Entries will be accepted from August, 2021.

Scoring Criteria

As an organisation who seeks meaning through photography, we endeavour to view imagery beyond its surface value and search for layers and intent. We welcome experimental and artful approaches to photography which might often be overlooked in other awards.

Entries will be scored on three criteria; Originality, Technicality and Overall.

Originality is worth 1-5 points and rewards uniqueness. We want to reward photographers that explore and push boundaries and present new perspectives.

Technicality is worth 1-5 points and rewards well-executed photography. By this we aren’t necessarily talking about sharpness, or the perfect exposure. To us, technicality relates to the effectiveness of an image to communicate the photographers ideas and meaning.

Overall is worth 1-10 points and is a broad discretionary scoring criterion. Committee members may reward points for any merits they see in a photograph including impact, storytelling or emotional content. They may also at their discretion opt to further reward entries displaying outstanding originality or technique, or use it as a score that summarises their overall feeling toward the photograph.

Our committee is kept intentionally diverse with a wide range of professional and personal experiences to allow for differing opinions and perspectives which further educate the evaluation process.

We see photography beyond the surface of the image. Concept and intent is equally as important as the photograph itself. Although descriptions are only compulsory in the Documentary Category, we encourage entrants to make use this field when entering.

Initial Evaluation

Once entries close, a panel of three committee members from the APA administration will score all images submitted to each category. To encourage consistency, this panel will score all the images of a category, on a single day. The panel are free to discuss during scoring anything that may aid in evaluating the image, which may include explaining an uncommon technique used or identifying subject matter.

The highest scoring 75 entries from each category will be shortlisted for the next round of evaluation. In the event of multiple entries being tied for the 75th place, the panel may re-score the entries in the tie, and discuss the merits of each of the entries to come to a final decision.

Finalist Evaluation

Following the initial evaluation, the committee will consider each category’s top 75 shortlist. The committee members are shown the entire 75 as a slideshow before evaluation commences to give them a sense of the category and work. Each entry is then discussed and scored to finalise the order of the top 75. Finally the top 20 are subject to an additional evaluation process. The committee will discuss the merits of each of these entries and come to a final decision.

The top twenty photographs are then viewed both individually and together as a group. Committee members are invited to talk in favour of shifting entries within the top 20. This must be agreed on by the majority of committee members for the change to take place. The winner and top five are also agreed upon by the majority of committee members.

We believe this discussion and debate allows the committee to work together to deliver the best possible outcome for the entrants and in determining an overall winner for each category.

Winners Announcements

The photograph selected by the committee as the winner will receive the category prize. The top 75 highest scoring images in each category will be showcased on our website with full credits to the photographer. The top 20 highest scoring images in each category will also be included in the APA Annual publication.

Committee Feedback

Once the awards have concluded we will be hosting a series of online feedback sessions taking place over 3 days. We will be communicating details and session times online through our newsletter and social media channels once the winners have been announced.

Other Considerations

Committee members, administrators and employees of APA are not allowed to enter the awards. Our committee members are highly regarded within the industry and see a huge amount of photography. From time to time they may recognise a photograph. When discussing the finalists, if a committee member speaks about a specific photograph and they know the creator, they should acknowledge this briefly, and then present their case, so that the other panelists can take that into consideration.