Guidelines as developed in the PSWD, 2009-2012

PSWD Photography in the 2010 ARS Rose Annual


Some of Susan's Recent Photographs:

From the 2014 ARS Fall National in Photography:

Queen, 'Dream Weaver' Spray

susan brandt graham


Best Fully Open, 'Child's Play'

susan brandt graham


King, 'Gemini' entered in Creative Interpretation

susan brandt graham


Best Potpourri, 'Yoyo Hips'

susan brandt graham


Some Other Blue Ribbons from 2014 ARS Fall National:

In Creative Interpretation 'Leonidas'

susan brandt graham


In The Rose 'Gemini'

susan brandt graham


In Creative Interpretation, 'Veterans' Honor'

susan brandt graham


In Rose Sprays, 'Foolish Pleasure'

foolish pleasure


In Rose Potpourri, 'Dr. Huey"

Susan Brandt Graham


From the covers of the 2014 ARS Rose Annual:

Front cover: 'Mermaid'

susan brandt graham

Back cover: 'Red, White, and Blue American Landscape'

susan brandt graham


Susan Brandt Graham Photography

Southwest Desert Gardening and a Little More


Some Other Floral Images:

1st Place, Still Life, Black and White Spider Awards,

Bronze Medal, Nature, Paris Photo Prize 2012;

Bronze Medal, People's Choice Award, Paris Photo Prize 2012

Susan Brandt Graham


'Seasons' Series
Silver Medal, Seasons, People's Choice Award, Paris Photo Prize, 2013

Susan Brandt Graham


'Postcard Series - Amaryllis'
2015 InSight New Mexico

Susan Brandt Graham







Update October 22, 2015: ARS Guidelines

In 2012 Jolene Adams, the new ARS President that year, appointed Curtis Aumiller as Chair of the ARS Photography Committee. One charge, among many, was to develope a set of guidelines for judging rose photographs that could be used in ARS shows.

At the 2015 National Convention and Show held in Syracuse, New York, this September, the ARS Board of Directors approved as a working model the first

Guidelines and Rules For Judging Rose Photography

The members of the ARS Photography Guidelines Committe 2012-2015 were Curtis Aumiller, Chair, along with Tom Mayhew, Bill Kozemchak, Bruce Monroe (all members of the Penn-Jersey District) and myself, from the PSWD.

As Curtis Aumiller notes:

This first edition is not meant to be an ending point, but rather a starting point for those who judge rose photographs. The standards agreed upon in this manual will grow and evolve in future manuals, just as our roses grow and evolve over time. This manual is meant as a way to find common ground when judging photography of roses for those who already judge roses for horticulture or arrangements.

It is also meant to help exhibitors of rose photographs.

Seeing the manual on the ARS website is the culmination of a lot of hopes, dreams, and hard work by people working together to advance photography in our rose shows, for the joy of sharing roses through photography.



A History of PSWD Photography, 2008-2012

This website for PSWD Photography was active from Fall 2009 through June 2012, during which time I was the first Chair of Photography for the PSWD of the American Rose Society.

From the website when it was originally active, my final report as Photography Chairman:

2008 – 2012

Report of Susan Brandt Graham
Chair, PSWD Photography Committee
2009 -2012

In April of 2008, the Tucson Rose Society added Photography as a separate division to its spring rose show. I, along with Lois Brandt, ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge, and Kevin Pratt, Professional Photographer, judged that Division. The Tucson experiment, begun by Liz Strong, was a great success.

At the same time, I was asked to chair the Albuquerque Rose Society 2009 spring rose show.  I agreed only if Bill Farmer and Debbie Butcher would agree to be co-chairs, which they did. In the summer of 2008, as we began discussions for the show, the topic of photography came up. Bill was enthusiastic about working with me on this. I asked for, and received, Kreg Hill’s permission to add this to the 2009 Albuquerque show as a separate division, with the understanding there would be no ARS awards because the ARS had – and continues to have – no guidelines in place for judging photography in ARS shows.

