Competition Rules – Updated September, 2019

Categories: Three competitions are available to each SJCC member:

  • Digital
  • Color Prints
  • Monochrome Prints

The groups within each competition are:

  • Beginner: individuals with little or no photographic experience and no knowledge of professional post-processing. No portfolio review will be required.
  • Intermediate: individuals with some experience in photography and post processing. Those who enter art shows and juried shows. There will be a portfolio review for new members.
  • Advanced: experienced photographers. Those who use their photographic skills to provide or augment their income. Those who enter juried art shows and exhibitions. A portfolio will be required of new members.
  • Salon: master level photographers, those who use their photographic skills to provide or augment their incomes. Those who are frequent entrants in juried art shows and exhibitions.  New members cannot enter at this level, however, if an exception arises, it would require a portfolio review and Board approval.

A member is in the same category in all competitions.

Criteria for advancement:

  • Beginner to Intermediate/Intermediate to Advanced: individuals who achieve first place in cumulative scores at the end of the year in any of the three competitions automatically advance to the next group the following season. Additionally, any individual accumulating 3 or more second or third place medals within 3 consecutive years of competition at the same level will advance to the next level the season after meeting this requirement.
  • Advanced to Salon: Advanced group members do not automatically enter the salon group. Salon group membership is by invitation only. Members must have participated in both digital and print competitions and be active members of the club.
  • Members at any level may petition for a change in group, including entry into the salon group. This will require a portfolio review of photographs not already submitted to SJCC competitions. Please note that a petition to change groups (either up or down) after the competition season has begun will result in forfeiture of any points already earned that season.
  • The club reserves the right to change a member’s group during the competition season if that member is placed in a group that is either above or below their skill level. In these cases competition points will transfer to the newly assigned group from the old one.


  • Competitions are open only to SJCC members in good standing.
  • Images that have previously acquired eight or nine points in an SJCC competition are not eligible.
  • Images that earned any number of points in competitions prior to the 2012-2013 season are ineligible, as are those that won seven or more points in the 2012-2013 season.
  • All images must meet the selected subject requirements as determined by the chairperson of the competition.
  • Any image that is not eligible due to previous entry in an SJCC competition cannot be entered into another SJCC competition category even if it has been reworked. This includes conversion to or from color or monochrome.
  • Pictures that are so similar as to be almost identical to those that have previously acquired points in an SJCC competition are ineligible for re‑entry in another SJCC competition.
  • Pictures may not have text added to either the photograph, mat, or mounting. Examples include title, maker’s name, or other descriptions or comments.
  • A member may challenge any entry. The challenge must be made directly to the competition chairperson at the end of the competition. Final decision will rest with the chairperson. In his or her absence, the President or Vice President will decide.
  • Copies of works of art that lack artistic interpretation are not eligible.
  • All images and post processing of those images must be the work of the member entering the image.
  • A print must have an SJCC label filled out and attached to its back to be eligible for a competition.
  • The same picture cannot be entered into two categories on the same judging date.
  • For inter-club and outside organizations in which SJCC may become involved, members are to be guided by additional rules that will be supplied by the Executive Committee or the sponsoring organization.

Number Of Entries

Each member may enter one picture in each category for which they are eligible.

Entering A Print Competition

All entries for competitions will be submitted to the Competition Chairperson by 7:15 with an SJCC label filled out and attached to the back of the print. The Competition Chairperson is not responsible for images left after the competition.

Presenting Prints For Competition

  • Prints must have a minimum image size of 5 inches by 7 inches and maximum size of 22 inches by 22 inches.
  • All prints must be mounted, one image per mount. Framed prints are not allowed.
  • Minimum mount size is 8 inches by 10 inches.
  • Maximum mount size is 22 inches by 22 inches.
  • All prints must be marked on the back with “TOP” for orientation, along with the maker’s name, title, and the group (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Salon) in which it is entered.
  • Prints may be made by any source.
  • Hand colored prints shall be judged in the color print category.
  • A monochrome print is defined as having no more than one color such as gray, sepia, selenium etc.
  • Monochrome prints (as defined above) are not allowed in the Color Print Competition. A naturally occurring colorless image such as a snow scene is permissible as long as it hasn’t been de-saturated or converted to grayscale.
  • A digital copy of each print must be submitted through the club’s web site Digital Upload page by Sunday midnight prior to the Tuesday meeting, following the same rules as applied to the Digital Competition (see below).

Digital Photo Competition

Preparing Images For Submission
Resolution: Photographs will be projected using a projector having 1400 pixels in the horizontal direction and 1050 pixels in the vertical direction. Photographs must fit within those dimensions. Unless your photograph’s proportions are in the exact ratio of 4 to 3, one of these dimensions will be less than the maximum. For example, if you have a vertical photograph, the height will be 1050 pixels, but the width will be significantly less than 1400 pixels. A square photograph will be 1050 pixels by 1050 pixels under these rules.

  • File Size: No restriction
  • File Format: jpg
  • Color Space: sRGB

Digital picture submission through the web-site

Go to the Member’s Only menu at the top of the page (you must be logged in) and follow the link to the Uploading Photos for Competition page where you will find detailed instructions. The deadline for submission is 9pm on the Sunday prior to the Tuesday meeting.


The Program Chairperson provides the judge for the competition. If the judge scheduled for the evening is not present for any reason, a judge will be selected from the members present. Selection will be by the President, Vice President or Competition Chairperson, in that order.

Competition Awards

The judge will select a Judge’s Choice Award from the highest scores in each category. One additional point will be awarded. Judge’s Choice Awards will only be selected and awarded if there are 3 or more entries in the competition class.

Award Points – Points will be awarded as follows:

  • 9 Points (Merit Award: Compelling Image, Excellent Image Quality; Worthy Of Consideration For The Judge’s Choice (First Place) Award, Cannot Be Resubmitted.
  • 8 Points (Honor Award): Compelling Image, Excellent Image Quality. Cannot Be Resubmitted.
  • 7 Points: Excellent Image Quality. Can Be Resubmitted.
  • 6 Points: Average Image, Technically Acceptable. Can Be Resubmitted.
  • 4 or 5 Points: Images That Need Improvement. Can Be Resubmitted.
  • 3 Points: Images that do not meet the assigned topic or competition rules as determined by the chairman or the judge. Can Be Resubmitted.

Annual Awards

1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for the season (September – June) will be given based on total accumulated points in the 3 competition categories.

  • Monochrome Print Competitions
  • Color Print Competition
  • Digital Competition

The awards are given for each group: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Salon