Industry News

Portrait Masters Awards 2024 News: Dates and Challenge Category 

December 27, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

Sometimes a challenge can be the best way to stimulate growth. Photography awards programs aim to do just this, creating a deadline and an honor as the impetus for artistic expansion. The Portrait Masters Awards and Accreditation Program was started in 2017 by Sue Bryce, creator of The Portrait System as a way to honor and celebrate high-quality, professional work and give photographers accolades that publicly recognize achieving that standard. It can also give photographers the motivation to get better. 

Portrait Masters Awards Director and Judge Richard Wood says of awards, “Having the fire of accreditation and awards always burning in the back of our minds means we are also constantly more conscious of ‘how can I do this better?’” 

The Portrait Masters Awards judges review all submissions and score them on the following criteria: 

  • Expression and Connection 
  • Styling 
  • Composition 
  • Posing 
  • Lighting 
  • Overall Technique and Presentation 
  • Post-Production 
  • Focus 
  • Storytelling 

Bronze, Silver, and Gold merits and badges are given out according to the scores and Associate, Master, and Fellow honors are given based on winning the required number of each type of badge. Every round, the rules change a little, so please be sure to review them carefully before entering.  

[Read: The Ramp Up to WPPI is On with Live Giveaway Events] 

Self-Portrait, Silver Merit © Zachary Lee Witt

What’s New for Awards in 2024 

This year the Awards will have two rounds. The first round opens on January 3rd and closes on January 31st. Results will be announced in February. The second round opens on July 15th and closes in August with results announced in September.  

The challenge category for the second round will be announced after the first round’s results come out. The challenge category for the first round has already been announced. It will be Self-Portrait. 

All members of The Portrait System get one free entry per round, and premium plan holders get an additional two entries per round. Members will receive promo codes for their free entries for the first round via email on January 3rd.  

Ongoing categories are: 

  • Contemporary Portrait 
  • Family & Group Portrait 
  • Maternity Portrait 
  • Newborn Portrait 
  • Boudoir Portrait 
  • Teen & Senior Portrait 
  • Children’s Portrait 
  • Creative Portrait 
  • Movement Portrait 
  • Pet Portrait 
  • Black and White Portrait 
  • Documentary Portrait 
  • Wedding Portrait 
  • Fashion Portrait 

Due to restrictions in many countries, cash prizes for category winners will no longer be awarded. This change will permit photographers in more countries to participate. All category winners and the Grand Champion will still receive a crystal trophy, have the opportunity to be a guest on The Portrait System Podcast, and will be featured in Rangefinder. A special Portrait Masters Awards Celebration at WPPI in Las Vegas in March 2024 will honor them and their accomplishment. 

Those who are interested in submitting are encouraged to read The Portrait Masters Awards FAQs and all the resources available for the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation Program. View past winners in the Awards Gallery and check out a blog on The Portrait System where newly-accredited Fellow Whitney Collins talks about her journey to the top honor.

[Read: A Photo Education Supreme: WPPI 2024 Educator Highlights] 

The Imagination Series

Painterly Portraits

The Lighting Series

The Retouching Series

The POSE Series by Sue Bryce