Earning points can sometimes be confusing, especially if you’re a new member. So, what do they mean and why do you want them?
At OPPA, there are three kinds of points. First, there are Exhibition (Competition) Points. Exhibition points are earned when a photographic work is judged at an OPPA Image Competition and receives a score of 80 or above. Additional Exhibition Points can be earned if you receive a trophy or other image competition award at the Member Appreciation Banquet held in December.
The second kind of point is Service Points, which are also very important. They can be earned by serving on the Board of Directors of OPPA, attending an OPPA-hosted workshop or being part of a committee such as the Competition Committee. An extra point may also be earned by going above and beyond the typical work performed by a committee member.
Last but not least, we have Speaking Points which are earned by speaking or instructing at an OPPA-approved workshop or class or judging in an OPPA Competition or by being an OPPA mentor.
So now that you know how to get points, the big question is why do we want them? We love to accrue points because when you have earned the right number of each kind of points, you can earn a degree from OPPA! You may have noticed folks wearing ribbons around their necks at OPPA events and wondered what they were. Those ribbons stand for the Associate Fellow of Photography and Fellow of Photography degrees that OPPA awards its members. They represent many hours committed to OPPA in the form of image competition, serving in leadership or on committees and sharing knowledge through teaching and mentoring. They are the visible embodiment of victory over image competition bruises and battles and hours spent learning or teaching and giving back to the association that provides professional development for serious photographers. And those ribbons also represent shared times with good friends in the industry who are striving for excellence right alongside each of us. We look at these ribbons and medallions as badges of honor and we wear them proudly.
So, get out there, submit your images to the competitions, participate in the organization, and you’ll be on your way to earning a coveted degree! For more information on point values, please visit the Policies section of our website.
We’re in the process of updating our points tracking system and hope to eventually have an online report available for members to view their earned points. In the meantime, to verify your points counts, please contact OPPA Awards Chair, Julie Jacobs.