Still Photojournalism

The Best of Photojournalism – Still Photojournalism division recognizes visual journalists who, working through the medium of still photography, tell stories that are relevant to their communities, helping them understand trends and issues so that they can make informed decisions. Judges will look at technical excellence as well as composition, but the key factor will be the journalism that is demonstrated.

Entries in this category are created and entered by individual photojournalists, there are no team categories. Entries will be submitted as individual images, stories or portfolios, depending upon the category.

Photojournalists may work as either members of a publication staff or as independent photographers. The work must have been made with the intent of journalistic publication, either in print or online – work created as sponsored content or for a company, brand, team or other entity is not allowed. Entries do not need to have been published.

Please see the Technical Guidelines section of the competition web site for more detailed information.

NOTE: Photographers can only enter one of the full-portfolio Photojournalist of the Year categories (Large Market, Small Market, Emerging or Magazine), but may also enter the Sports Photojournalist of the Year. Still Photography categories are open to newspaper, magazine, wire and independent photographers.

Please refer to the Guidelines section of the competition website for more details, and contact [email protected] for more information or questions about the contest.

Photojournalist of the Year, Large Market

A portfolio of images created by an individual from a newspaper or media publication with a print circulation or digital reach over 50,000. Independent and wire service photographers may also enter this category. The entry should contain up to 40 images (blank or black slides to separate content will not count towards total). At least two picture stories are required containing up to 12 images each. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Photojournalism of the Year, Small Market

A portfolio of images created by an individual from a newspaper or media publication under 50,000 in circulation or digital reach. The entry should contain up to 40 images (blank or black slides to separate content will not count towards the total). At least two picture stories are required containing up to 12 images each. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Magazine Photojournalist of the Year

A portfolio of images created by an individual with photographs published or assigned by a magazine in print or online. The entry should contain up to 40 images (blank or black slides to separate content will not count towards the total). At least two picture stories are required containing up to 12 images each. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Emerging Vision Photojournalist of the Year

A portfolio of images created by an individual who has been in the photojournalism profession for two years or less. Photojournalists from any news publication, wire service or magazine may enter. Independent photographers may also enter this category. The entry should contain up to 40 images (blank or black slides to separate content will not count towards the total). At least two picture stories are required containing up to 12 images each. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Breaking News

A photograph from a spontaneous or breaking news event. 

Breaking News Story

A picture story from a spontaneous or breaking news event. The entry may contain up to 12 images. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

General News 

An issue-based or general news photograph. (Breaking news and political single photographs should be entered in their respective categories.) 

General News Story 

An issue-based or general news picture story. (Breaking news and political picture stories should be entered in their respective categories.) The entry may contain up to 12 images. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words). 

Politics

A photograph from election coverage, coverage of political candidates, the January 6th insurrection and other political issues.

Politics Story

A picture story from election coverage, coverage of political candidates, the January 6th insurrection and other political issues. The entry may contain up to 12 images. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Science

A photograph that illuminates a specific scientific issue, story, breakthrough, or crisis. Reporting on the climate crisis belongs here. Reporting on the pandemic belongs here. Reporting on issues related to the natural world belong here, as do science-related stories of smaller scale such as local policy or environmental issues.

Science Story

A picture story that illuminates a specific scientific issue, story, breakthrough, or crisis. Reporting on the climate crisis belongs here. Reporting on the pandemic belongs here. Reporting on issues related to the natural world belong here, as do science-related stories of smaller scale such as local policy or environmental issues. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Sports Action

A peak action photograph that captures the spirit of a sports competition – either on the part of an individual or a team. 

Sports Feature

A sports-related feature photograph. The event covered should be separate from the game action or outside of the field of play. 

Sports Picture Story

A series of pictures that depicts a story line or single theme that build a visual narrative. Individual game galleries should not be entered here. This entry may contain up to 12 images. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Sports Photojournalist of the Year

A portfolio consisting of sports related action and/or sports feature photography created by an individual photographer. The included images can be published or not but must have been photographed during the calendar year.. The entry should contain up to 40 images (blank or black slides to separate content will not count towards the total). At least two picture stories are required – containing up to 12 images each. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Feature

A single photograph that captures the human-interest of daily life or a fresh view of an everyday scene in a found situation. 

Feature Story

A picture story that captures the human-interest of daily life. The entry may contain up to 12 images. Within the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Portrait/Personality

A single photograph that captures a unique aspect of a person’s character or personality. 

Portrait Series

Multiple photographs that capture a unique aspect of one or more person’s character or personality. The unifying theme must be held together by a narrative thread, consistent photographic style and/or compelling environment with an obvious connection between the individual(s) being documented. In the caption block of the first image in a series, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).

Cliff Edom New America Award

In urban communities and rural towns, the spirit of diversity is celebrated and witnessed in everyday life. Our goal is to recognize photographic storytelling that focuses on communities, diverse groups, and issues in America that are often under-covered in the media. 

Acknowledging the genius and effectiveness of Cliff Edom’s vision, approach and passion for teaching, we ask you to contribute your entries. Cliff Edom (1907-1991) began his experimentation in photographic education in 1943. His purpose was to provide access to the community life of a small town (and local communities) for photographers so that they could hone and develop photojournalistic skills. 

The entry may contain up to 24 images. Long-term stories up to four years are eligible but 25% of the images must have been taken or initially published in 2021. In the caption block of the first image in a story, you must include a short overall story description at the top of the caption (up to 100 words).