Director, PSA Portfolios Distinction Program✉ Jill Sneesby, APSA, MFIAP, ESFIAP·
To earn a Portfolio Distinction, a photographer produces a body of work that reflects his/her personal styles and photographic interest and submits it for review. A photographer may earn three levels of Portfolio Distinctions, each requiring a higher degree of both creative talent and number of submitted images.
A PSA member may apply for a Portfolio Distinction starting with the BPSA, then the SPSA and finally the GPSA.
To achieve a Portfolio Distinction, a PSA member must complete three steps and have his/her portfolio accepted by a panel of assessors:
Portfolios are reviewed during designated sessions.
|IMPORTANT UPDATES AND NEWS:
Photovaultonline is open for the 3rd 2021 Assessment. Closing date is August 31. As usual, if all places are filled before then it will be closed early.
Results for the 2nd Assessment have been delayed and results will only be available towards the end of June.
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|Level||Must Include||# images in Portfolio||Other requirements|
|BPSA - Bronze||Overview Image, Title and Statement of Intent||10||Current PSA Individual Membership|
|SPSA - Silver||Overview Image, Title and Statement of Intent||15||BPSA + Current PSA Individual Membership|
|GPSA - Gold||Overview Image, Title and Statement of Intent||20||BPSA, SPSA + Current PSA Individual Membership|
The application number is part of the hyphenated number provided on your confirmation email. The number has four parts as in these examples: 18-1-21-00, 18-1-21-01. The first three numbers (18-1-21 in the examples) is your application number. The last number is your print number, with the 00 being the number for your Overview Image and the rest being the print number. Be sure these print numbers agree with the positon of the prints on your Overview Image.
The Overview Image, both the printed and the digital versions, must show the prints in their final form as submitted and must include any matt used.
In addition to uploading your digital files you will also need to have your prints delivered to an address which will be supplied. More than likely, your prints will need to be shipped to HQ PSA, 8241 S. Walker Ave, Suite 104, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73139 USA.
If you wish to have them returned to you after the assessment they should be packed using reusable packaging. If you do not wish to have them returned please advise us accordingly.
Cost for shipping both to and from the assessment/conference is for your own account. Please make contact prior to shipping your prints to discuss your requirements and method of payment.
If your portfolio is successful it will be retained for exhibiting at the conference and will only be returned after the conference. Alternatively you may collect it at the conference.
Updated February, 2019
Please contact Lee Pratt for info prior to preparing your 3D Portfolio
Equipment to Assess
The 3D images portfolios will be viewed and assessed just like any other submissions of 2D images, except that a passive 1920 x 1080 3D television and/or 3D projection system will be used for assessment, with appropriate 3D software such as Stereoscopic Player, StereoPhoto Maker, or StereoSlide Show. Using the 3D display, the assessors will see the proper 3D image while wearing passive glasses, and will not see the side-by-side file format.
Size of Images
Maximum file size for each full-size 3D images is 4 MB.
Individual 3D images should be created side-by-side, left-right, and consist of two (2) individual images submitted as a single digital jpeg file composed of a left image on the left and a right image on the right up to a combined size of 3840 x 1080 pixels. .jpeg images preferred. The maximum width (horizontal) shall not exceed 1920 pixels and the maximum height (vertical) shall not exceed 1080 pixels, resulting in a maximum combined image width (horizontal) of 3840 pixels and a maximum image height (vertical) of 1080 pixels.
For 3D images, it is important that the Overview Image have a layout pattern that can be used separately for has both the left set of images and the right set of images. The Overview Image will have the necessary 10, 15, or 20 left images on the left Overview panel image and the corresponding 10, 15, or 20 right images on the right Overview panel image. The images on the left side and the images on the right side must be in the same order and must be precisely aligned.
The responsibility of the entrant will be to align each 3D image pair precisely for the individual image side-by-side format. Then the left and right images will be separated to be placed for placement in the identical left and right Overview Image layout patterns. This task can be greatly simplified if all left and right images are precisely the same size (such as 1920 x 1080) to allow the entrant easily to rearrange the Overview layout for best presentation to the audience. Esthetically and artistically 3D Overview Images are subject to the same guidelines and criteria as two-dimensional digital Overview Images and two dimensional print Overview images.
The entrant is not required to have equally sized images. If the entrant elects to add any frames, bars, or padding to adjust image sizes or aspect ratios, this should be accomplished in a manner that does not detract from the impact of the Overview Image. The left and right Overview Images are then combined for a side-by-side 3D image (up to 3840 by 1080 pixels in size). The assessors will then see the Overview Images all in 3D, not in the side-by-side format. Proper alignment of the left and right Overview panels is the responsibility of the applicant.
In order to ensure consistent presentation it is recommended that all of your images be padded with black borders to the full 1920 x 1080 pixel size so the centers of each pair is constant.
Online Application Considerations
When submitting the online application, a smaller file image size is necessary to meet on-line software limitations. These reduced-size images are for administrative uses only and will not be shown to the assessors for evaluation of the portfolio. Once you are satisfied with your portfolio a separate copy version of the your full-size 3D images pairs should be made, then reduced to half size, (1920 x 540 pixels maximum size) for online submission of the Overview image pairs and individual image pairs to Photo Vault Online.
