I do not like the inconsistency in what is deemed a portrait and what is not. Some people's photos get accepted into the gallery and comments are allowed. Others, like me, can upload something with a person in it and the comments are disallowed. This is just one of the favoritism factors at WU that I have noticed in the past 2 yrs. It is disheartening and a huge turn off when the favoritism is so blatant. It is the same feeling when some folks great photos are ignored and other so-so photographers have AC's multiple times a week. There are times when I wish I could give my AC to someone more deserving. Maybe you should go to a system of judging blindly so the Approvers don't know who the photographer is before they choose it.
My votes are used up or I'd give this 3 of them!
Hiding the submitter's name for portrait approval or AC awards is a great idea!
Portrait selections and AC awards seem to be a matter of who you are more than the photos you take. There are a few excellent ACs awarded to relatively unknown photographers, but most ACs seem to go to a smallish subset of prolific photographers, whether or not the photo is very good. As to the Portrait issue, I've even had them rejected as not meeting the weather/outdoor criteria, even though the photo or image is for use in a blog about gardening or a National Wildlife Refuge.