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General Rules

These general rules apply to all entries regardless of the category (except the SLWA Narrative Award). In addition to these general rules, for each category there are category specific rules which apply to all images entered into those categories and associated subcategories. Whenever there is a conflict between these general rules and the category specific rules, the category specific rules shall take precedence.

General Rules

1.1. Entering the Awards 

1.1.1  All entrants must reside in Western Australia at the time of submitting an entry to these awards.

Note: Residence is determined by the entrant’s address on the Australian Electoral Commission electoral role.

1.1.2  All entries must be made online via the official entry online portal (at and comply with the instructions provided thereon.

1.1.3  Entrants can identify themselves as either a `Pro Photographer' or an `Enthusiast' when submitting images. For the purpose of this competition, the definition of a ‘Pro Photographer’ is anyone who meets the criteria to join Pro Photography WA Inc.

1.1.4  Whilst ‘Enthusiast’ photographers (e.g. a keen amateur) are eligible to win any category or individual award they cannot receive the Ilford WA Professional Photographer of the Year award or the Success Legal Business of the Year award.

Note: While the Orloff Awards are primarily intended for the professional photographer industry, we encourage outstanding photography by others to be part of these awards. Therefore, non-professional photographers are welcome to enter as an 'Enthusiast.' However, if you are a Pro Photography WA member or meet the criteria for Pro Photography WA membership, we recommend entering as a Pro Photographer, as there is no advantage for you to enter as an 'Enthusiast' in this case.

1.1.5  If an entrant makes multiple entries, the choice of entering as a `Pro Photographer' or an `Enthusiast' must be the same for all entries.

1.1.6  All of an entrant’s images must be distinct from each other and may not resemble or look similar to images entered in the current or previous Orloff Award competitions.

1.1.7  The Organiser has the authority to move an image or folio into a different category or subcategory, without advising the entrant, if it is deemed the image has been entered into an inappropriate category or subcategory.

1.1.8  An entry must not contain, in the opinion of the Organiser, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

1.1.9  Entrants must initially enter digital files only, which must be suitable for judging on calibrated monitors. The specifications are stated in Section 11. Entries not complying with the specifications will be deemed invalid.

1.1.10 If a single image, or a folio, is selected to be a `finalist’ for a category, to continue in the competition the entrant must, at their expense, print and mat the images in accordance with the specifications (refer Section 11). They must be submitted to the Organiser before the stated time. These matted prints will be judged to determine the award winners, and may become part of the awards exhibition.

Note: There is no guarantee that any specific ‘finalist’ print(s) will be displayed in the exhibition. The content of the final exhibition will be determined in conjunction with the State Library of WA (SLWA). Factors which could affect the selection include, but are not limited to: space limitations, suitability for the display restrictions of the SLWA building, alignment with SLWA’s programming themes, in-house style, interpretation strategy or any reason determined by the Organiser.

1.1.11 Pro Photography WA Inc committee members, Orloff Awards subcommittee members and anyone who is judging for these awards are permitted to enter the awards. However, they will not be able to judge their own images. Additionally, a judge, whether or not they have entered the awards or not, may not judge any image expressly known to them and will step off the judging panel.

1.1.12 `No refunds' will be provided for fees paid to the Organiser to enter the Orloff Awards, including when an entrant chooses to withdraw their entry, or their entry is deemed invalid.

1.1.13 In any instance of dispute, the decision of the Organiser is final.


1.2. `Folio’ or `Single Images’

1.2.1  There are two types of entries: single images or a folio of four images. Each entry must be allocated to a specific category and subcategory (when applicable). In a folio entry, all four images must be entered into the same category and subcategory (when applicable). If the images are split across subcategories or categories, they will be considered single images and ineligible for any awards that are folio-based.

Note: When a category has subcategories, it will always include a ‘General’ subcategory. If an image does not match a specific subcategory, it must be entered into that category’s `General’ subcategory.

1.2.2  An entrant can enter:   

a folio of four images per subcategory (or category when subcategories are not available).         

single images (up to three) in any subcategory (or category when subcategories are not available).         

any number of subcategories (or categories when subcategories are not available).

