Photographic competitions around the world such as AIPP APPA, SWPP and WPPI have some clear and strict rules when it comes to entering composites.

While it’s challenging to stick to those rules, I’ve found personally that this has pushed me to work harder, and refine my process.

Watch the Live Judging with Mark Rossetto here (aired originally in the Story Art Facebook Group)

That’s why this month’s challenge was all about playing by some very specific rules. If you are interested in entering one of these world class photographic competitions, the results and judging of this monthly comp will help you prepare.

Congratulations to first place winner Charm Hauraki

And Congratulations to Runner Up Pam Korman

The rules have been taken from the current AIPP rules for composites.

Basically the competition was all about following a set of rules. You’ll need to read through the specifics but the gist of it is:

All the photography must be your own (no stock)
90% photographic (I’m being lenient, the other comps it’s 100%)
Main subject must have been shot within the last 2 years, other elements within the last 5 (also being lenient, most comps it’s all within the last 2 years).
I hope this challenges you photographically and inspires you to try something new.

The Rules


  • Name your file with your first and last name prior to uploading
  • Ensure image is at least 2000px on the longest side


The words in red are Story Art altered rules (original rules for AIPP are stricture)

Entries must be 90% photographic in origin. (use of brushes, drawing and textures are allowed as supporting elements as long as they do not exceed 10% of the final creation)
• All elements in an image must be the work of the photographer.
• The use of stock photography, purchasable digital backgrounds, skies, borders and textures is prohibited.
• Main Subject Image must be from original exposures made within the last 24 months of the closing date of the Awards (supporting elements may be up to 5 years old)
• All Images taken over the duration of a workshop, tutorial, or similar where the primary focus of the event is for education are ineligible. This is irrespective of whether the image submitted was captured or created under the direct instruction of the educator/presenter or not. This rule only applies to attendees of workshops, tutorials and educational/training events. Instructors, student, emerging members and attendees of photo-tours where the primary focus is not educational are exempt.

• Photographs that have been plagiarized will be disqualified. Knowingly or sub consciously copying a photograph where ALL or the majority of the elements are the same (i.e., same subject matter, pose, location, concept, crop, finishing etc.) may be considered plagiarism if not enough elements are considered different or treated differently enough to be considered a homage. Recreating or emulating paintings, sculptures or other non-photographic works of art either in their entirety part there of in an entry is not considered plagiarism as the execution to achieve the desired result is of a different artistic discipline. Copying or emulating a pose, style or a concept is not considered plagiarism.
• Re-photographing existing photographs or images for any purpose other than creating a supporting element or background will be disqualified, unless the existing image is the work of the entrant, 100% photographic and was taken within 24 months prior to the close of entry.
• Re-photographed images to create supporting elements or backgrounds either created by the entrant or by a third party (such as purchased physical backdrops, publicly displayed advertising, photographs or paintings) may help contribute to the narrative of the entry however they must not be the main subject or focus of the image. E.g.. a portrait of a soldier taken in front of a print of a WW11 soldier may be acceptable, but entering a re-photographed print of the WW11 portrait in its entirety is prohibited.
• Composite/component elements of an image must be 100% photographic in origin, be the work of the entrant and have been shot within 24 months prior to the close of entry.
• All entrants must be able to provide evidence of a legal and or moral right to use all of the elements depicted within the entry. Failure to provide such proof may result in the disqualification of the entry.
• All entrants must be able to supply a copy or proof of each element used to create the final image to prove its photographic origin if requested. Failure to provide such proof may result in the disqualification of the entry.
• No titles or marks which identify the author are permitted on the front of the entry; this includes the mat board. Non-photographic copy/text may only be included when stipulated in the category rules and requirements.

To read of my previous experience entering the APPAs visit:

View All the Entries

To view the judging from the previous month watch here:

July Challenge Competition Results


The winner will receive a $50 coupon to spend at the DIGITAL STORE


Results are also shared in the Story Art Facebook Group

Karen Alsop

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