Unless stated otherwise under the category rules below & requirements the following applies to all entries:


  • Entries must be 100% photographic in origin. 
  • 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.
  • Images must be from original exposures made within the last 24 months of the closing date of the Awards
  • The category rules and requirements accompanying the category descriptions in this document (pages 11 to 22) form part of the rules.
  • 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.


  • No two images entered are to contain the same subject. The intent of the awards is to produce four unique, content-diverse images. 
  • Images entered must have been taken on different occasions and of different subject matter.
  • If two images are considered to be of the same subject, we will attempt to contact the photographer to discuss this, but if contact cannot be made, we will retain the first image uploaded in the entry process as identified in the barcode number and disqualify the other(s) so that judging can take place. 
  • The Awards Team decision is final, and no discussion will be entered into.


  • Prints must be created by the entrant or under the entrant’s direct instruction, including all post production and printing work. 
  • 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.
  • Entrants MUST acknowledge the printer, retoucher and/or other creative contributors on the online entry form.
  • Where further digital manipulation is allowed, digital technologies can be used to assemble images, manipulate and adjust photographic elements in any manner, but not to create new elements. 
  • 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. 
  • Unless otherwise stipulated in the individual category rules and requirements all borders and textures must be 100% photographic in origin and captured by the entrant.
  • 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.
  • No images from any previous APPA or AIPP State Professional Photography Awards can be entered


The winner receives a certificate, trophy and $250 cash 

This category is for documentary, press, birth and sport photography. Entrants are encouraged to provide a caption and or title with their submission, to assist judges in understanding the content and context of the image. Judges in this category are asked to consider content, composition, impact and narrative quality.

Images should depict some aspect of the human condition, and generally speaking photographs of animals should be entered into Pet/Animal, Science, Wildlife and Wild Places, Illustrative or Portraiture categories. Unless they contain sufficient human content to make them relevant to this category, landscapes and urban environments should be entered into the Landscape, Travel or Science, Wildlife and Wild Places categories.  


In addition to the core rules and requirements stipulated above

  • Entrants may provide a caption to assist the judges in assessing the image properly (see caption guidelines). Captions are limited to a maximum of 50 words per image.
  • The caption if provided must be included with the on-line entry form.
  • Entries into this category may be commissioned or self-commissioned.
  • Photographs must be single capture images.
  • Multiple single capture images may be presented as diptychs, triptychs etc.
  • The content of the image(s) must not be altered; there can be no additions or deletions, and no misleading the viewer by manipulation of the tonal and colour balance to disguise elements of an image or to change the content or context. 
  • There should be no attempt to deceive the viewer by misrepresenting reality or changing the image’s content, context or meaning. 
  • Post production is limited to any changes that might be made using conventional darkroom techniques, such as spotting dust and scratches, dodging and burning, and adjusting contrast and other levels. Composite images and photos with special effects, borders and added backgrounds are not permitted. 
  • Cropping the image is permitted, as is conversion to black and white.
  • All images must have been observed, but not fabricated or created in any way by the photographer. The photographs must be un-posed and without the intervention of the photographer. If the photographer deliberately places an object in the frame or directs someone to stand or sit in a particular location or pose, this would be considered ‘created’ and the image should be entered in another category.
  • The Awards Team reserves the right to request original RAW file(s), slide(s) or negative(s) and/or to disqualify images where post-processing is deemed to have exceeded acceptable photo-journalistic practices. 
  • In the instance of birth photography written consent must be obtained from each medical facility (such as hospital or birth centre) or medical/ support personnel where they are easily identifiable in an image. Means of identification include both written content, such as signs, name-tags, medical records and equipment, and visual content such as person’s faces and physical appearance.
  • Wedding photos are eligible as long as they are truly found, not created.

This category will be judged in three sections, Documentary, Sport, and Birth.

Although the Category is judged in three sections to assist the judges in their assessment, there is only one Award.

The composition of the judging panels may change in order to include judges with relevant experience and expertise in each section.

The winner of the category will receive the core category trophy and the title relevant to the nature of the work entered if requested.  E.g. “The 2017 AIPP State Birth Photographer of the Year” can be requested if the winning submission contains 4 birth images.