The world’s largest trade association for professional photographers.

Kelly is constantly looking to grow in her commercial photography skills. She tackles new challenges, takes classes, and learns from her mentors. Membership in PPA and attendance at PPA’s Imaging USA Conference have allowed her to connect with other photographers.


PPA offers photographers the challenge of earning a degree. They earn the Master of Photography (M.Photog.) degree by 



Kelly has three photos that merited this year. This leaves her only one photo shy of her M.Photog. The three “Merit Collection” photos in this blog post were reviewed by a panel of international judgesThe judging was held publicly over a six-day livestream. In round one, the panel of judges stacked submitted images against the 12 Elements of a Merit Image:

  1. Impact 
  2. Technical Excellence
  3. Creativity
  4. Style
  5. Composition
  6. Presentation
  7. Color Balance
  8. Center of Interest
  9. Lighting
  10. Subject Matter
  11. Technique
  12. Storytelling

“Competition is so important to build my skill. These elements are exactly what I keep in mind with every photo I take.” ~ Kelly Settle, PPA



This year, Kelly had the image below used in PPA’s member magazine. Not only did Kelly’s image appear in the magazine, but it was PPA-branded to advertise the benefits of membership in PPA. This is a huge honor. They valued the image enough to use it to represent their organization. 


This is Kelly’s 2nd image published in PPA’s member magazine. For over a century, this magazine has provided photographers with technical advice, business know-how, and lessons from celebrated photographers.

“It’s truly an honor to represent the best of the best in my craft.” ~ Kelly Settle


Congratulations to Kelly on the PPA advertisement image and good luck as you work toward that final merited image!