Select a question below for details
United States of America
All 50 US STATES
THE CASH PRIZE IS VOID IN THE STATES OF ARIZONA, CONNECTICUT, MARYLAND, AND NORTH DAKOTA, but residents of these states can still participate.
—Northern Mariana Islands
—Virgin Islands U.S.
—Ashmore and Cartier Islands
—Cocos (Keeling) Islands
—Coral Sea Islands
—Heard and McDonald Islands
France (Includes French territories)
New Zealand (Aotearoa)
—British Indian Ocean Territory
—British Virgin Islands (BVI)
—Isle of Man
—Jersey (Channel Island)
—South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
—Turks and Caicos Islands
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Congo, Republic of the
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Micronesia, Federated States of
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Vatican City (Holy See)
It is possible that not all countries have made it on this list. If you aren’t sure if your country qualifies, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is helpful to think of The Portrait Masters Awards as a separate program from Accreditation. We want as many people as possible to be able to participate in both programs—to be eligible to win category awards, and to earn points toward accreditation. In some cases, however, photographers who are ineligible for The Portrait Masters Awards may be eligible for The Portrait Masters Accreditation. Others may be eligible for the Awards and Accreditation programs but may not be eligible to win a cash prize. The best thing you can do is refer to the rules to find out if there are any specific rules regarding your eligibility.
Not necessarily. If you are not eligible for Awards or Accreditation this round, it is possible you will be eligible for future rounds. Please check eligibility requirements in future rounds.
Not necessarily. Every time we open a new round, please refer to the rules page for eligibility updates as they may change from time to time.
The rules are based on your state or country of residence. If you are a resident of an eligible state or country, you are eligible to participate.
No. Eligibility is determined by your state or county of residence. Free entry holders will not be able to participate if they are not eligible under the current contest rules.
If I can’t use my free entry, can I give it to someone else or get a credit?
No, unfortunately these are non-transferable and we are unable to give a credit.
Yes. If you are unable to submit images to the Accreditation program this round because your country is not currently eligible, please email email@example.com to evaluate your options.
No, this is not the end of the road, if anything, just a speed bump. Residents of all the US States and most countries can participate in accreditation. However, if you are not currently eligible—hang tight. We are in the process of reviewing rules and regulations in other countries to determine if residents of those countries can participate in Awards, Accreditation or both. We will update the rules before each round, and we hope to be able to add to the list of eligible countries. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work towards this goal. If you are ineligible to participate in Accreditation this round, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to evaluate your options.
The entire submission process is exactly the same—you submit your images, the judges review them, and you will receive a score and points towards your Accreditation. The only difference is that your images are not eligible for the Awards or prize money.
Please email support and we’ll help: email@example.com
We highly recommend reading the rules before each new round. You can read the fully updated rules HERE.
All editing/post production/retouching must be done by the entrant or under the entrant’s direct instruction. If your entry was also edited/retouched in any way by another individual, you must credit that individual in your online submission.
Submissions into the Creative Portrait category cannot have outsourced retouching.
The option to put the retouchers name is ONLY NECESSARY if you outsourced Some or all retouching to someone other than yourself.
No. All photography and elements within your entry must be photographed and owned by you.
No. The use of other peoples work in a digital form within your entry is not allowed. Whilst copyright may not apply in a legal term, it is against the spirit of The Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation.
Yes, as long as the texture is as described by definition in rule 2.1.
Yes, as long as they have been photographed with a camera.
Yes, due to the pandemic we are allowing older images to be submitted with the exception of images that have been previously submitted and judged in The Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation program.
No. Computer generated Imagery is not permitted.
No. Not unless you were the instructor.
No, we consider this to be plagiarism.The spirit of The Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation is to celebrate and honor your own creative expression.
Not if it is themed around a trademarked character.
No flowers are a distinguishable object. Textures must represent a surface where the object is not identifiable.
You can submit images in our next round between 12:00AM EST September 15th, 2022 – 11:59 PM Pacific Time October 15th, 2022.
File names can be anything you like, there are no rules for this. Images must not have watermarks or logos though.
Image must be a JPG file, 2500 pixels minimum on the longest edge, 4800 pixels maximum on the longest edge. For a great tutorial on sizing your images, check out this video from Pratik Naik:
We need all submissions to be in true sRGB.
Here’s how to assure your images have the correct color profile:
1. Right Click image | EXPORT | EXPORT
2. Under ‘File Settings’ make sure ‘Color Space’ is sRGB.
1. EDIT | CONVERT TO PROFILE
2. Select sRGB IEC1966 2.1
3. Save As. Select JPG and make sure ‘Embed Color Profile’ is ticked.
Yes, purchased textures are allowed.
No. Watermarks/logos will disqualify your submission, so please triple check your submissions before entering them.
No changes to your image can be made after your image has been uploaded and paid, please double and triple check your entry before finalizing your payment.
When judging is complete, you can view all of your submissions in your SBE account under the “My Account” section. During the judging process, you will not be able to see your submissions, or anyone else’s.
