The Portrait Masters Awards: January 2021

January 14, 2021 Blog

The first round of 2021 Awards & Accreditation is finally here. We are so excited to share news, additions and improvements to the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation Program!

We created this program to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate high-quality, professional work and to arm you with public recognition you deserve in your field. As someone who did not receive a formal education, achieving these standards were amongst Sue’s proudest moments of owning a professional photography business. Winning accolades like these made Sue feel proud and validated as a photographer. We feel a deep pride that the Portrait industry is getting stronger and more valued all around the world, and can’t wait to see what you create next!

NEW! Guest Judges

Each round going forward, we’ll invite a talented guest judge to join our awards team and review one category. For this round only, we’re excited to announce we’ve invited the incredibly talented Acclaimed Photographer and Dancer Dayron Vera to be our guest judge for our new permanent category, Movement (more on this below!).

Photo by Dayron Vera

male portrait, black and white portrait, Dayron vera

Dayron Vera Photography

Follow Dayron: Instagram 

Starting ballet at the age of 10, Dayron Vera has devoted his life to dancing. In 2001, he joined the National Ballet School in Havana before becoming a professional ballet dancer in 2014. During his ballet career, Dayron earned multiple honors including Principal Dancer at the age of 23.

Dayron discovered photography while taking portraits of fellow dancers waiting backstage. The intimate connection felt throughout Dayron’s ballet portraits comes from his experience on both sides of the camera and his profound passion for dance. Currently, Dayron lives in Barcelona with his wife Carmen, where together they own a high-performance ballet school. 

NEW! Permanent Category: Movement

Introducing the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditation’s brand new category, ­­MOVEMENT!

This category celebrates the art of movement. Portraits that illustrate the idea of movement or motion can be entered into this new category. The concept of movement can be captured in so many creative ways and we are looking forward to seeing what you all bring to the table in this category!

Some Example ideas: Sport, Action, Dance, Liquid in motion, Fabric in motion, High Speed Flash sync, Single capture in time, Multi flash captures, long exposures. Remember that each entry must be a portrait of an individual or group.

Photo by Dayron Vera

NEW! Category Winner Perks

New to this round, winners of each category as well as the competition Grand Champion will get their own episode on The Portrait System Podcast AND a feature in The Portrait System Magazine!

Subscribe to The Portrait System Podcast

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NEW! Challenge Category: Opposites

Introducing the Portrait Masters Awards & Accreditations brand new category, ­­CHALLENGE!

This category will celebrate a different portrait theme unique to each round that based on our theme definition, will be entirely up to the entrant on how to interpret. As well as meriting craft, our judges will also be rewarding creativity, innovation and interpretation of the topic.

Our first Challenge Category theme is “Opposites”. This theme celebrates the art of opposites; portraits that illustrate the idea of opposites can be entered into this category. The concept of opposites can be captured in so many creative ways, from colors, orientation, tones, themes, subjects, etc. So go forth and create!

Some ‘Opposite’ example ideas to get you started include:

  • Light/Dark
  • Male/Female
  • Happiness/Sadness
  • Good/Bad
  • Red/Green
  • Right way up/Upside down
  • Life/Death
  • Positive/Negative
  • In/Out
  • Forward/Reverse

Jan. 2021 Award Quicklinks:


   Awards resources & content

Updated competition rules

Previous round category winners

Enter your images HERE