After making the online submission of the smaller images, the entrant should then send an email to to receive directions on how to submit the full-size images, on the internet preferably via Dropbox or WeTransfer. The assessors will evaluate only the full–size 3D images
PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING APPLICATION:
By virtue of submitting a portfolio, the candidate certifies the work as his/her own and permits PSA to reproduce all or part of the entered material free of charge for publication and/or display in media related to the PSA Portfolio Distinctions Program. This may include (1) inclusion in an audio-visual program of successful portfolios to be shown at a PSA Conference; (2) hanging of successful print portfolios in the Photo Gallery at a PSA Conference; (3) including low resolution posting of successful portfolios in the Portfolios Galleries on the PSA website; and (4) using the portfolio in training for potential assessors and future Portfolio Distinction Candidates. The PSA Print Collection Committee occasionally will request of the candidate a Committee review of a print portfolio for possible inclusion in the Print Collection. If approved, an additional permission/license would be requested of the candidate.
Entry may be made only during the dates listed in "Important Updates and News" (above). Entry is a two-step process requiring two different linked webpages:
The assessment process is meant as an educational one, not a “competition," and is completed by a panel of five rotating assessors, led by a non-voting chairperson.
Portfolios are judged anonymously.
Each assessment begins with the viewing of the Overview Image while the Statement of Intent is read out. The individual images are then viewed.
The process is then repeated and the assessors start by determining whether or not the portfolio presented is cohesive and reflects the Statement of Intent. Assessment is done by individual scoring and by discussion.
Each image is then assessed individually, once again by individual scoring and by discussion, for technical quality and visual awareness.
The Overview Image/Statement of Intent as well as the individual images are each scored as either in or out by the assessors and a percentage is given for each - a minimum of 60% i.e. an "in" score from the majority of the assessors for each is required for success. The Overview Image as well as all the individual images must all achieve 60% or higher in order for the portfolio to succeed.
An email will be sent to each applicant approximately 1 month after the assessment session advising their results.
Successful Portfolios will be shown on the website and may also be showcased at the next PSA Conference. Those with more than one successful portfolio will only feature their most recent portfolio. Portfolios may also be included in training programs.
Certificates and pins will be mailed to the successful applicants after the assessment. Successful applicants may also be listed in Conference program materials or in an insert, provided their information is received in time for publication.
In the case of applicants who were not successful details will be given as to which images the assessors felt were of the required standard and which were not. A brief comment will be given regarding each unsuccessful image. Applicants who wish to receive further feedback may contact the portfolio chair, who may refer the applicant to one of the assessors of that portfolio.
Any applicant whose original portfolio has up to four failed images (including the overview image) is entitled to a resubmit. Applicants will be contacted immediately after the assessment session and asked to supply additional images for assessment if they wish to exercise their right to resubmit.
This resubmit fee is $40, regardless of the Bronze, Silver or Gold level or the number of resubmitted images. These applicants may resubmit that same portfolio replacing the failed image/s and providing a new Overview Image at the date of the assessment of the resubmit. Usually, that will be within 30 to 35 days after the notice of the right to resubmit.
Instructions will be provided in the notice of the right to resubmit. It is not necessary for the replacement images to be in the same position on the new Overview image as in the original Overview Image. Only the new images and the revised Overview image need to be provided.
If this resubmit fails, the unsuccessful applicant may not rework the unsuccessful portfolio and submit it as a reworked portfolio.
Unsuccessful applicants who were not offered an official "resubmission" may not rework the unsuccessful portfolio and submit it as a reworked portfolio. The applicant must work on an entirely new portfolio if he or she wishes to apply again.
PSA members can access these webinars for free by logging into the “MyPSA” area of the PSA web site.
Portfolio Distinctions Program with Dan Charbonnet, HonPSA, EPSA; May 28, 2020.
Creating a PSA Portfolio with Joanne Stolte, HonPSA, MPSA, EFIAP, ESFIAP; July 9, 2020.
PSA Portfolios - a Program Lifts Off, by John Davis, Jr., HonPSA, MPSA, PSA Journal, July 2017.
Portfolio Pitfalls? by Jon Fishback, APSA, ARPSA, PSA Journal, October 2017.
Common Portfolio Mistakes, by Dan Charbonnet, HonPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, January 2019.
The PSA Portfolio Project: A New Challenge, by Marie Rakoczy, BPSA, Windy City News, the newsletter of the Chicago Chapter of PSA, 2016.
Creating Portfolios for Assessment for Portfolio Distinctions - An Important PSA Educational Program, by Cyril Mazansky, MPSA, PSA Journal, November 2016.
Going for my BPSA, by Greg Duncan, EPSA, BPSA, EFIAP/b, PSA Journal, December 2016.
Portfolio Review - Success for Janet Haines, GPSA, with Visions of Music, by Anne Sutcliffe, PPSA, PSA Journal, October 2018.