Please email our support team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately, no—these will not qualify for entry.
You can choose to receive feedback for any image that you submit for an added fee of $10. If you select feedback for your submission, you will receive constructive critique on your image from two judges.
Judging and Awards
Accreditation Points and Awards Merits
– Score 60-69: No Merit Points
(Approaching Professional Standard)
– Bronze 70-79: Half Merit Point
(High Professional Standard)
– Silver 80-89: One Point
(Outstanding technique & visual communication)
– Gold 90-100: Two Points
Exemplary / Superior / Exceptional
Silver and Gold Merits seek excellence in all technical fields with outstanding visual communication and narration.
25 Merit Points
The Portrait Masters – Associate Photographer
50 Merit Points
The Portrait Masters – Master Photographer
100 Merit Points
The Portrait Masters – Fellow Photographer
Upon successfully reaching your required points level for MASTER, your folio will be manually reviewed to ensure your current work is of a consistent, good professional standard which reflects the accolade and title of ‘Master’ within The Portrait Masters. In order to reach FELLOW, you must have at minimum 10 images with silver or gold merits in your folio..
The judges are looking for expression and connection, Styling, Composition, posing, lighting, Overall Technique and Presentation, post-production and focus. Review the “judging criteria” on the awards home page for more detail.
There could be many reasons your image didn’t receive a higher score. Review the “judging criteria” section of the awards home page for a list of common mistakes. Members of The Portrait System can also receive more helpful feedback by watching Richard Wood’s Awards & Accreditation critiques.
Once enough points are accrued to reach an accreditation level, your images will be reviewed by Sue Bryce. Certificates will be mailed after her review.
First place winners of a category will receive a crystal trophy. There are badges for merit winners and accreditation levels, but not for category winners.
The level of Master is not one to be given out to everyone that buys enough entries and passes through. Not everyone is entitled to it and it must be earned. The level of Master is a distinction that recognises mastery of craft and merit rather than simply numbers of entries at a professional standard. Whilst for many the benchmark may seem difficult, our Portrait Masters Master level is very much more easily obtainable than most accreditation and awards programs.
No. Editing is certainly now part of the industry. However many awards have and will be awarded to images that do not have heavy editing. There is often a high number of largely edited images being awarded, more recently as this has been what is largely entered by many of our top entrants. Many of our judges create and been highly awarded with images in other styles and will award entries by their merit heavily edited or not.
No, your entries will be taken into account over the last two you do enter, so you can miss rounds in between.
70 is the required points needed on an entry to deem it of a professional standard. An ASSOCIATE of the Portrait Masters is recognised as being able to perform to this professional standard. However a MASTER should be able to perform at a consistent high professional standard. Our judges deem a high professional standard as being 75 and above and all judges have unanimously agreed that a high professional standard and above should be where a Master can consistently perform. However the Portrait Masters Team has given some leniency and made the required average 73.
We have had entrants achieve their 50 points required for Master by entering hundreds of images, the majority of which have been below professional standard and the lesser being in the low professional standard, but with enough entries over time to gain their points. Whilst the entrant may have achieved a number of points, their standard is far from that assumed by one calling themselves a Master. Therefore we have added 3 silvers so a photographer can show that they can perform very occasionally at a higher award level, and also consistently produce work that is of a very solid professional standard and higher. We wish to award the level of Master to those that are achieving at a higher level rather than to those that buy the most entries and marginally get through on lower points alone.
That is fine. If you entered 4 per round, your last 20 entries would be made up of the last 5 rounds you entered.
Your average is taken over the total of however many rounds your last 20 entries has occurred over. So in this instance your average would be taken over your total of 25 entries. I you entered 30 entries in the last round, then your average would be taken over all entries in your last round.
No, If you have already achieved your Fellow distinction these changes do not apply to you.
Portrait Masters accredited portrait photographers have proven their work is of high professional standards. In addition to winning awards on a minimum of 12 images, their portfolio has also been manually reviewed by Sue Bryce to ensure their work is truly worthy of receiving accreditation. The Portrait Masters accreditation program is explicitly for portrait photographers of all genres and is a recognition of high professional standard—not based on awards merit only.
No, written critiques are not provided with accreditation results.
All successful merited Associates will receive: A logo to display on your website, “Accredited Portrait Master” and will be added to the accredited photographers database. A certificate for the studio, a yellow ribbon, and achievement medallion.
Upon successfully reaching an accreditation level, your folio will be reviewed. Once the review is complete, accreditation will be announced and reflect in your account.
No, unfortunately PayPal is not an option for awards submissions.
Congrats on having an image that scored Bronze or higher- however, this is not the same as winning an accreditation level. Badges are meant to highlight the specific image only, and cannot be made into homemade trophies, certificates, etc.
You will be able to see the current and past winning images here: https://theportraitsystem.com/award-galleries/
Free entries are only good for the round you received them with, any past free entries will no longer be valid.