Recognition of Photography

Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA)

Director, ROPA     

Kristina Erin Kaye, FPSA, EPSA 

The Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) Distinctions were established in February 1997 for the purpose of recognizing PSA member's photography achievements in PSA-recognized International Exhibitions. PSA members in good standing may apply for ROPA Distinctions and, when approved, the member can use the ROPA acronym letters (PPSA, EPSA, MPSA, and GMPSA) after their name. The PPSA and EPSA certificates are presented at the Opening Ceremony and the MPSA and GMPSA plaques are presented at the Honors Banquet of the PSA Annual Conference (in the year following approval of the ROPA application). See also: PSA FAQs.

Requirements: Applications must be made by June 1 in order to ensure presentation at that year's PSA Annual Conference in September.  In order to qualify for any of the ROPA Distinctions the following proof of acceptances in PSA-recognized International Exhibitions is required:

  • PROFICIENCY (PPSA):  288 or more acceptances supported by Star Rating certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.
  • EXCELLENCE (EPSA): 700 or more acceptances supported by Star Rating certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.
  • MASTER (MPSA): 1,500 or more acceptances supported by Star Rating certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.
  • GRAND MASTER (GMPSA): 3,000 or more acceptances supported by Star Rating certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

Star Ratings certificates required:  A copy of the qualifying PSA Star Rating certificate(s) must accompany each application. Only the highest-level Star Rating certificate in each Division is required. Any Star Rating certificate from any PSA Division can be used.

Application: A member completes the online ROPA application by providing background information and listing the PSA Star Rating certificates that are being provided as proof of acceptances in PSA-recognized Exhibitions. A word doc application is also available. To help complete an application, a sample ROPA application (doc)  is provided or you can download either or both of the two documents: Information Needed for a ROPA Application (doc) or ROPA Questions Answered. Online or emailed applications are preferred, but applications can be sent via snail-mail as well.
ROPA Distinction sequence: A member can apply for a ROPA Distinction without applying for the previous Distinctions. For example, a member can apply for the ROPA Master (MPSA) without applying for ROPA Proficiency (PPSA) or Excellence (EPSA). 

Membership Card: The member's PSA membership card can be scanned and included with an email application. A copy of the membership card can be included with a mailed application. 

Portrait Photograph: A digital vertical head and shoulders photograph with a plain background (no hat or props) is required with a vertical dimension of 768 pixels at 300 ppi. 

Application Fee:  None

Application DeadlineJune 1 of every year. Applications will be processed year-round to allow a member to use a ROPA distinction as soon as it is approved by the Director. The approval of ROPA Applications received after the June 1 deadline will be processed; however, the ROPA certificate or plaque will be presented at the following year's PSA Annual Conference.

PSA Journal Listing: The ROPA Distinctions that are approved each quarter are listed in the PSA Journal in January, April, July, and October and online.

ROPA Photo Galleries: Once a member's ROPA application has been approved, the member receives an invitation to place three to six of their best images,  a biography, and his or her head shot in a ROPA Gallery on the PSA web site. Interested PSA members with any distinction (PPSA, EPSA, MPSA, GMPSA) should go to that page for instructions on how to upload their images.