Competition Readiness Program

Starting January 18th, 2023

Are you ready for image competition?

Each year PPNC offers an in-depth 7 part competition readiness program geared towards helping our members understand more about image competition and become stronger competitors.  This class is available to any PPNC member in good standing at no additional cost.  Read  below to learn more about the program and how you can take part!


  • To provide a no-pressure introduction to image competition
  • To familiarize members with the 12 Elements
  • To create awareness of the common pitfalls
  • To help participants evaluate their images and help select competition images
  • To familiarize participants with how to subscribe, use and enter competition through


  • Proper use of sharpening
  • Resizing images
  • Adding a presentation
  • Calibrating monitor/monitor settings
  • Posing of subjects in their genre
  • Photographic expectations in their genre


Prework: Watch video on the 12 elements.


Jan 18: Session 1: Intro to Image Comp and to this project.

Homework: Select 2-3 images for comp to be reviewed at next class. Submit prior to class.


Jan 25: Session 2: Common pitfalls. Describe the 20 most-common mistakes. Guide participants through a self-critique of their images.

Homework: Listen to a live competition or to audio critiques of other images.


Feb 1: Session 3: Detailed presentation on sharpening, sizing, monitor calibration.

Homework: Using new image or one of their sample images, process from original file, keeping pitfalls in mind.


Feb 8: Session 4: Discussion about expectations in different genres: Wedding, portrait, macro, landscape, children/babies, etc.

Homework: Take a new photo in their desired competition genre, process it and submit prior to class.


Feb 15: Session 5: Methods for adding a presentation to a competition image. Post processing techniques by request.

Homework: Watch video on how to add presentation. Add a presentation to an image.


Feb 22: Session 6: Review.  Learn the process of how to enter image competition on Topic requests based on what participants need.

Homework: Begin taking and/or processing 2-3 photographs for mock competition/scored critique.


Mar 1: Session 7: Image evaluation session with scores and critique by approved PPA judges or jurors-in-training.


Meet your instructor

Chris Richman

Chris Richman is an award-winning photojournalist and fine art photographer, with awards from the NC Press Association, Carolina Nature Photography Association, the Professional Imaging Group of Eastern North Carolina (PIGOENC- PPA local affiliate), the Professional Photographers of North Carolina (PPNC- state affiliate) and the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), including 2016-2022 PPA Photographer of the Year (2021 Diamond POY), PPA Imaging Excellence Medallion and the PPNC 2018 & 2019 PPNC Photographer of the Year. She received the PPNC 2019 Service Award.

Her twenty years as a senior research scientist, her decades of teaching and leadership in the informal science education arena and her years of editorial sports and event photography give her an eye for precision, composition and story-telling. In addition to coaching photographers through personal photography projects, Chris is a mentor, a frequent speaker, offers photo critiques and juries competitions for photography associations at both the professional and amateur levels. She is a PPA Approved Juror and participates on jury panels for PPA Local and State Affiliate image competitions.

She holds the PPA Master of Photography, Master Artist and Craftsman degrees and is a Certified Professional Photographer. She holds the Fellowship of Photography degree from PPNC. She is a member of The Image Salon, The Professional Imaging Group of Eastern NC, The Professional Photographers of NC, The Professional Photographers of America and the American Society of Photographers.