Entry Fee: $65, payable via PayPal.
- All work entered in the contest must have been made by active or life members in good standing; associate members are not eligible. An individual who has never before been a WHNPA member may join and enter the contest at the same time so long as they pay dues for the calendar year when the entries were made as well as the next year’s dues. Those who have previously been members but their membership has lapsed may re-apply for membership, but they may only enter work produced or published after the date of their new membership application submission. Due to the impacts of the Covid pandemic, location requirements for membership will be waived for those who have relocated from the DC region but who produced their entries while working in Washington or who still work for a Washington-based organization.
- Entries must have been taken or initially published between January 21, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Previously entered images are not eligible. Previously unpublished and un-entered photos from prior to 2021 are allowed to be entered only as part of long-term picture stories.
- Photographers who move out of the area during the year can enter the contest, but only photographs that were made while they were active members and still living in the area can be entered. Photographs made after they moved from the DC region cannot be entered.
- The content of a photograph must not be altered in Photoshop or by any other means. No element should be digitally added to or subtracted from any photograph and the image must be a truthful representation of whatever happened in front of the camera during exposure. Retouching to eliminate dust and scratches is acceptable. Reasonable adjustments in Photoshop are acceptable. These include cropping, dodging and burning, conversion into grayscale, and normal toning and color adjustments that restore the authentic nature of the photograph. Excessive changes in density, contrast, color and saturation levels that alter the original scene are not acceptable. Backgrounds should not be digitally blurred or eliminated by burning down or by aggressive toning. Frames or borders outside the image area are not allowed nor is text — digital or otherwise — allowed on the image. The judges and contest committee reserve the right to see the original (un-retouched) raw image files, negatives and/or slides. Any photographer violating these standards will be, at a minimum, disqualified from the competition and their reputation can suffer from the resulting negative publicity. The contest chair will inform the contest judges of these guidelines.
- Photographs made with non-professional digital cameras, like the iPhone or Point-and-shoot cameras, are allowed in the contest. Keep in mind that like all submitted images they must adhere to the same non-alter guidelines stated above. They can not be digitally altered or manipulated images (i.e. taken with filters or other creative apps).
- Entries must be true to the spirit and principles of both the WHNPA bylaws and the profession of photojournalism. Photographs that were made while on assignment, or while on staff, for a non-journalistic organization, are not eligible to be entered. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to: NGO’s, political campaigns, governments, sports teams and organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, corporate and advertising work.
A photographer will be limited to 25 entries plus one (1) portfolio. A picture story and a political portfolio each are considered one entry. Individual pictures from a picture story may be entered in single picture categories but must be entered separately. Individual pictures from a picture story may not be used in another picture story. Each entry must be entered in one category only (exception: qualifying individual pictures and stories may also be included in political portfolio and general portfolio). More than one picture on an individual file is not permitted. The Contest Committee reserves the right to re-categorize any entry. Pictures that are flagrantly entered in the wrong category may be disqualified.
There will be an entry fee of $65.00 per entrant; the fee is $25 for those entering fewer than five (5) pictures. The fee is payable via PayPal. In exceptional situations, payment by check is acceptable, please contact [email protected] for instructions. Further, if your WHNPA membership dues have not been paid by the contest deadline, your submission(s) will not be judged. Entry fees will not be refunded in the case of disqualification.
2. Pictorial (PIC) – A picture that exploits the graphic or aesthetic qualities of the subject with emphasis on composition.
3. Feature (FEA) – A picture of a “found” situation with strong human interest, or a fresh view of an everyday scene.
4. Sports Action (SSS) – A picture that shows participation in a game or sports event. Peak-action pictures during competitive events should be included in this category.
5. Sports Feature/Reaction (FRS) – A feature or reaction picture that is sports related. Reaction by participants or fans, or reaction by competitors away from the action (even if still on the field of play) should be included in this category.
6. Presidential (PRE) – A picture that primarily features the current President of the United States (i.e. Joe Biden).
7. Insider’s Washington (WAS) – A news or feature picture that depicts a unique or behind-the-scenes view of Washington politicians, people relating to politics or other Washington insiders (but not the President of the United States and not taken on Capitol Hill). Pictures taken outside Washington, D.C. must prominently feature a Washington insider. Any candidate for U.S. President is considered a Washington insider.
8. On Capitol Hill (CAP) – A feature or general news picture taken on Capitol Hill that depicts Congressional/Political activity from, but not limited to, press conferences, hearings, rallies and behind-the-scenes situations. Photo should capture a unique or compelling moment, or the essence of the situation, even if taken during a photo-op. Pictures made at the Supreme Court should not appear in this category. Pictures of the current US President at the time the was photo taken on Capitol Hill must go in the Presidential category.