Early on, Sally Long, PSWD Chair of Horticulture Judges, began to work with me on judging guidelines that would not conflict with ARS rules and guidelines in Horticulture and Arrangements. Sally and I had long discussions as we met at the Arrangement Judging Seminar/School held in Mesa, Arizona in the Fall of 2008. Bill Farmer and Debbie Butcher worked especially hard on how to physically organize a photography portion of a rose show – how to display, how much room to allot, reservations, and so forth.

By the time of the 2009 Albuquerque Spring Rose Show, some basic guidelines, along with sections, classes , and awards were in place for a Photography Division. I had set up a website,, where guidelines and a master schedule could be shared with anyone wanting to use it, and where winning photographs could be posted.

The Photography Division in the 2009 Albuquerque Rose Show was an overwhelming success by any measure, thanks to the work of Bill Farmer and Debbie Butcher in organizing the physical display and to Sally Long in working with me on basic guidelines.


Some of the ARS judges who judged in Albuquerque 2009 took the idea of Photography back to their societies, some began to take photography classes, and some began to offer lectures on rose photography. Photography began to grow organically in the Pacific Southwest District. More societies became aware of the Master Schedule and Guidelines, and to use the website,

The 2009 ARS Fall National was held in Palm Springs, and sponsored by the Desert Rose Society. In conjunction with the show, although separate from the ARS portion, the Desert Rose Society held an International Rose Photography Show. The Desert Rose Society set the rules for how photographs were to be entered from around the world, how they would or would not be returned, how awards would or would not be mailed to winners, etc. The various sections and the Score Card developed by Sally Long and I were used for this show, at the request of Kreg Hill. Bill Farmer and I sorted through all the photos that had been mailed to Cliff Orent, and hung them for the show. I had arranged for judges, which consisted of ARS Accredited Judges and professional photographers. Sally Long, Bill Farmer, and I worked long and hard that day, setting up the show, seeing that the judging went well, and tidying up after the judging. By all accounts, it was a beautiful show and was well received.

At the District Business Meeting at Palm Springs 2009, a Chairman for Photography for the PSWD was approved, and Kreg Hill appointed me to fill that spot. I appointed the following to be members of an ad hoc advisory committee to help me work on guidelines, schedule, improvements in the score card, education, and so forth:

  • Sally Long, PSWD Chair of Horticulture Judges; ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Bill Farmer, ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Marylou Coffman, PSWD Chair of Arrangement Judges; ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Liz Greenwood, ARS Accredited Horticulture Judge and ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Donaldina Joung, ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Dave Mahoney, ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Gerry Mahoney, ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Juanita Ortega, ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

  • Kreg Hill, ex officio, District Chairman; ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge; ARS Consulting Rosarian

The 2010  District Convention was held in Tucson. Liz Strong worked very closely with me to apply what had become the working PSWD Schedule and Guidelines for Photography as a Division. In the Albuquerque airport, on my way to Tucson, I fell and spent that day in the Emergency Room, frantically making phone calls to Liz Strong and Sally Long. I spent the next couple of weeks in bed with a concussion. Bill Farmer stepped in to set up the show for me, and by all reports the show went off without a hitch.  Photography in the PSWD was growing!


Dr. Lew Shupe, Editor of the 2010 Rose Annual, asked me to submit an article outlining what the PSWD had done with Photography as a separate division in our rose shows within the district. I was happy to accept the assignment, because it was such an honor to be asked by Lew, and it meant that the ARS readership would be introduced to the idea of what the PSWD had done with photography in our rose shows. Thank you, Lew!

PSWD Photography in the 2010 ARS Rose Annual

Thanks in part to the article in the 2010 Rose Annual, Martha Nichols introduced Photography as a separate attraction during the 2011 Spring National ARS Show (not as a division within the rose show itself). Bob and Dona Martin served as ARS judges for the show, and Will and Deni McIntyre as Professional Photographers. Although the show did not follow PSWD guidelines, the fact that the PSWD schedule and guidelines served as an inspiration for the addition to this show was very gratifying. Thank you, Martha!

