2017 Important Entry Rules


Unless stated otherwise under the category rules & requirements the following applies to all entries:


• Entries must be 100% photographic in origin.
• All elements in an image must be the work of the photographer.
• The use of stock photography, purchasable digital backgrounds, skies, borders and textures is prohibited.
• Images must be from original exposures made within the last 24 months of the closing date of the Awards
• The category rules and requirements accompanying the category descriptions in this document (pages 11 to 26) form part of the rules.
• All Images taken over the duration of a workshop, tutorial, or similar where the primary focus of the event is for education are ineligible. This is irrespective of whether the image submitted was captured or created under the direct instruction of the educator/presenter or not. This rule only applies to attendees of workshops, tutorials and educational/training events. Instructors, student, emerging members and attendees of photo-tours where the primary focus is not educational are exempt.


• No two images entered are to contain the same subject. The intent of the awards is to produce four unique, content diverse images.
• Images entered must have been taken on different occasions and of different subject matter.
• If two images are considered to be of the same subject, we will attempt to contact the photographer to discuss this, but if contact cannot be made, we will retain the first image uploaded in the entry process as identified in the barcode number and disqualify the other(s) so that judging can take place.
• The Awards Team decision is final, and no discussion will be entered into.


• Prints must be created by the entrant or under the entrant’s direct instruction, including all post production and printing work.
• Photographs that have been plagiarized will be disqualified. Knowingly or sub consciously copying a photograph where ALL or the majority of the elements are the same (i.e., same subject matter, pose, location, concept, crop, finishing etc.) may be considered plagiarism if not enough elements are considered different or treated differently enough to be considered a homage. Recreating or emulating paintings, sculptures or other non-photographic works of art either in their entirety part there of in an entry is not considered plagiarism as the execution to achieve the desired result is of a different artistic discipline. Copying or emulating a pose, style or a concept is not considered plagiarism.
• Entrants MUST acknowledge the printer, retoucher and/or other creative contributors on the online entry form.
• Where further digital manipulation is allowed, digital technologies can be used to assemble images, manipulate and adjust photographic elements in any manner, but not to create new elements.
• Re-photographing existing photographs or images for any purpose other than creating a supporting element or background will be disqualified, unless the existing image is the work of the entrant, 100% photographic and was taken within 24 months prior to the close of entry.
• Re-photographed images to create supporting elements or backgrounds either created by the entrant or by a third party (such as purchased physical backdrops, publicly displayed advertising, photographs or paintings) may help contribute to the narrative of the entry however they must not be the main subject or focus of the image. E.g.. a portrait of a soldier taken in front of a print of a WW11 soldier may be acceptable, but entering a re-photographed print of the WW11 portrait in its entirety is prohibited.
• Composite/component elements of an image must be 100% photographic in origin, be the work of the entrant and have been shot within 24 months prior to the close of entry.
• Unless otherwise stipulated in the individual category rules and requirements all borders and textures must be 100% photographic in origin and captured by the entrant.
• All entrants must be able to provide evidence of a legal and or moral right to use all of the elements depicted within the entry. Failure to provide such proof may result in the disqualification of the entry.
• All entrants must be able to supply a copy or proof of each element used to create the final image to prove its photographic origin if requested. Failure to provide such proof may result in the disqualification of the entry.
• No titles or marks which identify the author are permitted on the front of the entry; this includes the mat board. Nonphotographic copy/text may only be included when stipulated in the category rules and requirements.




Photo captions are an integral part of documentary-style images. A well-written caption can add important meaning and value to a photograph and will often clarify the intent of the photographer; a poorly-written caption may do the opposite. Accuracy is vital.

A caption should provide the basic information needed to understand a photograph and its relevance. It should primarily cover the Who-What-Where-When and sometimes Why of the picture’s content.

Most captions should consist of one or two short declarative sentences. For APPA judging purposes these should cover “the five Ws” listed above as completely and succinctly as possible. If needed, an additional sentence that provides pertinent context may be added to fully explain the image. In certain categories this could include information about special equipment or techniques used in making the image.


• Write captions in complete sentences and in the present tense.
• Spell the names of people and places correctly.
• Stick to the facts 1: do not editorialise or make assumptions or judgments about what someone in a picture is thinking.
• Stick to the facts 2: do not characterise the content of a picture as beautiful, dramatic, horrifying or in any other such descriptive terms that should be evident in the photograph itself.

There is a 50-word limit for captions in all APPA categories where they are called for. Captions longer than 50 words will not be recorded by the APPA system software nor will they be read out during judging, which may be detrimental to scoring.




• “Commissioned”: For the purpose of the awards, a commissioned work is considered to be a product of a commercial agreement undertaken between a photographer and their client. Volunteer work in not considered commissioned, even when a professional agreement has been entered into.
• “Immediate Family”: For the purpose of the awards this includes yourself, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and pets.
• “Eligible Entrant”: Is defined as entering 4 images into the one category and therefore eligible to win that category.


• Images entered into a previous APPA judging are ineligible.
• Entries previously entered into State Awards or any non-AIPP photographic competition are eligible.


• Entries not complying with the requirements stipulated on pages 11-26 may be disqualified at the discretion of AIPP.
• If your photographs have been entered into other awards (e.g. state awards or third party awards), all glue, velcro, sticky tapes, labels etc. must be thoroughly removed before submitting to these awards so as to not damage other entrant’s work.


