Frequently Asked Questions

Start here with some FAQs we see time and time again. This list will grow as we edge towards the opening date of our comp and we remember more info you need! Feel free to send your questions to so they can be added to this page and help a fellow entrant. All for one and one for all! 

How does the State Awards and APPA amalgamation work? Do I need to enter twice, once for each comp?

This year, for a multitude of reasons, the AIPP Epson State awards have been amalgamated into our national awards, APPA. We are calling this event "APPA + State Awards".
Whilst is it disappointing that the State Awards are not able to run in each individual state and territory, the fantastic news is, entrants now pay only ONE ENTRY FEE yet they compete in TWO AWARDS. Entrants prepare ONE set of prints, yet they are competing for titles at TWO levels: state and national.
All entries will be publicly judged and scored once only, however, state and national PPY sessions will run to determine overall winners. These PPY sessions are closed to the public to preserve the surprise of who wins what.
One fee, one set of entries = competing in two awards. Way more bang for your entry buck!

How can I volunteer at APPA + AIPP Epson State Awards?

We're looking for energetic, enthusiastic, eager people to volunteer their time at APPA. This is a rewarding experience with a great team of people and training is provided on-site, with no prior experience necessary. Read more and sign up HERE.

Is there a cost to watch the judging in-person in Melbourne?

No there is no cost - it is free to attend and open to all! If you have a love for stunning printed photography, please come along and enjoy the thrill of live judging and view our fabulous galleries of awarded images - ever-changing over the four days of the event.

Those who attend will be required to sign in via QR code for contact-tracing purposes, in line with Covid-protocols.

Do I need to print images for the awards?

Yes you do - that's what makes our awards different and special - we celebrate the art of the printed image.

If you need assistance printing your images prior to entry, please reach out to your State Coordinator for relevant print lab suggestions in your area. Keep your eyes peeled on the AIPP Events page as Print Critiques and Print Workshops will feature before entries close - these activities offer a wealth of information to those new to printing.

Will this event be livestreamed?

Yes, we will be providing a free livestream feed so that entrants from all over the world can watch the live judging online. More information about where to access this content will be released as the awards begin.

Please note that, due to a very tight schedule, the live-judging will not stop should we experience any technical difficulties with the livestream feed. In this way, some live-judging may not feature online. The only way to ensure you can definitely view a live-judging session is to attend the event in-person.

Where can I get a print case?

We have TWO print case options you can consider for purchase.

Option One: A durable, long-lasting print case as used by professional photographers can be purchased via the AIPP website here. These print cases cost $155 and they last for decades, accommodate up to 12 mounted prints at one time and require no extra packaging when sending them in the post or via courier. This is the print case to choose if you intend to enter more than one printed photography competition.

Option Two: AIPP sponsor, Bespoke Packaging, is offering cardboard print cases that are AIPP Awards Approved. You can purchase these cases directly from Bespoke Packaging here at a cost of 18.95 each (plus P & H). These cases will hold four matted prints and are re-useable for a limited period of time. You will need to make sure your case is carefully taped prior to sending it to APPA so that the case can be opened and then reused to send your prints home (that means please don't apply an overly excitable amount of tape as we need to get in and out of the case on your behalf!). This is the case to purchase if you are new to awards and testing the waters or if you are budget conscious.

Please allow at least two weeks for delivery of either case.  You should order your print case by the end of July (or preferably earlier) to give yourself time to receive the print case, and then submit your printed entries on time.

Do I need an official print case?

Yes, you need an official print case when entering the awards. At the national awards, we have hundreds of entrants. Print cases allow us to ensure each entrant's prints are stored in an orderly way and safely returned. We have TWO options of official print cases for you to choose from, as outlined above.

The only exception to this rule is if you are a student entrant If you are using your educational institution's print case, all images will be returned in this print case and delivered back to the school. Students who do not submit their images via an institutions print case may send their images securely wrapped and packed - please ensure the packaging can be used to return post the prints to you at the conclusion of the awards.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR OVERSEAS ENTRANTS: 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, and a further $60 for NZ or $110 for the rest of the world for return shipping. If no payment is included, entries will not be returned.

