The competition will be conducted across ten categories in two divisions. Prizes will be awarded to the top five entries in each category.

Newcomers and Students may enter any category but will compete for separate awards and prizes of their own.

We have separated the various categories into two separate divisions to best cater for all members, from traditionalists working in a more documentary style to innovators pushing the boundaries of photographic artistry.

CREATIVE – in this division entrants are free to utilise the entire available range of digital editing techniques, including compositing, to create the final image – in other words, as long as the entry is 100% photographic and 100% the work of the entrant, pretty much anything goes.

CLASSIC – In this division all entries must be derived from a single source file created in-camera. Source files may be digital or film-based, including images created by traditional processes, but must be entered as digital files. Entrants may edit these files for the purpose of refinement and expression, but can not use any pixels from any other source, other than the original source file. Cloning of minor elements is permitted for retouching purposes but no major elements of the original image may be replicated, rearranged, reversed or mirrored.

Student – students currently enrolled at registered Australian tertiary institutions can enter images into any category but are limited to a total of three entries.

Student entries will be judged anonymously alongside all other entries in whatever category they are entered. This is a great opportunity to see how the images you are producing in the course of your studies stack up against practicing professionals. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Newcomer – this category is for members who are first-time entrants who have never entered previous AIPP state or national Awards. Newcomers can enter up to five entries per category in as many categories as they wish.

This category is for all the AIPP members who have for one reason or another never entered either state or national awards. Maybe you lacked confidence in the quality of your work or were intimidated by the thought of it being judged in public, maybe you kept meaning to but never got around to it, maybe you couldn’t afford to enter. Now is your opportunity to take those images out of self-isolation and find out what our judges think about them.


PORTRAIT: Portraits of people and/or pets and/or wild animals

Portraiture is one of photography’s oldest and most enduring genres but has evolved far beyond the original considerations of posing and lighting. What exactly is meant by “portrait” today? Likeness, character and mood are all key elements, but the expression of those elements can range from literal to highly conceptual. In this category you can push boundaries and bend rules – or simply excel in a more traditional manner. Emotional connection will often triumph over technique, and personality over “person”. Entries can feature one person or many, families, strangers, babies, pets, animals and so on.


PLACES: Built or natural landscape

This category is for photographs of both the natural and constructed world we inhabit. Your subject could be a broad landscape, a forest or a single tree, a city building or the carpark on its roof, a suburban backyard or a loungeroom. Somehow it should encompass the idea of “environment” or impart a sense of place. Beyond that, interpret as you will. Descriptive and conceptual pictures are equally encouraged. We just want to see great photographs, real or imagined, of the world that surrounds us. (Please note that photographs of wildlife and wild places may be better placed in the Classic/Wild category)


GOODS & SERVICES: Commercial, industrial, architectural, food, fashion, sport

One of the primary applications of professional photography is the commercial representation of services, products and infrastructure. This includes advertising, industrial, architectural, food, fashion and sports photography. If your work has been shot for any of these commercial purposes, this is the category for you. Judges will assess both the image itself and its fulfillment of a commercial application.


CELEBRATION: Weddings, parties, festivities

In a year where communal gatherings have all but disappeared, let’s wallow in pictures that show us how good life is when the party spirit is upon us. Getting hitched, turning one or twenty-one or a hundred, rocking out at a music festival or the local pub, barbecuing at the beach, communing with your tribe behind the home goal, playing backyard cricket, camping by a river or toasting 50 years in the same house. We want to see pictures that celebrate life, bursting with human spirit! (Please note that we have placed this category in the Creative division in order to allow our many wedding photographers to enter composited images, but photographs of a more documentary nature are also encouraged.)


PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION: Digital artistry

This category is for all manner of digitally composited images and photo illustrations. Pretty much anything goes. We’re looking for artistic expression of the highest level, without boundaries – ingeniously constructed flights of imagination, richly layered storytelling, multiple exposures, collages. There is no limit on file creation dates for individual component images but the entry itself must have been created on or after June 1, 2015. Film-based entries are also permitted but must be submitted as digital files.


LIFE: Editorial, street, documentary

As Elliott Erwitt says, photography is “… simply a function of noticing things…about seeing. You either see, or you don’t see.” Only one point of view, to be sure, but many of the medium’s most memorable images – quite a few of them Erwitt’s – are of moments observed in real life and captured in-camera, and not later reimagined on a computer. This category, then, is for those who prefer fact over fiction. You can enter editorial work, portraiture, images from the street, scenes from everyday life, statements about the human condition. If your pictures involve people being who they are or doing what they do, we’d like to see them.


WILD: The natural world: flora, fauna, wild places

This category is for photographs of the natural world. This includes plants, animals and wild places. Interpretation of the subject can be literal or otherwise, but please note there is a separate category for abstract images that may also be considered. The usual rules apply: no people, no manmade objects, no captive animals or pets. Technical or scientific specialisations involving multiple source files such as macro-photography, micro-photography and astro-photography should be entered in the Creative division, where compositing is permitted.


JOURNEYS: Travel, culture, customs

Travel by its very nature is a fluid concept. It can occur nearby or far away, in your own neighbourhood, a never-visited suburb or on the other side of the world. Travel photography is equally open-ended, defined only by your experience and powers of observation. In its most familiar form it may feature visual icons of tourism like Uluru or the temples of Angkor Wat, but might also focus on street life, architecture, food, apparel, culture or customs. It can be about the big picture or serendipitous details. In this category we are looking for images that are rich with a sense of place and connect us with somewhere new and different in an age of temporary isolation. Take us on a journey.


ISOLATED: Photographs addressing the theme of ‘isolation’

Everything has shrunk this year and we’re still trying to figure out whether isolationism is more a novel lifestyle of limited duration or a whole new way of life. Shuttering our lives goes against human nature but it has provoked us to think differently about how we lead them. How exactly does one portray the concept of “isolated” visually? Tricky, and from recently published evidence in visual media, not easily. We’re hoping this category will challenge many of you to come up with compelling images of isolation, either as problem or solution. Entries don’t have to refer directly to the coronavirus pandemic; it’s the idea we are interested in.


ABSTRACT: In-camera art, including aerials, closeups, blurs, double exposures, etc

In this category we are looking for pictures of the world as it isn’t, at least at first glance. Think of all the times you have taken a photograph of something not because of the information it contained or the purpose it served, but purely because it provoked an irresistible visual response. A battle being fought between cloud armies, the patterns in tree bark, a Mondrian-esque landscape seen from above, a closeup of a peeling billboard. It could be a found image or an idea you’ve expressed by artfully moving your camera with the shutter speed set to 1/8th of a second. Make the judges work a bit, challenge them to understand and appreciate a different way of seeing. Please note that in-camera multiple exposures are permitted in this category.

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