The 2020 AIM Image Competition Awards Ceremony

Take a look at the virtual awards ceremony to see the photographs, celebrate the imagery and find out which took home a trophy:

Judging Day Resources

A couple resources for watching the AIM Image Competition...  

1.  The image to the right has the scoring categories as well as the 12 Elements of a Merit Image.  Download it below and keep it by your monitor for easy access.

2.  Join us on the Animal Image Makers Facebook page to watch the live judging together and chat with one another!  Ask questions, talk about the images, and have fun with your peers.

3.  If you're virtually social distancing, you can watch directly through

Judging will begin at 10:00am central time.  Have fun!  And good luck to all participants!!


Download the Printable Chart From Above

Animal photographers often get frustrated when listening to a competition jury discuss animal images because many jurors don’t always understand how light reflects differently in an animal’s eyes, or how their snouts are different from a human nose in respect to blocking part of an eye or breaking the line of a cheek.  This is your chance to take part in a competition made up of animal images only, and judged by a jury of  trained professionals who KNOW animals!  Start getting your images ready - this  is going to be fun!

2020 Competition Categories Include:

1. Dogs

2. Cats

3. Equine

4. Other Domestic Animals

5. Wild Animals

6. Baby Animals

7. Animals and their Humans
8.  Master Artist

2020 Competition Rules

Download your PDF copy of the rules here:

An Image Judging Competition for the Animal Image Makers Conference

Print Judging Date: 10:00 a.m. central time Thursday, April 16, 2020

Location:  Hilton Bloomington MSP Airport Mall of America, 3800 American Blvd E., Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration Deadline: 5:00pm central time Sunday, April 12, 2020 at

Entry Fee: $15 per entry

All images must be pre-registered and pre-paid at by the deadline.

IMPORTANT - Please read the following print rules carefully.

This is a digital competition only. All images must be pre-registered and pre-paid at by 5 p.m. central time Sunday, April 12, 2020. Uploaded files must be sized so the longest dimension is 4,000 pixels (20 inches at 200 ppi). Each file must contain an embedded color profile of either sRGB or Adobe RGB1998 and be saved at a JPEG quality setting of 10.

Additional rules and information follow below. Questions can be addressed by contacting the Print Chair Amy Wurdock at or 612-545-8079.

The purpose of this competition is to allow photographers to enter digital prints to be judged relative to Professional Photographers of America’s 12 Elements of a Merit Print for the purpose of critique and/or competing for awards. 

Judging will be to PPA standards but it should be noted that this is NOT a PPA Affiliated Competition and PPA merits can NOT be earned. These rules pertain to images created by traditional photographic processes as well as those captured electronically with a digital camera or scanner. This competition is open to anyone. As mentioned earlier, ALL entries must be pre-registered and the entry fee pre-paid at by 5:00pm central time Sunday, April 12, 2020. You may view live judging through the Print Competition Game Day app on your computer, smart phone or tablet that will allow you to watch the judging as it happens. You will see the current image that is being seen by the judges and watch the results come in. The app automatically refreshes so you just sit back and watch. In addition to the current image being judged, you will also see thumbnails of the top 16, a list of the last 20 scores and a list of the next 15 up. For an additional fee, you can upgrade to the premium membership which gives you even more features including access to thousands of archived images.

If the print chair and jury feel it is in the best interest of the competition, they have the right to begin judging Wednesday, April 15, 2020. An announcement will be made through AIM social media if this will occur.

Questions: Contact Competition Chair Amy Wurdock at or 612-545-8079.


1. The entrant must have captured and created the original exposure.

2. Any entry which has been reproduced from an existing photograph, portrait, graphic or any other artwork produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules and will not be judged, accepted, or displayed, with the exception of the Master Artist category. If an entry, in the good-faith opinion of the Photographic Competition Committee, violates copyright, trademark or any other applicable law that entry shall be disqualified.

3. The entrant’s name shall not appear anywhere on the face of the entry.

4. There is a submission limit of EIGHT (8) images per entrant. Each print submitted counts as one entry.

5. Entrant must have a model release on file for each entry submitted.

6. No entry will be eligible that has been made under the supervision of an instructor/speaker or workshop.

7. The same subject may be in more than one of the entrant’s submitted images.

8. Entries previously merited at any PPA International Competition are not eligible, including any image from a merited album. Images previous entered in the Animal Image Makers Conference and have received a score of 80 and above are not eligible for judging.

9. No Late Entries will be accepted - please note the deadlines above.

10. Entry fees will be paid on at the time you register.


1. Dogs: Everything Canine. Indoor, outdoor, posed, candid, running, sleeping, etc. It’s all about the dogs!

2. Cats: Feline lovers unite! Show us your cute and cuddly kitties.

3. Equine: A horse is a horse, of course of course. But is yours a horse of another color? Show off that majestic trot, larger than life jump, braided manes or exotic breeds.

4. Other Domestic Animals: Lizards, fish, birds, guinea pigs, snakes, etc. Anything else that could be a pet.

5. Wild & Zoo Animals: African safari, trip to the zoo, and insects in your yard. If it’s not a pet, it goes here.

6. Babies: Baby animals are just too cute to compete with the adults - they’d win any day of the week! So they get their own category. Everything six months and younger should be in this group.

