Student Visual Journalism Contest


The 1st entry period for the NPPA Student Visual Journalism Contest will open on July 15th.

Submissions can be made here.

Questions and comments can be submitted to Noah Riffe, the Student Quarterly Contest Chair, at

The Student Quarterly Clip 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 calendar year. You may enter work done during internships.

Pictures need not be published.


Quarter 1: Images from January/February/March 2021

  • Q1 Entries due: April 15, 2021 (EXTENDED TO APRIL 18)

Quarter 2: Images from April/May/June 2021

  • Q2 Entries due: July 15, 2021

Quarter 3: Images from July/August/September 2021

  • Q3 Entries due: October 15, 2021

Quarter 4: Images from October/November/December 2021

  • Q4 Entries due: January 15, 2022

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

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.

In 2021, all multiple picture stories should be entered in the Picture Story/Essay category, regardless of theme or topic. Images in all other categories (Spot News, General News, Feature, Portrait & Illustration, Sports Action and Sports Feature) will be judged as singles. Students may enter multiple pictures in these categories, but each image counts as a separate entry. Similarly, students can enter individual pictures from a picture story in other categories, but each image counts as a separate entry.

All submissions are final. If time permits, contest chairs will attempt to assist with requests for changes to submissions before the contest closes each month but this is not guaranteed.

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.


Before uploading your images please make sure that your File Info/ IPTC caption information area is filled out correctly.

Please place the following information in the specific corresponding text fields. The contest chair has authority to disqualify any image that fails to have the required IPTC information properly placed.

Caption* = IPTC Caption (Photo Mechanic) or IPTC Description (Photoshop)

Photographer’s Name ONLY = IPTC Credit

School Name ONLY = IPTC Source

*DO NOT put Photographer’s Name/School Name in the same field.

*DO NOT place your name or credit information in the caption field.

*Captions MUST include the date the image was shot and should be in proper style i.e. “John Smith chops wood on March 14, 2015.”

*All entries must have a caption that clearly explains what the picture shows.

The contest chair has the authority to disqualify any image that fails to have the required IPTC information properly placed.

Each image file must have a unique name.

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

For example:

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

For example:

PSES_8675309867_storyname_01.jpg, PSES_8675309867_storyname_02.jpg, PSES_8675309867_storyname_03.jpg, etc.

Spot News – SPNW
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
Coverage of events in which advance planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, courtroom events, funerals, news conferences, mock exercises, concerts and campaigns. Spot news that develops during the course of planned events (such as riots at a protest) should be entered in the Spot News category.

Feature/Single Picture – FTSG
Images of candid or found moments that present a fresh view of ordinary situations or a “slice of life.'” Pictorial images that show graphic and aesthetic qualities of a subject with strong emphasis on composition may also be entered here.

Portrait/Illustration – POIL
Controlled portrait of a subject. Uncontrolled entries may also include 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.

Sports Action – SPAC
Images from a sporting event that focus on the primary action/competition.

Sports Feature – SPFT
Images from a sporting event that focus on subjects outside the primary action/competition.

Photo Story/Essay – PSES
Entries in this category must include multiple images, showcasing 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 if they possess a narrative arc through the entry. Images will be viewed in the order they are sequenced.

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

Students will receive five (5) points for every quarter that they submit images in the contest.

Each quarter, the top three winners for each category will win additional points:  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 student accumulating the most points for the calendar year will be named NPPA Student Photographer of the Year.

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


Questions and comments: can be submitted to Student Quarterly Chair Noah Riffe at