Back in early February, I submitted images into the Professional Photographers of Canada’s  National Image Salon competition. In Toronto over the weekend my four images, along with over 700 other images from some of the greatest photographers across the country, were reviewed by a panel of highly qualified judges. I was able to watch the live stream of most of the judging, which is a huge learning experience. Unofficially, I knew my results after my final image was judged Saturday afternoon. However, nothing is set in stone until you get the official email. I got that in my inbox last night, so now I can share the news and the images!

Now unless you are a fellow PPOC member reading this,  you’re probably wondering what exactly all this means. I’m sure each of us has our own reasons for entering Nationals. For me, it is another way to challenge myself both technically and creatively. Since joining PPOC in 2012 I have made it a point to participate in the organization as much as I can. In the past 5 years, I have held an executive position in our local branch, I am the Pre-Accreditation Review Publisher for Ontario, and I have volunteered on committees for our provincial and national conventions. For a creative boost, I work on submitting for accreditation and, of course, I make sure to enter into the image salon competitions. Every volunteer position, successful accreditation submission and image accepted into the National Image Salon earns PPOC members points to be used towards special designations such as Craftsman or Master of Photographic Arts. After last year’s National Image Salon I had enough points for my Craftsman of Photographic Arts and am currently on track to receive my MPA in a couple of years!

Based on the feedback I received from entering images into the Ontario and Atlantic provinces salons, I felt I had four very solid entries for Nationals. However, you never know what to expect entering into the National Salon. While your images may have done well at Provincials, the expectations and talent of the work seen at the Nationals are on a completely different level.  This year I had my best showing. All four images I entered were accepted into the Salon. Two of those images earned a score of Merit, and one even managed to score an Excellence!!!

“From those submitted images deemed worthy of inclusion in the final Salon, there are tiered levels of acceptance. The first level is simply known as “Accepted” and denotes that the image is of a high enough level to warrant being displayed in a prestigious national display of photography by the members of PPOC. The next level is known as “Merit” and indicates a clear step above the first level of Accepted. The highest level is known as “Excellence, which really says it all. Excellence images are a very small and elite group of images that have risen to the top. These are simply remarkable images.” -from the website


Melissa Woodward, CPA - PPOC's 2017 Photographic Artist of the Year! - Is a Photographic Artist is located in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
Melissa is Nationally Accredited with the Professional Photographers of Canada ( in the categories of Newborn, Fine Art/Photo Decor, Botanical, Nature and Image Manipulation.
Melissa has also had her Fine Art Images displayed in galleries across Canada and Internationally.