9. Domestic News (DNW) – A picture of a spot news, general news or issue reporting event taken in the United States.
10. International News (INT) – A picture of a spot news, general news or issue reporting event taken outside the United States.
11. Picture Story/Politics (SPO) – A series of pictures that depicts a story line or single theme devoted to U.S. politics or a U.S. politician. 12 photos maximum.
12. Picture Story/Feature (SFE) – A series of pictures that depicts a feature story line or single feature theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.
13. Picture Story/News (SNW) – A series of news pictures that depicts a story line or single theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.
14. Picture Story/Sports (SPS) – A series of sports pictures that depicts a story line or single theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.
15. Political Portfolio (PPP) – A portfolio of political pictures comprised solely from photos entered in the four political categories – Presidential, Insiders Washington, On Capitol Hill and Picture Story/Politics. Photographs entered in non-political categories (domestic news, pictorial, etc) are not eligible to be part of the Political Portfolio. Political Portfolio must include one Picture Story/Politics story, plus single images. The maximum total number of pictures in this portfolio is 20, including all singles and all story images.
16. Portfolio (PFO) – Portfolio should show the breadth and versatility of an entrant’s work and should demonstrate skill in a variety of categories including politics. We will ask the judges to select the best “body of work.” Portfolio must contain a minimum of 22 pictures and a maximum of 45 pictures. You must have at least one picture story and a maximum of three picture stories. Also, a portfolio entry must contain at least three entries that are also entered in political categories: Presidential, Insiders Washington, On Capitol Hill and Picture Story/Politics (which counts as a single entry). A black slide is required to separate picture stories as well as single entries.
We strongly recommend that you do all of your cropping and toning adjustments first, and initially save images into a folder on your hard drive. Entering the caption information and renaming the images will be much easier to do as a group, one right after another. Though it may look intimidating at first glance, inputting info with Photo Mechanic will only take a couple of minutes for each image.
The Contest Committee strongly recommends you tightly edit your picture stories, your Political Portfolio, and your General Portfolio. Though this isn’t an editing contest, judges always favor tightly edited stories and portfolios. A mediocre photograph will likely hurt the entire body of work.
- Each image should be rendered as a RGB or Grayscale file. Do not use CMYK.
- Final individual image size should be at least 10-12.5 inches longest dimension at 250 DPI, or 2500-3000 pixels longest dimension. Uncompressed RGB file size should be about 10-15 megabytes. File size after compression would be about 2-5 megabytes.
- Save images as large JPEG files and use Baseline (“Standard”) under Format Options when doing so.
Description/Caption: This will include a brief and concise caption for the photograph.
Your caption must be in AP Style which includes the description followed by LOCATION, DAY OF THE WEEK, AND DATE.
Example: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
If this is the first image in a picture story entry then please put a story summary at the beginning of this field, followed by the caption for the first image. Please Note: It is absolutely essential that your remove your name and another other identifying information, including the name of your agency or publication, from this field.
Headline: The title of the image or the picture essay.
Keywords: Your email address.
City: The city in which the image was made.
State: The state in which the image was made.
Country: The country in which the image was made.
Date: The date when the image was made (In Photo Mechanic, you can select “Capture Time” from the pulldown menu on the right hand side of this field and the program will fill in the date).
Photographer: Your name.
Title: Your title.
Source: The publication or organization for which the image. If not on assignment specify “Independent”.
Copyright: The image’s copyright holder.
File Naming Instructions Using The Unique Identifier Code
Your Unique Identifier Code for the Contest is built from your initials (use the letter “x” if you have no middle name) combined with your two-letter organization code. See below for codes. If your organization is not listed then please use “oz.”
Example: Chip Somodevilla’s Unique Identifier Code: crskk (initials: crs, organization Getty Images: kk)
Associated Press: cc
Baltimore Sun: zz
Christian Science Monitor: ff
Congressional Quarterly: gg
Consolidated Photos: bb
Contact Press Images: hh
European Press Photo Agency: ii
Getty Images: kk
McClatchy Tribune: ll
National Geographic: mm
National Public Radio: na
New York Times: oo
Roll Call: qq
The Washington Post: tt
The Washington Times: uu
USA Today: xx
U.S. News and World Report: yy
For Single Picture Entries
Enter the three-letter category code, underscore (“_”), the photographer’s unique identifier, underscore, number of entry in a particular category (01, 02, 03, etc.), one word slug of your choice (ten or fewer characters), and end with .jpg. (All characters should be lower case.)
