Sara is working aggressively toward earning her Masters Degree in Photography through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She must earn many merit awards for prints entered into competition at the district and national level. Merits are awarded for any photographic print that is entered, judged, and receives a score of an 80 or higher.
The Photographic Exhibitions Committee (PEC) of the PPA uses 12 elements as the “gold standard” to define a merit image. PEC trains judges to be mindful of these elements when judging images to the PPA merit level and to be placed in the International Print Exhibit at Imaging USA, the annual convention. The twelve elements have been defined as necessary for the success of an art piece or image. Any image, art piece, or photograph will reveal some measure of all twelve elements, while a visually superior example will reveal obvious consideration of each one.
The twelve elements are listed in accordance to their importance. You can read about the elements in more depth here.
2) Technical Excellence
7) Color Balance
8) Center of Interest
9) Lighting – the use and control of light
10) Subject Matter
12) Story Telling
All award winning images go on to be featured at the PPA’s annual exhibition/award ceremony.
Competition Year: 2016 / Exhibition Year: 2017
All 4 images earned a prior Seal of Approval in the North Central District Photographic Competition, which guaranteed them to earn merits in the International Photographic Competition.
For her first time, Sara became a bronze medalist when she went 4 for 4 (all four images received merits).
Competition Year: 2015 / Exhibition Year: 2016
Blue Eyed Beauty earned a prior Seal of Approval at the district level, guaranteeing its merit at IPC.
Competition Year: 2014 / Exhibition Year: 2015
Two of Sara’s images received The Loan Collection honor the first year she ever entered the International Competition. Today this is one of her biggest professional accomplishments!
The Loan Collection is the highest honor of the International Photographic Competition through the Professional Photographers of America.
Loan images go on to be published in their very own Loan Collection Book.
Simple Wonder earned a prior Seal of Approval at the district level, guaranteeing its merit at IPC. It then went to the Loan Collection.
In April 2015, the print titled He Will Move Mountains won 3rd place in the newborn portrait category of Shutterfest’s 2015 Image Competition.
He Will Move Mountains is published and featured in physical print in June’s 2015 issue of Shutter Magazine, which is sold nationwide on Barnes & Noble bookshelves and can also be found in the online store here.
In 2014, Sara placed in the Top Ten of the Missouri Professional Photographers of America Image Competition at the Fotochaos Convention.
She was awarded a Juror’s Choice Ribbon Award (a judge’s favorite pick) and a 4 for 4 pin, meaning each of her 4 top scoring entries in the competition scored an 80 or above (a merit print), which is no easy feat.
In 2015 and 2016, Sara placed for her 2nd & 3rd consecutive years in the Top Ten of the Missouri Professional Photographers of America Image Competition at the Fotochaos Convention.
(Sara is pictured in the bottom right in 2015.)
She also consecutively went 4 for 4, scoring in the merit category for all 4 of her top images in both 2015 and 2016.
In 2013, Sara was contacted by the editor of a New York magazine who asked to feature one of her images on the front cover of their ParentGuide News Publication.
The magazine uses images for their covers from companies such as The Children’s Place and Land’s End, so this was quite the honor.
The magazine in print was delivered to a large multitude of residents in several New York cities
and is featured online here.