Something Personal 2023 Contest and Exhibition

Mon 25th Sep, 2023

Posted by APA SF Director


It's our favorite time of year! "Something Personal" is one of the legendary photo contests of our industry with an all star list of judges and incredible prizes. This year we are celebrating with a return to print Exhibition - our first since 2019! Start digging through the archives, select your best personal work, and submit to this year's contest. 

Sunday, October 1, 12 pm Pacific: Call For Entries Opens
Friday, November 3, 12 pm Pacific: Call For Entries Closes
Saturday, December 2, 6-11 pm Pacific: Exhibition + Industry Event

ALL-STAR LINEUP OF JUDGES  (Growing List, Check back in for updates! )

Daniel Cosgrove, Creative Director - Digitas

Leah Schroder, Sr. Creative Director - Defy Them All

Alex De Toth, Director of Photography - Wine Spectator

Zach Zutler, Sr. Producer - VCCP

Samuel Skeen, Producer - Animal Victory

Karen Williams, Creative Director - Black Visual Queen

Patrick Biesemans, Director - Freelance

Genevieve Diaz, Creative Producer - Steve Jobs Archive

INCREDIBLE PRIZES (Growing List, Check back in for updates!)

Best In Show

Portfolio Reviews with 2 judges

Free studio day ($1600 value)- FlashSF

Equipment rental credit ($1,000)- FlashSF

$100 Gift card to Bobs Framing

First Place

Portfolio Reviews with 2 judges

Free studio day ($1,600)- FlashSF

EQ rental credit ($500)- FlashSF

Second Place

Portfolio Reviews with 2 judges

Free studio day - FlashSF

Third Place

Portfolio Reviews with 2 judges

Free 4-hour studio day - FlashSF

Prizes for Runners Up!

10 of the top 100 images selected as each judge’s favorite will also receive a virtual portfolio review!
Note: Prizes are not redeemable for cash, may be subject to change, and may include additional terms and conditions as established by the individual sponsors. APA is not responsible for allocation, redemption or conditions of sponsor prizes.


APA Members save on each entry. Not a member? Join first and save over 50% per entry. Annual Memberships start at $50.

$15: APA Leader, or Professional Members

$20: APA Associate, or Supporter Members

$25: APA Contributor Members

$30: Non-members


  • Follow these guidelines and image requirements carefully to ensure the proper submission of your entries.
  • Click the "Register Button" on this page to begin
  • APA Members log in to their APA Profile to automatically receive the appropriate discounted entry fee. Not a member? There is a prompt to join before submitting which will save you on your submission fees.
  • Non-APA members can enter by creating a guest account with a business name, email address, and password.
  • You can upload as many images as you want (no more than ten at a time).
  • The system will automatically charge you based on your membership level.
  • Once your transaction is complete, your submission is final, and you cannot edit your images.
  • You can return to your APA account anytime to review your entries. You may submit additional images until the final deadline.
  • You will receive an email confirmation upon entering.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email, please check your spam, then contact:


  • All files must be .jpg format
  • File size limit: 2MB
  • Image size: no smaller than 1200 pixels
  • Image size: no longer than 1800 pixels
  • Color profile is sRGB, image resolution : 72 ppi
  • Do not include disallowed characters (©, ®, •, $, #) in file names which can corrupt the file
  • Images should not contain any text that is not part of the image
  • Judging is blind: image file names are not visible to the judges
  • Each entry fee is for a single image.
  • Please upload no more than 10 entries at a time.
  • You can enter more than once, in batches of 10 or less, if you would like to submit more.


By entering The APA Something Personal 2022 Photo Competition, Entrants:

  • Warrant to APA SF that they have created and own the work submitted (including all elements of the work) and that nothing within any work has been copied or added from another person’s work.
  • Warrant that the whole copyright and any other form of intellectual property right in the work is vested in them.
  • Warrant that they have not assigned, licensed, disposed of, or otherwise encumbered any of their rights which allow them to deal freely with the work and the copyright therein.
  • Warrant that they have obtained model or property releases from any persons and/or property owners requiring such, featured in their submitted photographs allowing publication in any and all media forms.
  • Agree that their work may be exhibited or shown during APA-sponsored events, as well as on the APA websites and APA promotional materials, allowing for the photographer to retain complete control over the licensing and sale of their work.
  • Agree that APA may reproduce and may allow reproduction of winning images in APA-approved publications. Credit will be given to the photographer for any image(s) used.
  • Acknowledge that APA relies fully upon the warranties and license given by Entrants when submitting their entries for consideration to The APA Something Personal 2023 Photo Competition. Entrants indemnify and hold APA harmless from any claims, actions, proceedings, costs and expenses arising as a result of any allegation that the relevant Entrant did not own or is not wholly entitled and authorized to allow publication and reproduction of the work by APA.
  • APA SF reserves the right to disqualify any winner not providing the required personal information and winning image in the requested file format and size within two weeks of APA SF’s request via the contact information supplied by the entrant. Replacement winners will be selected at the judges’ discretion.
  • Judging is a blind process. Photographers’ names will only be disclosed to the jurors after the judging process has been completed. The decision of the judges of the competition shall be final and binding.
  • Entrants retain full copyright to their images and grant no usage to APA SF other than those granted herein. APA SF, the Sponsors, or Venues showing an exhibition of winners shall not be liable for any loss or damage of any entry. Submission of an entry to the competition automatically constitutes the contestant’s acceptance of all conditions set forth in the above rules. It also acknowledges the right of APA SF to use the photographer’s likeness and information, as well as the winning images, in exhibitions and promotions, in any and all forms of print, electronic and digital media, related to APA Something Personal Photo Competitions for up to 48 months following the 2023 Competition winner’s announcement.
  • Entry fees cannot be refunded once submitted.
  • Panoramas, diptychs, and triptychs are not accepted this year.
  • Images specifically commissioned for publication or some other use by a paying client are not considered true “personal work” for the purposes of this competition and may be disqualified without prior notification or explanation.
  • No AI Genertative works will be accepted at this time. 

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