Thanks to the efforts of Sally Long and Marcia Sanchez-Walsh, the PSWD Photography Guidelines, Master Schedule, Score Card, and Awards arrived on the national scene at the 2011 Fall National ARS Show, hosted by the Los Angeles/Tinseltown Rose Society. A major decision was made during selection of judges for this show. Until that time, most shows had used professional photographers as well as ARS Accredited Judges to judge rose photographs. Sometimes that worked out very well, and sometimes it worked out less than well. Photography in rose shows is about good photography of good roses, and I had seen conflicts when photographers who did not know roses wanted to judge one way (and when there were conflicts, it was often because the photographers did not know and/or did not want to use the Score Card), and the ARS judges wanted to judge another way. By this time, many of our judges had used the Score Card, and some were also accomplished photographers. All of the photography judges at the 2011 Fall ARS show were ARS Accredited Judges in both Horticulture and Arrangements. The judging went smoothly and well.

Sally Long was Judges Chair for Photography for that show. Judges for the show were Susan Brandt Graham, Dave Mahoney, Gerry Mahoney, Miriam Yoder, and Donaldina Joung.

As a result of the outcome of that show, along with consistency with discussions of the ARS Photography Committee headed at that time by Bruce Monroe, the recommendation now is that only ARS Accredited Judges (Horticulture and/or Arrangements), with preference given to those with photography experience, judge rose photographs in ARS rose shows. If a society’s show chair feels the need for additional photographic input, photographers who are not ARS Accredited Judges may be asked for advice. But, if a show wishes to award PSWD Photography Awards, the persons who determine the winners (by agreement, by vote, or whatever other means) shall be ARS Accredited Judges, just as in the Horticulture and Arrangement Divisions. The Judges Chairs for Photography Divisions shall also be ARS Accredited Judges, just as in the Horticulture and Arrangements Divisions.

First Rose Photography Seminar – Albuquerque 2012
June 1, 2012, on the first day of the PSWD Convention and Rose Show, Albuquerque hosted the first Rose Photography Judging Seminar ever. A large portion of the seminar was devoted to the Score Card and how to use it, along with practice. All the judges who judged photography the following day attended. This educational program was designed for 40 participants, and all 40 slots were filled by March 1, 2012. This was a significant step in training our judges to feel comfortable judging photography in our rose shows.

In August of 2011, Bruce Monroe, ARS Judges Chair for Horticulture, organized a Photography Committee at the ARS (National) level. Curtis Aumiller became the ARS Photography Chairman in 2012. From this point on, it is the ARS Photography Committee that will be doing the work of writing Guidelines for Rose Photography. No doubt the experience in work done in the PSWD will be reflected in the initial work of this committee, but changes, rewrites, additions, and so forth should be expected before there are any Guidelines for Judging Photography in Rose Shows at the ARS level.  The PSWD produced a solid work-in-progress, and that work will now be continued at the national level. This, I believe, is the major accomplishment of the PSWD Photography Committee, which I have had the honor to chair from its beginning in 2008 into 2012.

The PSWD District
Although the work of creating, rewriting, and expanding Guidelines for Judging Rose Photography is now in the hands of the ARS Photography Committee, until that committee issues official guidelines, the PSWD Photography Chairman and the ad hoc advisory committee he will appoint will need to continue to offer educational programs and advice throughout the District. As the ARS develops guidelines, the District Photography Chair and Committee will need to revise the district ones, and to see that the new and revised ones are implemented throughout the District.  The initial work of adding photography as a separate division to our rose shows has been accomplished in the PSWD. It is important that this work now be continued, and expanded through cooperation with the ARS.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Brandt Graham, MD, PhD
Chair, PSWD Photography Committee, 2009 - 2012
ARS Accredited Horticulture and Arrangements Judge


Printable PSWD Photography Guidelines as developed 2009-2012