The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers
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20th February 2020 GMT

The Societies' Monthly Image Competition - Category Definitions

Category Definitions

For some time now there has been much confusion with the monthly online image competition as to what types of images are most appropriate for entry into each category. Let us hope that these new guidelines go some way to relieving some of that confusion.

Before I begin let me make a few important points. Photography has developed a vocabulary all of its own particularly when it comes to defining a genre or style of work. I am not prepared to enter in lengthy and pointless debates as to what constitutes what. Rather, it is more expeditious to set out a framework of guidelines and work to it.

Plug-ins, filters and effects are NOT to be considered as inappropriate and their sympathetic use is to be encouraged and applauded (I can hear the so called purists screaming now!). The enhancement of images is nothing new and in the time of film much was done in the darkroom using various techniques in pursuit of excellent images. And before that? Our predecessors in the world of art were constantly working their paintings to achieve the goal of perfection. A craftsman who puts out an image that fails to flatter his subject is simply not doing justice to him or herself and their client. Therefore experiment, enhance but try not to overdo it!

So let us begin…

Category Criteria

Advertising
Any image depicting a product or service for sale or use. Commissioned work only.

Architectural
Images need to be commercial architecture images, photographed in a way that says as much as possible about the design and feel of a structure. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Boudoir and Beauty
This category can contain any boudoir or portrait images that enhance the subject’s beauty and elegance. Models are permitted in this category. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Children
Portraits of children from the age of 42 days (Newborn category is up to 42 days) to 16 years. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Documentary
Images entered into this category may include, but are not restricted to, images depicting significant events or environments relevant to society, street photography and real life reportage. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Environmental Awareness
Images depicting the environmental issues that we are facing. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Events
This is quite an open category, any photograph taken at an ‘Event’can be entered. The judges want to see images that show the essence of the event and images which make you think ‘I wish I’d been there’. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Fashion
Images entered into this category can show clothing, jewellery, makeup, accessories, hair or any other specific fashion item. Models wearing bridal gowns should be entered into this category instead of the Wedding categories. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Illustrative
For this category we are looking for artistic images including, digital art and composites. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

In-camera Artistry
For this new category we are looking for straight out of camera images. The only editing accepted is cropping. This open category accepts all genres. We reserve the right to request the original capture. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Macro and Close-up
Images entered into this category must be either close up or macro and can contain any subject matter. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Maternity
This category is specifically for images of pregnant women. Partners and siblings are permitted. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Monochrome
Images entered into this category must be either black or white OR coloured in one single tonal range, for example sepia images are permitted. There are no subject restraints, any subject and style as long as it’s monochromatic. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

The Natural World – Wild Animals
Images taken of wild animals in their environment, no captive animals permitted. Images taken using commercial hides where the lighting is set up by somebody else will be disqualified. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

The Natural World - Plants, Forests and Fungi
Images taken of Plants, Forests and Fungi in their environment, no studio images permitted. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

The Natural World – Landscapes
Images entered into this category can be landscapes, cityscapes or seascapes. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Newborn
Images must be of children aged 42 days and below, or have a corrected age of 42 days and below in the case of prematurely born children. Parents not permitted unless being used as a prop (example shoulder/arm not showing face) Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Open Avant Garde
Images entered into this category should be experimental or innovative, pushing the boundaries of what is expected to be the norm. Images can be of any genre. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Pet Portrait
Images entered into this category must be portraits of any animal considered to be a pet by its owner. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Visual Narrative
A new category for 2020. Images entered must have a strong visual narrative, telling a story through photography. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Press and PR
Images of news images can be entered into this category as well as publicity shots. Commissioned work only.

Creative Portrait
Images entered can be either contemporary or traditional portraits taken in a studio or environmental setting. This category can also incorporate family portraits. Judges are looking for good lighting, posing and expression. Non-commissioned work only.

Commissioned Portrait
Images entered can be either contemporary or traditional portraits taken in a studio or environmental setting. Commissioned work only - We reserve the right to request proof of commission.

Family and Group Portrait
Any image which contains two or more subjects (including pets) Commissioned and Self commissioned work permitted.

Sport
Images entered in this category must have been taken at a sporting event. Judges are looking for a perfectly captured moment. Portraits of athletes must be entered into the Portrait categories. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Travel
With the whole world to photograph this is a very wide ranging category. Many different types of images can be entered including press images or any image showing the culture or environment of an area. Commissioned and Self-Commissioned work permitted.

Wedding Day
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer and must have been taken on the day the register was signed. The judges are looking for images that are either styled or in a photojournalistic style. (Authors may be required to provide details of the shoot). Commissioned work only.

Bride or Groom Alone Wedding Day
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer and must have been taken on the day the register was signed. The judges are looking for images of either the Bride or Groom alone in a style or photojournalistic style. (Authors may be required to provide details of the shoot). Commissioned work only.

Non Wedding Day
Images entered into this category must be from commissioned weddings where the entrant was the principle professional photographer within 12 months either side of the day the register was signed. This category includes engagement and trash the dress shoots. Commissioned work only.
 


The Societies Monthly Image Competition Guidelines and Rules

Click Here To Enter

Photo Quote: A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. Diane Arbus

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