PID Photo Essay Contest

Photo Essay Contest Director

‚úČ Joanne Stolte, FPSA, MPSA


The PID Photo Essay Contest is for digital shows of images taken by PSA members. An essay must have a theme or storyline. Text, music, sound effects, still images, video clips, narration, transitions, and digital special effects are allowed. Essays are judged on the photography, storyline, and presentation. There is a Color and a Monochrome section.

Deadline: August 15



Online entry only - use the Entry form and video upload area for essay upload and to fill out entry form.

Members can enter only one (1) PID Photo Essay in each section: Color and Monochrome. A specific essay may be submitted to only one PSA division each year.

Judging Criteria

  • Judged by three qualified judges
  • Judging criteria - Word Doc or PDF.
  • Entrants receive cumulative score of three judges for each of the judging criteria and total score for each essay entered


  • First, Second, and Third Place medals will be awarded in each section, if warranted.
  • Three Honorable Mention (HM) ribbons will be awarded in each section, if warranted.
  • The Award essays are presented at the PSA Annual Conference.
  • The Award and HM essays are linked from this page on the PSA website (see above).
  • By entering this contest entrants gives PSA permission to show their essays at the PSA Conference and on the PSA website.

Eligibility & Rules

  • Essays can have a maximum running time of five (5) minutes.
  • There is no limit to the number of images that may be included
  • There are no restrictions on the subject matter, content, or special effects.
  • Video clips can make up no more than half (50%) of the essay.
  • Photos or art not made by the entrant (for example, photos of historical persons, photos of the earth from space, historical photos, etc., needed to tell the story) can comprise no more than 10% of the essay.
  • The video size must be 720p.
  • File format must be html5, mp4, mov, or avi. (No proprietary file format of a video editing software program is allowed.)
  • The entrant's name may not appear in any way that is obvious to the judging panel.
  • Permitted music is music that follows Internet copyright laws allowing it to be played on websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Entrant will be informed if there is a problem with the music. Music credits should appear at the end of the essay.
  • Recommended music sites are listed in MyPSA. Members already logged in can reach the Photo Show Music Guidelines page directly.

Guidelines for Creating a Good Photo Essay

Consultant Help

Eleanore Avery, APSA, is the PSA Consultant for Creating Digital Shows and she was one of the three judges for the 2015 PID Photo Essay Contest.  Eleanore is available to help PSA members create and develop a Photo Essay, and she will also review an essay and make suggestions for improvement. Contact Eleanore Avery.