For Chip Somodevilla’s third entry in Presidential category: pre_crskk_03glance.jpg
For Jim Lo Scalzo’s first entry in the Feature category: fea_jjlii_01pray.jpg
For Picture Story Entries
Enter the three-letter category code, underscore (“_”), the photographer’s unique identifier, underscore, one word slug of your choice (ten or less characters), underscore, number of image in story order, and end with .jpg. (All characters should be lower case.)
For Chip Somodevilla’s first entry for Picture Story/Politics:
General Portfolio (PFO)
- Portfolio should show the breadth and versatility of an entrant’s work and should demonstrate skill in a variety of categories, including politics. Judges will be asked to to select the best “body of work.”
- Portfolio must contain a minimum of 22 pictures and a maximum of 45 pictures. You must have at least one picture story and a maximum of three picture stories. Also, a portfolio must contain at least three entries from the political categories: Presidential, On Capitol Hill, Insiders Washington or Picture Story/Politics (which counts as a single entry). A black slide is required to separate picture stories as well as single entries.
- Name the individual pictures in the order you want them to be projected. All pictures in the portfolio will be named using the three-letter category code (PFO), underscore (“_”), your Unique Identifier (five-letter name/organization) Code, underscore, the number of the image in portfolio order and end with .jpg Example: pfo_crskk_01.jpg, pfo_crskk_02.jpg, pfo_crskk_03. jpg, etc.
- Black Slides and a Contact Sheet are also required. See instructions below.
Political Portfolio (PPP)
- The Political Portfolio must be comprised solely of images from exactly one Picture Story/Politics and single pictures from the political categories (Presidential, On Capitol Hill, Insiders Washington and also single images any Picture Story/Politics entries other than the one story entered in its entirety as part of the political portfolio). Again, to be clear: ONE picture story PLUS single images taken from the entrant’s other political category entries. There is a maximum of 20 pictures total in the Political Portfolio.
- Name the individual pictures in the order you want them to be projected. All pictures in the portfolio will be named using the three-letter category code (PPP), underscore (“_”), your Unique Identifier (five-letter name/organization) Code, underscore, the number of the image in portfolio order and ended with .jpg Example: ppp_crskk_01.jpg, ppp_crskk_02.jpg, ppp_crskk_03.jpg, etc.
- Black Slides and a Contact Sheet are also required. See instructions below.
Black Slides And Contact Sheets
- A black slide is required to separate picture stories as well as single entries in portfolios. You may use title slides instead; for example, you might use a title slide with the word “SINGLES” followed by all your single pictures, then have a title slide with the words “PICTURE STORY #1” followed by that pictures story, etc. DO NOT put the title of the picture story on the slide. These slides will not count against the total number of images in your portfolio.
- A contact sheet is required for picture stories and portfolio entries. To create a digital contact sheet first prepare the individual images and make sure the files are correctly renamed and in their proper order, and collected into their folder. In Photoshop, go to FILE > AUTOMATE > CONTACT SHEET II… to open the contact sheet dialog box. Designate the folder using the “Choose…” button. Set the document dimensions and thumbnail columns/rows as shown in the example below, and press “OK.” Photoshop will generate the contact sheet (or multiple sheets in the case of portfolio entries), which you should then flatten (go to LAYER > FLATTEN IMAGE) and save into the folder along with the image files, numbering it as if it were the 13th and/or final image in the story. Click to View Example
Photographer Of The Year
The award of Photographer of the Year will be decided by the total points awarded to the entrants in each category as follows: First Place, 8 points; Second Place, 4 points; Third Place, 2 points; Award of Excellence, 1 point. The number of Awards of Excellence in any category is at the discretion of the judges.
The winner of the portfolio category will receive double points: First Place, 16 points; Second Place 8, points; Third Place, 4 points; Award of Excellence, 2 points. Political Portfolio is a normal category and receives normal points for individual categories, not double points. In the event of a tie for Photographer of the Year, the judges will pick the winner from the tied entries.
Political Photo Of The Year
Judges will select one single image as Political News Photo of the Year from the top winners in each individual political category (Presidential, On Capitol Hill and Insider’s Washington) and individual images from the Picture Story/Politics and Political Portfolio top winners.
Judging this year will be held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Stay tuned for additional information.
Please direct questions to a contest committee member or the chair at [email protected]
WHNPA Contest Committee
Andrew Harnik (Chair), The Associated Press
Saul Loeb, AFP
Alex Wong, Getty
Kevin Dietsch, Getty
Jonathan Ernst, Reuters
Alex Brandon, The Associated Press
Linda Epstein, WHNPA Associate Member
Gina Martin, WHNPA Associate Member
Jim Lo Scalzo, European Pressphoto Agency (past chair)
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images (past chair)