Not only teaching students the basics of photography, but developing their abilities to cover stories using visual imagery.

Day of the Dead by Sarah Martinez

Rule of Thirds by Sarah Martinez
Rule of Thirds by Sarah Martinez

Visual Imagery

Photography is a key aspect in all areas of journalism and media studies. Visual imagery adds a dynamic element to print and digital media, and can make video productions and marketing campaigns more impactful. It can even provide an engaging complementary experience to audio-productions.

One of the areas where photography can be most powerful is in the field of photojournalism. The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies offers classes in photojournalism that not only teach students the basics of photography, but develop their abilities to cover stories using visual imagery. In addition, the school hosts a photojournalism contest, that allows students to showcase the skills they have developed.

Photojournalism Contest

Journalism and Media Studies students are encouraged to submit photographic work exploring this topic in a manner they are interested in. For example, students might explore social or environmental challenges in our community or the world that are in need of solutions. Alternatively, students might document some of the solutions individuals or organizations are implementing to address those challenges.

Additional Contest Information

Students are encouraged to talk to faculty in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs about work they are doing to create solutions, and community partnerships they have where solutions are being implemented.

Grand Prize: Two Canon EOS 6D Full Frame DSLR cameras will be awarded, thanks to the generosity of our contest sponsor, Canon. One camera will be awarded to the first place winner of a multiple image story category, and one camera will be awarded to the first place winner of a single image category.

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2017

For questions about the contest please contact Dr. Julian Kilker ([email protected]) or Jim Laurie ([email protected])

Boxers at Toccos Gym by Laurents Banuelos

Who May Enter

All undergraduate or graduate students who are Journalism and Media Studies majors or pre-majors in the current academic year are eligible to participate. Those who have 2 or more years experience as full-time professional photographers are not eligible.

Eligible Materials

All entries must have been created with 12 months of the submission deadline.

Students may submit materials either in a single image category or a MULTIPLE IMAGE STORY category. An image from a MULTIPLE IMAGE STORY category may be submitted to the SINGLE IMAGE category.

Students may submit 1 entry to the MULTIPLE IMAGE category and 1 entry to the SINGLE IMAGE category. Please note – this is a rule modification effective 1/30/17.

A MULTIPLE IMAGE STORY entry may contain up to 10 photographs. Each entry must be accompanied by a brief written story summary (see Entry Instructions below).

All entries must be publishable and must be the original work of the student submitting the image(s).

The contest is a journalistic competition. Consequently, no digital alteration of images is allowed beyond cropping of photographs.

  • Color images - routine image correction for color toning, white balance, and exposure is acceptable; desaturation, over saturation, high dynamic range or other painterly toning is not permitted
  • Film edges are only permitted if the original photograph was shot on film (negative or transparency) or Polaroid and the border is the true nature of the medium
  • The following are ineligible: diptychs, triptychs, double exposures, in-camera multiple exposures, added masks, borders, backgrounds, text, handwritten notes, or other artistic effects
  • Black and white images - may not contain color information & should display a full grayscale range

Download Rules & Instructions

Trump Sign by Ashely Ranan
Trump Sign by Ashely Ranan
Katy Perry by Ariana DeCastro
Katy Perry by Ariana DeCastro

The Journalism and Media Studies Photojournalism contest follows the rules of the College Photographer of the Year contest ( which state:

  1. Caption information is required.
    Captions can be critical during judging — write and enter your image captions carefully.
  2. IPTC Fields are required.
    IPTC data may be embedded into images using Photoshop, Photo Mechanic, Aperture, Lightroom and other image editing solutions. You must include the correct capture date and location information. Once you have uploaded your files, any preexisting IPTC data will be automatically extracted and displayed for review and modification.

    The following IPTC fields are required:
    • DOCUMENT TITLE is the image title
    • AUTHOR is the photographer's name
    • DESCRIPTION is the caption
    • CAPTURE DATE verify that this field is correct
    • LOCATION INFORMATION including location (if applicable), city (or nearest city), state/province, country and three character ISO country code (enter “USA” for images taken in the United States).
    • COPYRIGHT name of publication or copyright holder (if applicable)
  3. All MULTIPLE IMAGE photo stories (10 images max) must be accompanied by a story summary.
    • The story summary must be submitted in a Word or .pdf document.
    • Length is limited to 2 paragraphs.
  4. No textual information or digital borders may appear on the photographs.
  5. The following image file specifications must be followed

    Image File Specifications
    • Images may only be submitted as JPEG formatted files
    • Recommended JPEG compression setting is between 10-11 and no less than 9
    • The minimum accepted image size is 2500px on the longest side
    • Images should be no longer than 14 inches at 300 DPI on the longest side (4200px), do not upsize or interpolate your submissions
    • All images must be submitted in 8Bit AdobeRGB colorspace
  6. Photos should highlight the contest theme of “Solutions Start Here”
  7. Entries must be submitted to [email protected], with all files for each specific entry attached. A separate email submission should be made for each entry.
  8. Submission deadline – March 31, 2017.

Photojournalism Contest Judges

Rehan Choudhry

Rehan Choudry is the Founder and CEO of A Beautiful Perspective, a media and events company for the passionately curious to get inspired, informed, and involved. He is the Founder of the Life is Beautiful Festival, which integrates music, art, food, and education. He was previously the Director of Entertainment & Special Events at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the Regional Director of Marketing, Partnerships and Development for Caesars Entertainment.

Erik Kabik

Erik Kabik is currently the Lead Photographer for MediaPunch in Las Vegas. He has photographed musicians as diverse as Beyonce and Willie Nelson to The Grateful Dead and Kiss. Erik is the House Photographer for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. His live music photo collection, Classic Rock For The Future: Vol 1, has been on display in various John Varvatos clothing stores throughout the United States. Erik earned his degree in photojournalism from Southern Oregon University. (

Steve Marcus

Steve Marcus is a photographer for the Las Vegas Sun and has been a photojournalist for the Greenspun Media Group since 1993. His work has appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly, Vegas Inc., and other publications that cover the Las Vegas area.

Aaron Mayes

Aaron Mayes is the Curator for Visual Materials at UNLV Libraries Special Collection. A professional photographer for more than 25 years, Aaron has worked as a staff photographer for UNLV and the Las Vegas Sun. He started his career as a writer/photographer at the former Henderson Home News in the early 1990's. He has a BA in Art from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Chitose Suzuki

Chitose Suzuki is an assistant photo editor at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Previously, she worked as a staff photographer at the Boston Herald , The Associated Press and the Boston Globe. She has covered various assignments including the Summer Olympics in Athens and Beijing, presidential elections, World Series, Miss Universe, the Toronto International Film Festival and ASEAN summits. She studied photography at the New England School of Photography in Boston after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Keio University in Tokyo.