About: Quarterly Picture Editing Contest

Picture Editing Quarterly Contest

The use of photography is a complex process involving many steps along the way to excellence. Some, such as photographer coaching and assignment editing, are difficult to evaluate as one looks at a visual presentation. But picture selection, cropping and sizing, page/website/mobile design, the packaging of words and pictures and innovation can be evaluated by studying an entry.

This is not a photo contest nor is it a design contest. But, both page design and the quality of the photography (both staff-generated and from wire services) are important factors in determining the most effective use of photography to tell visual stories in print and digital publications in innovative and beautiful ways. Judges are urged to consider all these factors as they determine which entries to honor.

Though there is an understanding that the use of audio, video and interactivity may be part of some of the entries in this contest, this is NOT a contest which judges multimedia content. It is a picture editing, use of photography contest and innovation in visual storytelling contest. Entries may contain multimedia, but will NOT be primarily evaluated on these elements. The NPPA has a separate Monthly Multimedia Contest, which should be used for video and audio-slideshow entries.

An entrant may enter a project in more than one division (print or digital) if the work is displayed well throughout each medium. For example, a project could be entered as it was printed AND as it was displayed digitally.

The contest is open to all NPPA members in good standing. Only ONE team member per entry needs to be an NPPA member.  You may enter up to 8 of entries per quarter. These 8 entries can come from any of the picture editing categories. There are separate entry forms for each of the 5 categories.

Notice that each entry requires the entrant to include a jpeg(s) of the page(s) or a jpeg of the screenshot of the entry. Some entries from dynamically changing pages will be judged from those screenshots if the content changes rapidly but winners will be displayed on the NPPA site with these screenshots or jpegs of page designs, so this is a required and crucial step to the application process.

Projects should be entered in the quarter of the year in which they were published. Projects published over two quarters can only be entered in one quarter but can contain the entire project.

ENTRY DEADLINESEntries for each quarter should be received by the national contest chairperson by the 15th day of the month they are due.

Quarter 1  (January, February, March) – Due April 15th

Quarter 2 (April, May, June) – Due July 15th

Quarter 3 (July, August, September) – Due October 15th

Quarter 4 (October, November, December) – Due January 15th


Points will be awarded during each quarter as follows:

  • First Place = 50 points
  • Second Place = 40 points
  • Third Place = 30 points


Print Single Page (PSP) – A single printed page from a publication containing any type of photography (news, sports, feature, etc.) Each entry should showcase excellent use of photography, design and picture editing. Entry can be a page with multiple unrelated stories or an entry with one story.

Print Multiple Page (PMP) – Multiple printed pages from a publication containing any type of photography (news, sports, feature, etc.) Each entry should showcase excellent use of photography, design and picture editing. Entry should be primarily from one story over a series of pages.

Digital Site Page (DSP) – Entries in this category will typically contain several stories with several visual elements and will be judged on the use of photography, design and picture editing. Examples could be site home pages, digital section pages or blogs, but should NOT be special projects or photo galleries (see below Digital Single Story category for those types of entries.) Since pages change often, please enter a jpeg image of the screen shot in addition to the URL link.

Digital Single Story (DSS) – Entries in this category can be of news, feature, sports or other types of photographic coverage. Each entry should be a single topic or story presented on a digital platform. Entries can be website pages or photographic galleries. Enter the URL of the project and any special instructions for judges (i.e. that there are multiple pages, to judge from screenshots or to only judge the gallery on the page).

Digital Visual Innovation (DVI) – Entries in this category should showcase innovative ways of using photography on any digital platform including, but not limited to, mobile specific projects. Judges will look for both the quality of picture editing, design and use of photography AND will reward projects who push the boundaries of traditional publishing and visual storytelling in any way. Examples could include mobile-specific projects, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality Projects, APPs or other innovative approaches to displaying photographs and visual storytelling. This category will be a place to recognize and reward risk-taking that pays off with new approaches to visual storytelling with photography.