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Still Photojournalism Division

The 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 contact [email protected] for more information or questions concerning this division. Download a pdf of Still Photojournalism Categories and Divisions

Please see the 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.

 

Photojournalist of the Year (large market): A portfolio of images created by an individual from a newspaper or media publication over 50,000 in circulation. 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).

Photojournalist of the Year (small market): A portfolio of images created by an individual from a newspaper or media publication under 50,000 in circulation. 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).

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 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 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).

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. 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).

Presidential: A photograph that features any presidential candidate or any related event during the 2020 presidential election.

Presidential Story: A story that features any presidential candidate or related event during the 2020 presidential election. 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 a political event, scene or political issue. Presidential election photos should not be entered here.

Politics Story: A picture story from a political event, scene or political issue. Presidential election photo stories should not be entered here. 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).

Environment: A photograph from our natural environment or relating to an environmental issue, whether they report on a specific local facet or phenomenon of this global crisis, or if they address a national or global policy or initiative. Climate change photos should be entered here.

Environment Story: A picture story from our natural environment or relating to environmental issues. Climate change photos should be entered here, whether they report on a specific local facet or phenomenon of this global crisis, or if they address a national or global policy or initiative. 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).

Contemporary Issues: A photograph that portrays who we are as a society – through events or issues that have altered our lives, perspective or behavior. If applicable, reactionary or interpretive content directly related to the evolving dynamics of cultural/personal identity and COVID-19 related photos may be entered here.

Contemporary Issues Story: Photo stories that portray who we are as a society – through events or issues that have altered our lives, perspective or behavior. If applicable, reactionary or interpretive content directly related to the evolving dynamics of cultural/personal identity and COVID-19 related photo stories may 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 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).

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 entry may contain up to 12 images. 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 2020. 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).

Sony Best of Show: After reviewing all winning entries, the judges will select one Sony Best of Show award that was an overwhelming standout in the competition.