Judging Criteria

The AIBP Visionary Awards have 10 areas of judging criteria.  Although judging is a subjective art, these criteria will serve as the guidelines for our judges.

 1. Creativity
Your point of view is exactly that– yours. And it’s unlike anyone else’s. This element speaks directly to that perspective and what makes you, you as an artist. It shows your imagination and how you used the medium of photography to convey the story of your client’s boudoir experience.  There are many ways to apply this element to your work. Maybe you use light in a specific way on a subject, distinctively style wardrobe, or incorporate unique set designs. It’s the decisions you make as an artist for the expressed purpose of underscoring desired impact. When creativity and style come together in an appropriate manner, the effects on an image can be spectacular. Creativity and style are how you differentiate yourself as an artist from others.

 2. Impact/Impression
When an image stops you in your tracks or in your social media scrolling. When it commands your attention and makes you linger or lean in so you can enjoy it more.  It can come in many forms; color, storytelling, beauty, sensuality, technical excellence, unique perspective, humor, etc. It can be anything that grabs your attention and pulls you in to look at it more intensely.  That’s called an impact, and the more powerful the image, the more powerful the response of the viewer.

 3. Originality
An original idea is one not thought up by another person beforehand. In photography, we are constantly bombarded with imagery. While being inspired by another’s work and making it our own is how we grow as artists, copying another artists work and passing it off as your own original idea is plagiarism. This competition is about the originality of the photographer and stretching their creativity by presenting us with something new and original. The originality element is determining if the imagery is unique and hasn’t been seen or done before.


Image Credit: Rhea Lewis Photography

Image Credit: Couture Black

 4. Composition
When all the visual elements of an image come together to express intent, that’s when the magic of composition happens. Good composition captures a viewer’s attention and directs it where you, the artist, want it to be. Intentional placement of all the elements surrounding your subject to tell your story is good composition. A good way to determine if you have too many elements in your composition is to think of yourself as a painter with a blank canvas, would you include that extra element to paint or would you leave it out.  How much or how little you choose, placement, as well as positive and negative space will determine successful composition.

 5. Emotion
In all portraiture, it’s all about telling the story of your subject. In boudoir it’s about connecting with your client’s sensuality. We do this by guiding them through the session and providing them a safe space to experience the moment through their senses that reconnects them to sensuality and embodies them with the freedom to fully express themselves. A successful image should evoke their feelings of confidence, beauty, masculinity, power, sensuality, etc.  It is important that the client feels these things, but a successful image will force us, the viewer, to look inward at ourselves as well. It gives us insight into the vulnerability of the subject and how we can relate to them.  It’s your job to tell their emotional story by designing a session that makes them feel safe and will tap into your client’s vulnerability. The image should be intentional in this way as to showcase what makes them unique and how you have best captured their authentic sensual essence and therefore their story.

 6. Center of Interest
The center of interest of an image should be the subject of the story. In a successful portrait image, the center of interest should be clearly illuminated and the sharpest focus of the composition so that the viewer is clear who or what the story is about.  In other abstract interpretations, the center of interest can also be handled by utilizing contrast that creates emphasis and determines the center of interest. This can be contrast in color, value, texture, shape, space, or line. When the viewer is distracted by multiple elements obscuring the viewer from the subject or story, the viewer becomes confused and the story less impactful.

 7. Lighting
The use and control of light influences every aspect of an image. It informs dimensions and shape, it sets tone and mood, and, like every other technique, proper lighting can be used to enhance your image while improper lighting can detract from it.

 8. Posing
Since boudoir is a form of portraiture, the client is the subject, and it is essential that the subject is positioned to accentuate their features in the most pleasing way. The client should be posed in a way that is flattering to the client’s form and shape.

 9. Technical Excellence
This is the quality of the actual image itself as it’s presented for viewing. It should represent a mastery of the technical side of photography. There are a lot of aspects that makeup technical excellence including:|
– Exposure
– Focus
– Sharpness
– Color Balance
– Details in Highlights and Shadows
– Camera angle and lens choice

 10. Postproduction – Retouch
Postproduction and retouching can bring a sense of emotion and story to the image.  When the overall manipulation of the image all works together to support an image story, the emotional appeal is that much greater. But post-production done wrong can seriously detract from the image story, and the viewer is left questioning the artist’s choices. You can use postproduction to evoke any number of feelings from a viewer. The choice in how to take advantage of it is entirely up to you, but no matter what, be sure your choice enhances rather than distracts.


NOTE:  Artificial Intelligence (AI Text to Image) Images, and Computer-Generated Images (CGI) Images have their own category in this competition and are not permitted in any other category.  AIBP reserves the right to request the raw file for images entered, if we feel rules were not followed. Jpegs, tiffs, png., files will not be accepted as evidence.

Image Credit: Brianna Lane Boudoir

Image Credit: Rhea Lewis Photography

Image Credit: Couture Black

Image Credit: Brianna Lane Boudoir

Highest Honor – Superb artistry and meets all requirements at the highest level
Eligible for Best in Category & Best in Show

Exceptional Honor – Outstanding artistry and fulfills all requirements at an exemplary level.

Distinguished Honor – Excellent artistry and meets most requirements at a high level.

Honorable – Commendable artistry and satisfies key requirements with notable performance.


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