prints are being judged?

Each year there is system that is supposed to notify the participants if her/his print is coming up to be judged and then with final the score. Over the years we have seen many times this system not working properly. Sometimes it would work for a day and then stop working completely, sometimes it would just work on and off. We keep our fingers crossed that in 2019 the system will work flawlessly and you will be receiving notifications reliably.

Do I need to upload my files as soon as I pay for my entries?

No, once you purchase your competition entries, you have time till the deadline (January 24th, 2019) to submit your final photos in electronic version. Then there is also a deadline to send your prints. For 2019 it's February 1st, 2019

Can I change a category of my entry after I pay for it?

Yes, you can change the category until the deadline. However, remember not to change the category once you send your print, because your label on your print includes the specified category.

Can I submit a photograph I took during a workshop?

Unless it was your workshop where you were teaching, you cannot submit any photographs from workshops you attended. It doesn't matter whether the photo was under direct or no supervision from the teacher.

Can I enter a photograph that was taken more than 12 month ago?

Yes! Currently the WPPI rules state that there is no limit as to when the photo was taken. So you can enter a photo you took 5,10, 15, and more years ago:)