Kristin Merck Named Gold Medalist at International Photographic Competition, 2022

I have been entering Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA) International Print Competition for 8 years and this year I was thrilled to have been named a Gold Medalist! 

A panel of 36 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from over 5,000 total submitted entries at PPA headquarters in Atlanta. Judged against a standard of excellence (and not against each other), 1,926 images were selected for the Merit Collection and 1,225 (roughly 24 percent) were selected for the esteemed Imaging Excellence Collection—the best of the best. The Imaging Excellence (IE) Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated ” Excellence Collection” book by Marathon Press.

I was thrilled to have all four of my photographic images accepted into the merit collection and two of those were additionally accepted into the IE collection! Additionally, these two images were also two of the top 10 images in the Northeast District’s “Children’s Portrait” category.

In the artist category (my first year entering that), one of my images was accepted into the merit and then the IE collection.

Here are my three images accepted into the Imaging Excellence Collection.

(The two newborns were in the Photographic Category and my dog, Molly, was entered in the Artist Category)

Gift From Above by Kristin Merck
Gift from Above
Tranquility by Kristin Merck
Treats? by Kristin Merck

The level of the award is determined by how many of those four images receive the highest possible honor: acceptance into the PPA Imaging Excellence Collection, which is displayed at photographic exhibitions, conventions, and other photography events. 

This year I was named a Gold Medalist, meaning that two of my four merited images entered the PPA Imaging Excellence Collection.I was one of only 103 Gold Medalists from over 1,100 photographers participating! The other two that were not selected for the IE Collection were selected for the Showcase Collection (chosen from merit images that were not selected for IE), two of only 300 images chosen. 

Here are my two images accepted into the Showcase Collection.

Lifelong Bond by Kristin Merck
Lifelong Bond
Pure Love by Kristin Merck
Pure Love

I entered three additional images into the Artist category, in which you are judged on how well you transform an image (or series of images) as well as overall presentation and 11 other standards of excellence. All elements shown in the final image are shown as thumbnails along side the final image. This was my first year entering and I put a ton of hours into these. I was sad that none of them earned a merit, but I still love how they turned out and it is a learning experience for sure! So here are my three entries that did not earn a merit.

Midas's Last Touch by Kristin Merck
Midas’s Last Touch
Snow Queen by Kristin Merck
Snow Queen
Love's Cocoon by Kristin Merck
Love’s Cocoon

And lastly, I just wanted to share the original images of three of my images to show you where they started vs the final entry. I am very proud that the majority of my award-winning images have been client work, but you can see that there is quite a few hours put into taking them to that next level.

Gift From Above by Kristin Merck
Pure Love by Kristin Merck
Tranquility by Kristin Merck
Tranquility by Kristin Merck

My images will be on display at the upcoming Imaging USA, held January 2022 in National Harbor, Maryland, where I will also get to walk the stage for earning my Master of Photography Degree. Imaging USA is one of the largest annual conventions and expos for professional photographers.

About PPA:

Founded in 1868, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest and longest-standing nonprofit photography trade association. It currently helps 30,000 professionals elevate their craft and grow their business with resources, protection, and education, all under PPA’s core guiding principle of bridging the gap between photographers and consumers.