Note: Folio images do not necessarily need to be connected by a common theme, or work together as a `set of images’. They can be four distinctly individual images demonstrating a diverse variety of content, subject, style, post-production effects, etc.

1.2.3  Only one entry of a folio of images is permitted per subcategory (or category when a subcategory is not available). The same image cannot be entered into more than one category or subcategory. 

1.2.4  Single images may not be entered into any subcategory (or category when subcategories are not available) if the entrant has submitted a folio into that subcategory (or category when subcategories are not available).

1.2.5  An entrant can only be a winner of a subcategory by submitting a folio of four images in that subcategory.

1.2.6  Only a folio of four images can win a main category and they must come from a single subcategory (when subcategories are available). 

1.2.7  Entrants can allocate single images across more than one subcategory and these will only be considered as finalists for individual print awards. 

1.2.8  If three or fewer folios (each with four images) are received within a subcategory, then the images and folios for that subcategory will be consolidated into that category’s `General’ subcategory. Entrants affected by this consolidation will be notified shortly after the entries' closing date.

1.2.9  Winning entries of any subcategory will be declared a `winner of that subcategory’ (e.g., “Winner of the Portrait subcategory Family”) and will be in the running for the “Portrait Photographer of the Year” award, along with all of the other subcategory winners within the main category. 

1.2.10Winning entries of any category will be declared Photographer of the Year in that category (e.g. “Portrait Photographer of the Year”) and will be in the running for the “Ilford WA Professional Photographer of the Year” award, along with all the category winners. 

1.2.11Prize monies are only available to winners of the main categories and the “Ilford WA Professional Photographer of the Year”.

Note: A winner of a category or subcategory might not necessarily have the highest scoring folio, as the judging of finalists does not consider individual image scores. Folios are judged on merit, including comparison with the competing folios, with the `best folio' (as determined by the judges) being chosen as a winner.


1.3. Copyright

1.3.1  The entrant must be the photographer who has taken the image and either own copyright of all entered images, or have the permission of the copyright owner to enter the images into these awards. This includes the right to display the images in the exhibition, use the images in any promotion of the awards and exhibition, be considered for the SLWA collection, and to comply with any other requirements of the awards and exhibition.

1.3.2  Copyright is retained by the entrant (or the copyright owner at the time of entering these awards). However, the Organiser may use the images to promote these or future awards and/or the exhibition. Images in this instance will be credited with the photographer’s name.

1.3.3  Model releases are the responsibility of the entrant and are to be made available upon request by the Organiser.


1.4. Capture

1.4.1  All images must be 100% photographic in origin, meaning they must originate from the action of light or other forms of radiant energy upon a photographic medium or device, becoming a visible image. For example: a film, or digital camera, or digital scanner. Images created solely within a computer environment are not eligible.

1.4.2  No image or portion of an image is permitted to be created by AI (artificial intelligence) services/software except as permitted in Section 1.5 of these general rules.

1.4.3  All images (including all images used to create composite images) are to be captured by the entrant.

1.4.4  Images may be either single or multiple capture (e.g. HDR, multi-exposure, pano-stitch, etc.) unless the rules for the entered category or subcategory stipulate otherwise.

1.4.5  Polyptychs (i.e. diptychs, triptychs, etc.) are permitted, unless specifically excluded by the category rules.

1.4.6  The capture of all images must be the sole work of the entrant. Images captured under the direct guidance or instruction of another photographer, such as during a workshop where composition, lighting, or camera settings are suggested, models/talent/props are provided, or any other equipment is set up by another person, cannot be entered into these awards. However, images captured during photo walks, tours, styled shoots, or other creative collaborations between peers are permitted, provided that the purpose of the event was not educational and was not organized by someone as a professional endeavour.

For styled shoots and images created through a collaboration, the entrant must obtain a signed acknowledgment from the collaborator(s) confirming that the entrant was the primary photographer for the image being entered and that the collaborator(s) agrees to the image being entered into the awards.

1.4.7  Images eligible for entry into the Orloff Awards must have been captured within 5 years from the date entries open.


