Second Annual Juried Student Documentary Photography Contest

Best in Show Tania Cattebeke
Second Annual Juried Student Documentary Photography Exhibition Contest

Presented by:

School of Journalism and Media

Second Annual Juried Student Documentary Photography Contest

Opens: January 1, 2024

This event has been concluded.

EXTENDED DATE: February 19, 2024

Exhibition Dates: March 25, 2024 - September 1, 2024


The School of Journalism and Media invites current and recent undergraduate and graduate students from Moody College of Communication to enter news and documentary photographs for possible inclusion in our annual Juried Student Photo Exhibition.

The 20 photographs will be selected by an outside professional juror to be printed, framed and displayed in the School of Journalism and Media Photo Gallery on the 3rd floor of DMC. In addition a Best in Show Award $500 scholarship and two Honourable Mention scholarships valued at $250 will be announced at the exhibition opening.

PLEASE READ BELOW: for more information on who may apply, the specific submission requirements, and a link to the application form and image upload instructions. Any entries which do not follow the directions can not be considered.

For any questions or concerns, you can reach out to Professor Donna De Cesare

All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Moody College of Communication are permitted to submit entries, including all graduating seniors, part-time undergraduate students, and any students who have taken Moody courses in the last year. 

Requirements for submission:

  • ​All photographs must be original and must have been captured using a digital DSLR or mirrorless camera between January 1, 2023 and the contest deadline February 16, 2024.   Photographs made prior to January 1, 2023 OR submitted to last year’s contest are ineligible. Photographs made using cell phone cameras are ineligible.
  • Only 5 photographs may be submitted per student. Each photograph MUST have an AP style photo caption embedded in the photo file information.
  • Any category of journalism and documentary photography will be accepted (spot news, portraiture, sports, feature photography, slice of life, pictorial and social issue documentary etc)
  • Total folder size for each contestant should not exceed 25 MB uncompressed.

Step 1. Select and organize choosing single stand alone images with diverse subject matter and aesthetic approach.  

Step 2. Open your images using Lightroom, Photoshop, Photomechanic or other software that allows you to write AP style caption information so that it is embedded in the IPTC metadata add your captions and make sure that you convert raw files or tiff files to .Jpeg files following specs below

  • File type: .JPEG only  
  • Image size: 3000 pixels minimum on the longer side.
  • Image aspect ratio should be 3:2, the normal default for a DSLR if you crop an image you must crop it set this same aspect ratio.   Our photo matts can not accommodate custom crops.

We recommend a Jpeg compression setting between 10-11 and not less than 9 (for Adobe Lightroom users, 100 on the compression slider is preferred, minimum is 90) 

  • Resolutions 300 dpi minimum

 Do not upsize or interpolate your submissions. They will be unprintable.

Step 3. Name your still image files as follows

  • 1st entry: Lastname_1.jpeg
  • 2nd entry: Lastname_2.jpeg
  • 3rd entry: Lastname_3.jpeg
  • 4th entry: Lastname_4.jpeg
  • 5th entry: Lastname_5.jpeg

Step 4. Once you have no more than 5 photographs captioned and named place them in a folder with your full name. Then compress the folder into a zip file and you are ready to upload using the box upload button.

REMINDER: Box will not accept your folder unless it is compressed into a zip file. Remember that the total size of your folder before you compress it should not exceed 100MB

All images must comply with NPPA ethics standards

The Annual Student Documentary Photography exhibition is a journalistic competition. Digital alteration, use of AI or deceptive modification of entry materials is strictly prohibited.  Except for portraiture, staging and re-creations are prohibited.

 AP style captions MUST be included with the images or the submission will be disqualified. Please do not include your name in the photo caption field.

Single images will be selected for the exhibition based upon qualities that contribute to technical excellence including: effective use of light, use of depth of field, use of arrested or blurred motion, intentional focus, composition and vantage point.  

In addition images should strive to convey humanistic visual evidence and storytelling through capture of human emotion, effective expression of place, authentic human interaction or environmental portraiture, disruption of conventional tropes or stereotypes and effective use of AP style captions to provide context.

After selecting 20 outstanding images for the show the juror will also select

  • A Best in Show scholarship winner:  $500.00
  • Two Honorable Mention scholarships: $250.00

Alyssa Coppelman

Alyssa Coppelman Judge Photo

Alyssa Coppelman is an independent photo editor and photobook consultant based in Austin, Texas. For two decades, she served as half of the art department at Harper’s Magazine, most recently as Deputy Art Director. Currently, she is Art Researcher at the Oxford American, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2016 and has been nominated twice since in that category. She is also the Archival Producer for the Emmy-nominated, PBS NewsHour series, Brief But Spectacular, for which she sources creative visual accompaniment for short interviews with a wide variety of guests. Working directly with photographers, Alyssa provides oversight in editing, sequencing, design, and editorial aspects of photobook projects and portfolios.

Deadline for Submissions: February 16, 2024

Accepted Exhibition Notification: March 1, 2024

Deadline for Accepted Exhibition Files: March 8, 2024

2023 Best of Show: Tania Cattebeke

Best in Show Tania Cattebeke

2023 Honorable Mentions - Jack Myer

honorable mention jack Myer

2023 Honorable Mention - Julius Shieh

Honorable mention Julius Shieh

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