The 12 Elements of A Merit Image

The 12 Elements of A Merit Image

According to PPA (Professional Photographers of America)

When you’re composing (or critiquing) your own images, always consider the following 12 elements.


These are the twelve elements that are used by competitive professional photographers when they enter an image into a local PPA affiliated competition

in hopes that it will go on to score well at IPC – the International Photographic Competition.

Only the best images will have them all.  Even if that’s not your goal, it’a a great way for you to gauge the strength of an image.


Click on the image to go to PPA’s explanation of each of the twelve elements.

12 elements of a merit image