Director, PSA Portfolio 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:
Congratulations to our latest Portfolio Distinction recipients.
The August session is now full and therefore Photovaultonline has been closed for the next assessment. It will reopen early in August and once again will stay open until all the slots are filled.
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|Level||Must Include||# images in Portfolio||Other requirements|
|BPSA - Bronze||Title, Statement of Intent, Overview Image, and Images||10||PSA Individual Membership for next six months|
|SPSA - Silver||Title, Statement of Intent, Overview Image, and Images||15||BPSA + PSA Individual Membership for next six months|
|GPSA - Gold||Title, Statement of Intent, Overview Image, and Images||20||BPSA, SPSA + PSA Individual Membership for next six months|
Contact Ken Carlson, GPSA·: firstname.lastname@example.org for information prior to preparing a print Portfolio.
Contact H. Lee Pratt, HonPSA·:: port-3D@psa-photo.org for information prior to preparing a 3D Portfolio.
Print and 3D PSA Portfolio Assessments are conducted once a year during the annual PSA Photo Festival.
Print Portfolio Preparation
All print adjustments and optimization must be done by the applicant. Commercially prepared prints are eligible, but the commercial printer shall not be allowed to do any image editing or optimizing. The applicant is responsible for the quality of the printing whether done personally or commercially.
The long dimension of the image area of any print submitted shall be no less than 11.5 inches (292 mm) and prints shall be no larger than 16 inches (406 mm) x 20 inches (508 mm) including the mount and any matting.
All prints are to be mounted using a lightweight mount.
The following information should appear on a label applied on the back of each print:
* The application number (which is automatically generated by Photo Vault Online)
* The print sequence number
* The portfolio title
* An arrow indicating orientation or the word TOP
Apply the label to the back of the print so the arrow points to the top or the word TOP is at the top. The orientation of this label will determine how each print is shown to the assessors. No name or other identifying mark should appear either on the front or back of the print.
The application number is part of the hyphenated number provided in the 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) are the application number. The last number is the print number, with the 00 being the Overview Image and the rest being the numbers for each print. Be sure the print numbers agree with the position of the prints on the 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 the digital files, the prints must be sent to an address which will be supplied. Usually, the prints will be shipped to PSA Headquarters, 8241 S. Walker Avenue, # 104, Oklahoma City, OK 73139 USA.
If an entrant wishes to have their prints returned after the assessment, they must be packed using reusable packaging. If an entrant does not wish to have their prints returned, they must inform the print Portfolio Coordinator (listed above). The cost for shipping both to and from the assessment (held during the annual PSA Festival) is the responsibility of the entrant and arrangements including the method of payment must be made prior to the Assessment.
3D Portfolio Preparation
Equipment for Assessment
The 3D 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, Stereo Photo Maker, or Stereo Slide 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 image 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 having 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 Image and the corresponding 10, 15, or 20 right images on the right Overview 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.
It is the responsibility of the entrant 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 Image layout for best presentation. 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 see the Overview Image all in 3D, not in the side-by-side format. Proper alignment of the left and right Overview Images 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 center of each pair is constant.
Online Application Considerations
When submitting the online application, a smaller file image size is necessary to meet online 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 the entrant is satisfied with their portfolio, a separate copy version of the full-size 3D image 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 small images, the entrant must send an email to H. Lee Pratt, HonPSA·:: port-3D@psa-photo.org to receive directions regarding 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 Portfolio Assessment is designed to be an educational process, not a competition, and is conducted by a panel of five rotating Assessors, led by a non-voting coordinator. Portfolios are assessed anonymously.
Each Assessment begins with the viewing of the Overview Image while the Title and Statement of Intent are read. The individual images are then viewed one at a time. There is no discussion at this time as the Assessors are individually considering what they are seeing and have heard.
The process is then repeated, and the Assessors begin by determining whether the overview image presented is cohesive and reflects the Title and Statement of Intent. Assessment is done by individual scoring “in” or “out,” followed by discussion, if needed, and an agreement regarding comments to be sent to the Portfolio’s marker.
Each image is then assessed individually, once again by individual scoring and by discussion, to assess the technical quality and fit within the Portfolio.
A minimum of three Assessors (the majority) must score an "in" for success. The Overview Image as well as all the individual images must all achieve 60% or higher for the portfolio to succeed.
An email will be sent to each successful applicant approximately one and a half months after the Assessment advising them of their results. Certificates and pins will be mailed to the successful applicants after the email has been sent.
Successful Portfolio Overview Images with the portfolio Title, Statement of Intent, and the maker’s name will be posted on the PSA website. Those members with more than one successful portfolio will be listed on the PSA web site under their most recent portfolio (i.e., Bronze, Silver, or Gold); however, their additional Portfolio Overview Images will be linked below their latest. Portfolios and/or Overview Images may also be included in training programs and may be showcased at the next PSA Festival.
Applicants who were not successful will be sent brief comments regarding the unsuccessful portfolio. It is recommended that unsuccessful Bronze Portfolio applicants sign up for the free PSA Education Online Course, “Creating a PSA Portfolio,” found under the link for Education.
Resubmits: For those with up to Four Failed Images
Any applicant whose portfolio has up to four failed images (including the Overview Image) is entitled to a resubmit of that portfolio. Applicants will be contacted soon after the Assessment and asked to rework their Overview Image, Statement of Intent, and/or supply additional images for a re-Assessment, if they wish to resubmit.
The resubmit fee is $40, regardless of the Bronze, Silver, or Gold level or the number of resubmitted images. These applicants are to resubmit the same portfolio replacing the failed image(s) and providing a new Overview Image by the date given to them. Usually, that will be within 30 to 35 days after the email regarding their opportunity to resubmit.
Resubmittal instructions will be provided in the email. 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; however, since the Overview Image needs to be balanced and cohesive and changing some images will throw off previous cohesiveness, some rearrangement may be necessary. Only the new images and the revised Overview Image need to be submitted.
If this resubmit fails, the applicant may not rework the unsuccessful portfolio (theme/topic) and submit it as a new or reworked portfolio.
For those with five or more failed images or those who failed a resubmit:
Unsuccessful applicants who were not offered a "resubmission" may not rework the unsuccessful portfolio and submit it as a reworked portfolio. The applicant must work on an entirely new portfolio with a new theme/topic if the applicant 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.
Creating an Overview Image: The PSA Portfolio Overview Image (pdf)
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.