Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation News + Meet Our New Fellow

December 27, 2023 Portrait Master Awards
© Whitney Collins

The Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation program is a contest that inspires, motivates, and honors portrait photographers in all genres to put forward their best work and improve the quality of their images from round to round. Sue Bryce established the competition in 2017 to give portrait photographers an avenue to be recognized for achieving a high professional standard in their work. Since then, The Portrait Masters Awards has accredited 442 Associates, 141 Masters, and only 19 Fellows. Accreditations are based on points awarded to images by our esteemed panel of judges based on the following criteria:

  • Expression and Connection
  • Styling
  • Composition
  • Posing
  • Lighting
  • Overall Technique and Presentation
  • Post-Production
  • Focus
  • Storytelling

The number of points determines which images receive badges honoring them as Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Accreditation depends upon achieving these badges and fulfilling other requirements, which can be discovered in the rules. Please note, the rules change from round to round, so please review them carefully before submitting each round.

© Whitney Collins

New for Portrait Awards & Accreditation in 2024

This year will have two rounds.

  • Round One: Opens January 3rd. Closes January 31st. Results announced in February.
  • Round Two: Open July 15th. Closes August. Results announced in September.

Members should keep an eye on their email inboxes on January 3rd because that is when promo codes for free submissions will be sent out. All members will receive 1 free entry per round, and Premium membership holders will receive 2 additional entries per round. Our ongoing categories are:

  • Contemporary Portrait
  • Family & Group Portrait
  • Maternity Portrait
  • Newborn Portrait
  • Boudoir Portrait
  • Teen & Senior Portrait
  • Children’s Portrait
  • Creative Portrait
  • Movement Portrait
  • Pet Portrait
  • Black and White Portrait
  • Documentary Portrait
  • Wedding Portrait
  • Fashion Portrait

The challenge category for the first round of 2024 will be Self-Portrait.

Last round’s category winners are: 

Congratulations to all category winners on your achievement! View the category winning images in Rangefinder.

See all the beautiful images that made top twenty in each category in the Awards Gallery

© Whitney Collins

Congratulations to Newly Accredited Photographers from September 2023

During our last round of Awards, we welcomed 33 new Associates, 5 new Masters, and 1 new Fellow!




Congratulations to you all!!

Meet Our New Fellow — Whitney Collins

Whitney Collins is a portrait photographer based out of Savannah, GA. Whitney specializes in dance and senior photography and has been full-time since 2018.

Whitney Collins

Whitney’s Awards & Accreditation Journey

“The first challenge was submitting that first image, which I did at the end of 2017. It puts you in an extremely vulnerable position — especially if you haven’t had professionals critique your work. Submitting my images helped me learn how to objectively look at my work. When I first started submitting, I was looking at my image as a whole. How is the pose? The lighting? The composition? Now, I am looking at the details, and each round, my eye gets a little more trained to see what the judges see. Now I am asking myself,  “What story does this image tell and does each element contribute to that message?” I submit mostly client work and have earned up to a silver with images created for clients. I want my work, regardless of why I’m creating it, to be something I would be proud to submit. As I move forward, I want to submit work specifically for the awards, and my goal is to win a category!”

© Whitney Collins

We Can’t Wait to See What You Make!

At The Portrait Masters Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, AZ, last year, judge Michele Celentano expressed her appreciation of all the entries she has seen over the years saying that she is continually “blown away by the level [entrants] have risen to. It’s extraordinary.” She went on with the encouragement, “Those of you who are not so happy and think it could have been better, keep trying. Don’t give up. Keep entering because it keeps making you better.”

Remember, next year there will be a special celebration for Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation as part of The Portrait Masters Conference at WPPI. Please note that your ticket to The Portrait Masters Conference gets you access to the full WPPI Conference and Show plus the WPPI Platinum Experience. We hope to see you there!

To see a gallery of all the Category Winners, meet some of the talented winners, and hear the stories behind their winning images, follow this link to Rangefinder. 

[Also Read: What Makes an Award Winning Photographic Portrait? with Richard Wood]