What is a print critique?

A print critique is held in your local state before APPA + State Awards. A print critique gives you an opportunity to receive feedback on your images before entering them into the awards - they are invaluable events! The AIPP events page lists these events as they become available - print critiques are currently running so check the events page out and book your tickets!.

What are the judges looking for?

Please visit 'Judging / Scoring / Determining Winners' under the Rules to learn more about what AIPP judges will be looking for during APPA + AIPP Epson State Awards.

I am a first-time AIPP member entrant, can you explain the process?

Firstly - welcome! We're delighted to have you on board as a print awards entrant!
Head to our dedicated page to help out first timers.

Do I have to do online registration or just send in physical versions of my entries?

You must complete an online entry for all entries. This online entry is the back bone of the awards system and images uploaded are used in live streaming of the awards and in promoting winning entries after the awards are complete.

The awards open online on Wednesday 18th August 2021 here.

Why do I have to provide my original capture files? 

We need these files for the scrutineering process we have in place to protect the integrity of our awards. You can read more about scrutineering in our Rules under Core Rules & Fine Print. 

If I don’t enter 4 images, can I win the category?

If you don't enter 4 prints into the one category you can't win the category. Categories can only be won by an accredited member or non-member professional photographer that enters 4 prints into the one category. Read more under Entry Fees in the Rules.

After judging, how to I find my scores?

Find your scores by clicking here.

After the awards have taken place, how long until I get my print case returned to me?

After the awards are completed they are sent to the post office the following day. Your case should be returned to you by Wednesday 3rd November. Please contact if you have not received your print case by this date.

What is the requirement for the minimum size of my image?

The visible image must be at least 25cms on the longest side. It is recommended to print the image slightly larger so when the matting is attached the longest edge is still at least 25cms. Prints that are smaller than 25cms on the longest side will be disqualified and will not be refunded. We don't want to be in the position of delivering this bad news - please read and follow the Image Presentation Requirements very carefully under the Rules.

When will we know the judging schedule?

We can't advise the judging schedule until after the close of entries. Once we know the number of entries in each category then the judging schedule will be announced by email and on social media. Expect this announcement prior to September 30th 2021.

What happened to the two-year rule?

Due to feedback received from previous entrants, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Awards Committee, with the support of the AIPP National Board, made the decision to abolish the two-year rule. All entries must now have been created in the 21st century - on or after January 1st 2000.

For the Family Category, what is the definition of “Immediate Family?”

The definition of an immediate family member includes:

de facto partner
sibling, or
child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the individual's spouse or de facto partner
This definition includes step-relations, for example, step-parents and step-children.

This definition, along with other important definitions, is listed under Fine Print in the Rules. We recommend you ensure you have read the 2021 APPA Rules thoroughly before entry as significant changes have been made.

If I enter a photo book, can this be sent in the print case with prints or does it need to be shipped separately?

If the photo book fits in the print case then yes, send in together, but if it doesn’t make sure it is packed well in a box that we can ship back to you.

Does my fee include the return postage?

Yes. Yay!

Should I print my print labels in colour or black and white?

Please print your labels in colour.

I have an Authentic Edit image but the category I want to enter has only Corrective Edit and Creative Edit categories - what do I do?

Authentic Edit images are, in simple definition, images that are straight out of camera with only very minor post-processing adjustments or edits. Corrective Edit images are the same, however, in Corrective Edit, you can, so long as the intent of the image is preserved, retouch or remove dog leads, hands and other such elements involved in the production of the image.
Therefore, with this distinction in mind, if Authentic Edit is not an available sub-category, please select Corrective Edit for your image entry.
You can read more about the three types of sub-category under Core Rules: Must Read.

I have a question that isn't answered here!

We've only just begun fleshing out the FAQs - there will be more detail to follow over the coming months.
If you can't find the answer you're looking for, email We'll help you, then add your question to this list so it helps others too.

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Need help with your entries?

View the help/faq and rules. If you still need assistance email

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As the peak industry body for photo and video AIPP supports anyone interested in image-making at any level.


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