1.5. Post Production (including the use of AI)

1.5.1  All images must comply with this section. However, certain categories may contain rules which provide additional restrictions and/or requirements to the application of post processing.

1.5.2  Post-production processing must be under the direct control of the photographer, whether that processing involves manual techniques such as cloning, painting, dodging, etc., or automated such as using filters or plug-ins.

1.5.3  ‘Content-aware Fill’ or similar modifications that are entirely based on pixels in the original image/s and which does not extend the image beyond its original boundaries are ‘acceptable’.

1.5.4  ‘Generative Fill’ or other processes that utilise content generated by software from written prompts or developed from the work of others are ‘not acceptable’.

Note: The following examples clarify the above rules. 

Can I still create Composite Images?

Yes, the conditions around creating a composite image remain unchanged. For example:

  • Replacement skies can be used provided the replacement sky is an image taken by the entrant.
  • An image can have many elements (for example: boats, buildings, people, water, skies,) from many different images combined into one image using manual processing such as cloning, painting, dodging, etc., or automated such as using filters or plug-ins provided each element was taken by the entrant.


Can I expand the physical size of my image by adding to the top, bottom or side of my image (i.e. adding extra sky to the top, or grass to the bottom)?

Yes, provided that the expansion is using existing elements of your image and complies with 1.5.1.

Can I use Generative Fill, or similar, to create or remove an object (for example: person, flora or fauna, building, scenery effect etc) in my image?

This is not allowable if you use content generated by software from written prompts or developed from the work of others. For example:

  • Removing an ‘unnecessary’ tree that is replaced with existing associated imagery is allowable.
  • Removing a person and replacing them with a ‘dog on a lead’ is not
  • allowable.
  • Removing the background of an existing bush scene and using text asking for a ‘beach background scene’ to be added is not allowable.
  • Using generative fill to ‘add a waterfall’ to a scene where the waterfall is not part of an image taken by the photographer is not allowable.
  • Turning a summer scene into a winter scene that introduces snow that was not part of an image taken by the photographer is not allowable.


If you are still uncertain ask yourself does my image comply specifically with rules 1.4.1, 1.4.3 and 1.5.2.

1.5.5  When submitting images in categories allowing post-production or retouching, entrants will be required to declare the name of the retoucher (or person who completed post-production enhancement of the image). This may be the entrant or another party, person or business.

1.5.6  Images must be free of all watermarks and may not bear the name, seal, logo or indication of the maker.


1.6. Verification, Validity & Disqualification

1.6.1  The Organiser reserves the right to ask an entrant to provide any or all raw files, or unedited camera created JPEGs, for any images or composites used in image submissions. The Organiser will exercise this right on a random basis to audit entries, and may also choose to exercise this right on specific entries on an as needed basis. Failure to provide the required files within the given timeframe could result in the entry and/or entrant being disqualified, and any awards and/or prizes being surrendered in retrospect.

1.6.2  Where photo composites are created using Photoshop (or similar photo editing software), upon request the entrant is to make available the image file complete with all layers (that demonstrate every image element has a photographic origin). It may also be a requirement for the entrant include original files to demonstrate the photographers original capture and that the entry is 100% photographic in origin.

1.6.3  For an entry to be deemed valid the digital images must have been received in the specified format and full payment must have been received by the Organiser before the closing date and time. In addition, for finalists the matted prints must be submitted within be submitted within the specified timeframe in the specified format.

1.6.4  In the event that only partial payment has been made before the closing time and date, the entry will be deemed to be invalid. However, if the entrant has made multiple entries the Organiser will determine at their sole discretion which of the entries will be deemed to be valid (up to the value of the entry fee paid), and which will not.

1.6.5  Any entrant who is found to not be complying with any of the competition rules may be disqualified and any prizes and awards may be withdrawn or required to be returned.

1.6.6  If an entrant, in the opinion of the Organisers, knowingly breaks the competition rules in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage, the Organiser may, at their sole discretion, ban the entrant from further participation in the Orloff Awards for a specific period or indefinitely.

1.6.7  In the event of disqualification for any reason, ‘No refunds' will be provided for fees paid to the Organiser to enter the Orloff Awards.

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