• The AIPP reserves the right to reproduce any awarded image submitted for publicity/educational purposes in Australia and overseas. This includes on websites where the use is to promote the AIPP and the Awards. It is the entrant’s responsibility to obtain any and all permissions including the model releases and/or copyright owner’s permission to have the images judged and possibly displayed and published.
• Category Winners agree to their images being printed as a composite, framed and presented to the sponsor. This will be produced at APPA’s expense. APPA may use the digital file provided with your entry without further contact with you.
• A Category Sponsor may also reproduce a Category Winner’s photographs to advertise or publicise their sponsorship of the category. The four photographs are to be reproduced together and credited with the full title of the award (e.g. John Smith, 2017 AIPP Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Sponsor’s Name).
• Category sponsors and the AIPP are able to use your images (with suitable attribution) for marketing and promotional purposes until the following APPA. The Category Sponsor does not have unrestricted rights to use your photograph in any other manner without permission from you
• You acknowledge that you will not replicate or copy another artisans work without written consent and you will supply attribution to the original creator in any promotional display of that work including awards submissions.


• It is the policy of the AIPP that we reserve the right not to publicly display images that, at the opinion of the Board, may cause offense to the public or subjects on an image.
• We reserve the right to reject any entries that the awards team considers to be pornographic or inappropriate.
• When proceeding with your entry you agree to the terms and conditions outlined, if proven false, any awards will be reclaimed and a penalty of up to five Merit points will be deducted from your accrued total if you are an AIPP, NZIPP Member. Non-members may be barred from entry in future years.
• If you are fortunate enough to win an Award, by entering these Awards you agree to be respectful of the AIPP and the sponsors of the Awards. Without our sponsors these Awards could not be managed, so you are not entitled to use these Awards to make any personal or competitive representations that may be antagonistic to the sponsors.
• As a condition of participation in APPA, all interested parties including the organisers, entrants, sponsors, and judging and management team, agree not to attempt to influence the final selection or to dispute the final decision.
• The awards team and or nominated rules referee will interpret the application of these rules & make decisions on any questions not specifically covered by the above. No correspondence will be entered into regarding any decision, but constructive feedback and comment is encouraged. Such correspondence should be forwarded to the AIPP via email detailed below:
• By entering these awards we ask you to agree that the awards sponsors, are able to contact you from time to with information about products and services. You will be given the opportunity to opt out of this if you wish, during the entry process.
• The awards team and or nominated rules referee reserves the right to disqualify any entry before, during or after judging. This decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• All enquiries should be directed to the AIPP office: Please visit www.aipp.com.au for all contact details or email: . AIPP National Office: G.03, 171 Union Rd, Surrey Hills VIC 3127


• Social media outbursts directed towards the judges and the judging process: Any public or social media attacks on the integrity of the judges, their qualification to judge or the process under which they act will be taken into consideration by the Awards organisers. Any situations, materials, discussions or postings that are deemed to be offensive or against the nature of the Awards may result in a disqualification of the entrant.
• Transparency and fairness in public discussions: If an entrant or entrants call the judging or feedback of the judges into question in a public or social media forum without displaying the related image to offer context to the discussion, the Awards organisers reserve the right to post the related image(s) in question so as to give a proper basis for discussion.


• Entries must only be shipped in an official APPA print case using the PDF mailing label found at the end of your online entry. Only one entrant’s photographs are allowed per case. Insurance is the responsibility of the entrant.
• Entries will be returned pre-paid to the entrant, but only in an official print case.
• A print case can be purchased from the AIPP website http://store.aipp.com.au. Please allow two weeks for delivery. (Students do not require a print case. It is preferable for students’ submissions be sent in their Institution’s special print case, otherwise secure wrapping is acceptable).
• Exception: Overseas entrants may send their entries without a print case. Overseas entrants may also elect not to have their entries returned, in which case a print case is not required. However, if overseas entrants require their prints to be returned, they must include payment for a print case for shipping, and a further $110 for shipping. If no payment is included, entries will not be returned.
• Overseas Entrants’ Instructions for Shipping to Australia: To ensure your entries are passed through Australian Customs, without additional fees and taxes, please mark your Customs Declaration as follows: Printed matter only. No Commercial Value. The AIPP will not be responsible for paying any import duties or fees and entries requiring such will not be accepted.



A panel of five judges assesses each photograph. A panel chair, aided by an assistant, administers the activities of the panel.

One or more identical judging set-ups may operate in separate rooms, simultaneously judging a category. Each judge scores the image out of 100 and the panel’s average is the final score, unless the score is 79, 84, 89 or 94, in which case a panel of five judges will review the image.

The judge may at the time request that an image be considered by the chairman of jurors for a re-judging, in which case the second panel’s announced score is the final score.


95 – 100 Gold with Distinction
90 – 94 Gold
85 – 89 Silver with Distinction
80 – 84 Silver
50 – 79 Below Awards Standard

Certificates are issued for all award prints which score 80 or above.



Accredited Members of the AIPP and the NZIPP receive Merit Points towards Associate, Master of Photography, and Grand Master of Photography levels.

To advance from full Member to Associate, a photographer needs to earn five Merit Points in four consecutive years (minimum requirement is three full Merit Points and four Half Merit points).

An Associate requires a further ten full Merit Points in five consecutive years to become a Master of Photography.


90 – 100 = 2 Merit Points

80 – 89 = 1 Merit Point

78 – 79 = Half merit point NB: Half merit points can only be used to gain an Associate’s ribbon.