PID Photo Essay Contest

Photo Essay Contest Director

✉ Ann Alimi·


The PID Photo Essay Contest is for digital shows of still images and/or video taken by PSA members. An essay must have a theme or storyline. Text, music, sound effects, still images, video clips, narration, transitions, drone/GoPro stills and video, and digital special effects are allowed. Essays are judged on the photography, storyline, and presentation. There are three sections: Color, Monochrome, and Video.

Deadline: July 1



  • Online entry only - use the Entry form and video upload area to fill out the entry form and upload your essay.
  • Members can enter up to two (2) PID Photo Essay in each section: Color, Monochrome, and Video (Color and/or Monochrome).
  • A specific essay may be submitted to only one PSA division each year.

Judging Criteria

  • The Color and Monochrome Photo Essays will be judged by three qualified judges. The Video Photo Essays will be judged by three different qualified judges.
  • Judging criteria - Word Doc or PDF.
  • Following the judging, entrants receive the cumulative score of the three judges for each of the judging criteria and the total score for each essay entered.


  • First, Second, and Third Place medals will be awarded in each section, if warranted.
  • Four Honorable Mention (HM) ribbons will be awarded in each section, if warranted.
  • The Award essays are presented at the PSA Annual Conference.
  • The Award and HM essays are linked from this page on the PSA website (see above).
  • By entering this contest entrants give PSA permission to show their essays at the PSA Conference and on the PSA website.
  • Essays receiving a First, Second, or Third place medal or an HM ribbon earn four (4) acceptances and two (2) title credits that can be applied to PID Star Ratings 1 to 5 Mono or Color depending on the section entered. Essays receiving a First, Second, or Third place medal or an HM ribbon earn three (3) acceptances and one (1) title credit that can be applied to PID Galaxies 1 to 10. Diamond Ratings are excluded from receiving acceptance/title credits from this contest.

Eligibility & Rules

  • Essays can have a maximum running time of no more than five (5) minutes.
  • There is no limit to the number of images that may be included.
  • There are no restrictions on the subject matter, content, or special effects.
  • For Color essays, monochrome images can make up no more than 5% of the essay.
  • For Monochrome essays, color images can make up no more than 5% of the essay.
  • For Color and Monochrome essays, video clips can make up no more than 40% of the essay.
  • For Video essays, still images can make up no more than 40% of the essay.
  • Photos or art not made by the entrant (for example, photos of historical persons, photos of the earth from space, historical photos of buildings or maps, etc., needed to tell the story) can comprise no more than 10% of the essay.
  • Video Essays can include color and/or monochrome video clips and/or images in any proportion, as long as the still images make up no more than 40% of the essay.
  • The video size must be 720p.
  • File format must be mp4 (if available: html5, H.264), mov, or avi. No proprietary file format of a video editing software program is allowed. PowerPoint (ppt), Keynote (key), or Executable (exe) files must be converted to acceptable file formats.
  • The entrant's name may not appear in any way that is obvious to the judging panel.
  • Permitted music is music that follows Internet copyright laws allowing it to be played on websites. Entrant will be informed if there is a problem with the music. Music credits should appear at the end of the essay.
  • Recommended music sites are listed in MyPSA. Members already logged in can reach the Photo Show Music Guidelines page directly.

Model Release May be Requested if winning image is a portrait and PSA wishes to publish it

If there is no Model Release available, the image may win but cannot be published. For those who do not have a Model Release, Sample Model Release Form - doc - interactive pdf - both of these forms can be filled out and saved on a mobile or desktop device. 

Consultant Help

Eleanore Avery, APSA, is the PSA Consultant for Creating Digital Shows and she was one of the three judges for the 2015 PID Photo Essay Contest.  Eleanore is available to help PSA members create and develop a Photo Essay, and she will also review an essay and make suggestions for improvement. Contact Eleanore Avery.