7. Animals and their Humans: Every once in awhile someone wants to be photographed WITH their pet.  Show off how you captured their relationship.

8. Master Artist: Creative concepts, composites, and other highly altered images should be submitted into the Master Artist category. Thumbnails showing the original captures and/or all elements used must be presented as a part of the image. You must have either created all elements or have rights for usage of the elements. The subject matter must include an animal.

The print chairperson, jury, and/or board of directors have the right to question the category of any entry and have the option to change the classification. Their decision is final.

NUMBER OF ENTRIES ALLOWED: You may submit any combination of images in any of the categories with a limit of eight (8) total entries per person.


The top 10 scoring images in each category will be eligible for awards. The judges will discuss the merits of each and decide as a jury the first, second and third place winners, regardless of score. First place in each category will take home a trophy and certificate and compete for “best in show”. Second and third place will each be awarded a ribbon and certificate.

All eight first place winners will compete for “best in show” with the top winner being selected by the jury. Scores will not be considered for best in show. The jury will discuss the merits of each of the top entries to determine the best entry in the competition. The “best in show” winner will be awarded a second trophy.

The Certified Professional Photographer Award recognizes the highest-scoring image by a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) in competition. The recipient will receive an award with the CPP-credential mark etched in a glass presentation piece. If scores result in a tie, judges will select the winner.

2020 Competition Jury

Dennis Hammon

Michael Mowbray

Margaret Bryant


M.Photog., Cr., CPP, F-ASP
Dennis has his Masters of Photography, Photographic Craftsman, is Certified by PPA and has fellowships from both Idaho and Utah. He is also a Fellow of American Society of Photographers. He has received the National Award for his service to professional photography from several organizations.

Margaret Bryant

Michael Mowbray

Margaret Bryant


M. Photog., Cr., CPP
 Professional development is important to Margaret and she has earned her Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman degrees from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She is also a Certified Professional Photographer with PPA. Margaret is an eight time PPA Photographer of the Year medalist, a two time Grand Imaging Award finalist, and has several images in the PPA Loan and Showcase Collections.

Michael Mowbray

Michael Mowbray

Michael Mowbray


M. Photog., Cr.

 Since opening Beautiful Portraits by Michael in 2001, Michael Mowbray has gone on to win many awards for his portraiture and was named a medalist in the PPA International Photographic Competition in 2011, 2012 , 2013, 2015, and 2018. He has had the highest scoring wedding portrait in Wisconsin eight times in the past decade, including Wisconsin Best of Show-Wedding 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has won the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award five times, and the Fuji Masterpiece Award for Outstanding Wedding Portraiture three times. Michael has also been named one of the Top 10 photographers in Wisconsin multiple times and “Best of Madison” by the readers of Madison Magazine.

Sandra Pearce

Sandra Pearce

Michael Mowbray


 M.Photog., MEI., Cr., CPP   

  Sandra Pearce is one of the most sought out digital artists in the photographic industry today. She is an Image Excellence & Image Excellence Bar Recipient. Sandra has had the  opportunity to speak to thousands of professional photographers across the country from guild level programs to state and national conventions. Her experience in digital imaging has set her apart in competition and she has been awarded Artist of the Year by the Florida Professional  Photographers numerous years, Canon Par Excellence 2015, 2016 and 2017,  Kodak Awards, Fuji Awards and other awards through the years. Sandra has  been in the top ten for GIA awards since its inception in 2010. Sandra won the GIA Award for 1st place in the Art Category in 2010 and 2016 at  the Imaging Awards. She is an IPC Juror.   

Toni Harryman

Sandra Pearce

Toni Harryman


 M.Photog., M.Artist., Cr., CPP 

 Toni has owned and operated Johnson Photography since 1982. She holds the  distinguished Fellow of Photography degree from the Professional  Photographers of Iowa for her service to that group and her excellence in print competitions.

Toni is an award winning artist, having 6 times been named as a Top 10  photographer in Iowa as well as named Top Iowa Master Photographer of the Year. She was awarded a trophy for the top CPP in Iowa as well as  many other ribbons for prints and folios. She has also been awarded 3 Kodak Gallery Awards and has had images selected for the PPA loan collection.  Toni is an Professional Photographers of America IPC juror.

Cheri Hammon

Sandra Pearce

Toni Harryman


M.Photog., M.Artist., MEI., Cr., CPP 

Cheri is a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA). She is a CPP and been awarded all four degrees,  Master Photographer, Master Artist,  Craftsman and MEI.  She was awarded the Georgia Fellowship Degree from the Georgia Professional Photographers Association (GPPA) and was named Georgia Professional Photographers Association’s “2006 Photographer of the Year”. She is currently a member of the Professional Photographers of Idaho where she was named 2013 and 2014 Master Photographer of the Year. Cheri recently received the American Society of Photographers Fellowship Degree at the IUSA convention in 2018. 

Digital Ribbon Downloads

Those makers who's images placed "Best in Show", first place, second place or third place in any category are welcome to download a digital ribbon to display with their images online.  Downloads are in PNG format and may be resized to fit your image.