Student Quarterly Clip Contest

The NPPA Student Quarterly Clip Contest provides eligible members with an opportunity to compete against their peers and have their entries reviewed by working professionals. Student may submit both still and multimedia work. The contest is exclusively for full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are NPPA student members in good standing. Students must be enrolled full-time for at least one semester or quarter in the entry year to be eligible. Thus, students who graduate mid-year are still eligible throughout the entire calendar year.

You may submit your entries here.


Quarter 1: Images from January/February/March 2021

Q1 Entries due: April 15, 2021 | Judges: Ashley Landis (Associated Press), Tom Brenner (Freelance), Mallory Benedict (National Geographic)


Quarter 2: Images from April/May/June 2021

Q2 Entries due: July 15, 2021 | Judges: Sammy Jo Hester (LA Times), Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet (Freelance), Christian K. Lee (Freelance)


Quarter 3: Images from July/August/September 2021

Q3 Entries due: October 20, 2021 | Judges: Julio Cortez (Associated Press), Marcia Allert (Dallas Morning News), Karly Domb Sadof (Washington Post)


Quarter 4: Images from October/November/December 2021

Q4 Entries due: January 15, 2022 | Judges: TBA

The deadline to submit entries is at 11:59pm PDT on the day of the deadline.

Please direct questions to Student Quarterly Chair Noah Riffe at



The Student Quarterly Contest is open to all NPPA student members in good standing.

To be eligible, you must have been enrolled as a full-time student for at least one semester or quarter, in the contest calendar year. You may enter work done during internships.

Pictures need not be published.


Each student may enter a total of twelve (12) entries each quarter. If more are entered, all clips for that quarter will be disqualified. Entries can be in any category or combination of categories. Up to two entries may be multimedia.


In 2019, all multiple picture stories should be entered in the Picture Story/Essay category. Each story entered in the Picture Story/Essay category counts as just one (1) entry even though it has multiple pictures. Individual images from a picture story can be entered as singles in other categories, but they will count as separate entries. Students can enter multimple pictures in the other categories, but they will be judged as singles.

For still entries, each photo must be the work of a single photographer. If two or more people collaborate to produce a single project or multimedia package, each must submit only his or her work.


Spot News – SPNW (All images judged as singles)
Coverage of events for which no advance planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, accidents, fires, natural disasters and spot police action.

General News – GENW (All images judged as singles)
Coverage planned events was possible advanced planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, courtroom events, funerals, news conferences, mock exercises, and campaigns. Spot news that develops during the course of planned events (such as riots at a protest) should be entered in Spot News.

Sports Action – SPAC (All images judged as singles)
Action photos from a sporting event.

Sports Feature – SPFT (All images judged as singles)

Feature photos from a sporting event. Photos found outside the action of competition. Each entry may consist of multiple images.

Feature/Single Picture – FTSG (All images judged as singles)
Images and subjects that don’t fit in Spot News, General News, Sports or Illustration. Typically found moments or slices of life. Pictorial images – images that show graphic and aesthetic qualities of a subject with strong emphasis on composition – may also be entered here. Single images only.

Portrait/Illustration – POIL (All images judged as singles)
Controlled portrait of a subject. Uncontrolled entries may also inlcude photos that reveal the essence of a subject’s character. Digitally manipulated or staged or constructed photographic illustrations may also be entered here, with proper note on the type of manipulation or set up in the image’s caption.

Photo Story/Essay – PSES (Images judged as a sequence)
Entries in this category must include multiple images. The category is intended for more in-depth work including photo essays, picture stories, investigative/documentary work, sequences, or series. Images from planned events or sporting events may be entered in this category but ONLY if they possess a narrative arc through the entry.

Multimedia – MLMI

Please provide a working link to YouTube or Vimeo. Projects must be embeddable and can be a mixture of audio/photography and video.

Because multimedia and multiple-picture stories can take awhile to produce, some images may be taken outside of the three-month contest period. At least half of the content needs to be produced in the contest window, however, and none of the content can have won in any NPPA contest previously.

The Student Quarterly Contest rules rely on the honesty of the participants. Any abuse of trust will not be tolerated and will result in suspension of NPPA membership for a period of time to be determined by the NPPA’s governance and judiciary committees. All entries must abide by the high ethical standard set forth in the NPPA Code of Ethics.

It is understood that any copyright of an entry remains the property of the photographer or employer of the photographer.

However, all participants agree that by entering the contest, entrants give permission to NPPA for its regional and national publications to reproduce winning entries, either through hard copy or electronically, including and not limited to, regional publications, News Photographer magazine, commercial online services and NPPA presences on the Internet. Reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure the security of electronic reproduction.

All submissions are final. Contest chairs reserve the right to assist changes in submissions before the contest date if time permits.


Please make sure the File Info/IPTC caption information is filled out correctly BEFORE uploading your images.

Your caption should include the date the photograph was made and must include the photographer’s name as well as the publication name when applicable. The contest chair has the authority to disqualify any image that fails to have the required IPTC information properly placed.

Captions should be located in either the IPTC Caption field (for Photo Mechanic) or IPTC Description field (for Photoshop).


All images must be saved as good quality JPEG files with a maximum dimension of 2,750 pixels on a side (11″ at 250 dpi). Image files should be 3 MB or less.


Each image file must have a unique name.

Entries should be labeled as follows:

For SINGLES, please label your pictures with the category abbreviation then an underscore (_), then your phone number, (_), image name and an underscore (_), then number of entry in the category.

For example:


For the PICTURE STORY/ESSAY category, please label your pictures with the category abbreviation and an underscore (_), then your phone number and an underscore (_), then the name of the story and an underscore (_), then number of the image in the sequence. Pictures will be viewed in the order that you sequence them.

For example:



PSES_8675309867_storyname_03.jpg, etc.


Individual Recognition

Students will earn 5 points for each quarter that they enter the contest.

Each quarter, the top three winners for each category will receive 50 points for first place, 40 points for second place, and 30 points for third place. There are no ties, and honorable mentions will not receive points.

The title Student Photographer of the Year is awarded to the photojournalist who accumulates the most points during the calendar year.

If there is a tie for an POY title, the following list of tiebreaker criteria is used to break any deadlocks:

1. most works placed

2. most first place winners

3. most second place winners

4. most third place winners

5. most honorable mention winners

6. most works entered

If a tie still exists, Co-Photographers of the Year will be awarded.

*REMINDER: Students must be enrolled in school at least one semester/quarter during the year to be eligible for the contest.


For pictures taken in… The deadline is…
Jan, Feb, March April 15
April, May, June July 15
July, Aug, Sept Oct 20
Oct, Nov, Dec Jan 15