2020 Eyes of History: Student Contest Information and Rules

 Deadline Extended To: Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at 11:59PM EST 

Entry Fee: $25 per entry, payable at time of entry.
General InformationStill Contest RulesVideo Contest RulesEnter Now - StillEnter Now - Video

General Eligibility

READ THESE RULES COMPLETELY. Failure to follow every rule will disqualify your application.

  • Entrants are not required to be WHNPA student members but are highly encouraged to apply immediately after entering.
  • Winning students will have their full-time student status verified by the WHNPA board.
  • Before winners will be announced, finalists must have an advisor (faculty mentor) confirm the student’s full-time student status at the time the work was created or published. Entrants will be asked to provide contact information for how the committee can reach an advisor the day of judging, Saturday, February 22, 2020.
  • Payments are accepted online at the time of entry.
  • Payments and entries must be received by January 31, 2020.
  • All contest information and updates will be available on the WHNPA website.
  • This contest honors visual journalism. All work entered in this contest must be considered journalism and adhere to the WHNPA Code of Ethics.
  • Entries do not need to have been published, except where noted.


The 2020 student ‘Eyes of History®’ contest winners will win awards including:

  • Invitation to the 2020 ‘Eyes of History®’ Awards Gala, to be held at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, on June 13, 2020.
  • A spread in the 2020 ‘Eyes of History®’ Awards book.
  • Portfolio highlighted in the WHNPA traveling exhibit.
  • Portfolio featured in the ‘Eyes of History®’ Contest section of the WHNPA website.


Please direct questions to [email protected].

Still Contest Rules

  • Each student will submit a portfolio with a minimum of 10 images and a maximum of 30 images.
  • Committee suggestion: A well-rounded portfolio should include a selection of strong single images and at least one photo story of a compelling news topic.
  • The work can be from any year as long as the entrant was enrolled as a student.
  • Absolutely NO images may be entered from a previous winning WHNPA student portfolio.
  • Students may enter no more than 5 title slides to separate sections of his or her portfolio.
  • Title slides may only contain the story or section’s name and no personal information at all.
  • All photo stories should include a title slide. Please include a story description of no more than 50 words in the caption IPTC/File Info metadata field only. Do not put this on the title slide.

Still Photography Portfolio IPTC/File Info & Naming Requirements

  • IPTC: Please provide the following IPTC/File Info category information with every image:

    • Captions are required and should be written with who/what/where/why/when information.
    • DO NOT include your name in the caption or you will be disqualified.
    • Photographer: Put your first and last name and school name. (ex: John Public/Syracuse University)
    • Contact: Please put your telephone number, home address and email address in this section. This is how we know how to alert the winners.
  • Saving Your Files: Images must be saved as RGB jpegs sized at 10” on the longest side @ 300 dpi
  • Naming your Files: Each file name must be your three initials and the first three initials of the school and the state’s initials with an underscore followed by a 3 digit numerical sequence. If you do not have a middle name use the letter “x.” For example: John Q. Public from Syracuse University in New York would be jqpsyrny_001.jpg.

How to Submit Still Portfolio

  • To submit your portfolio, complete the entry form and upload your entries on the Enter Now – Still tab. You will also pay your entry fee at this time. Entries are not considered complete until payment is received and the completed form is submitted.

Entry Fee

$25 per photo portfolio

Student Membership

While WHNPA membership is not required to enter the student contest, it is highly encouraged. If you choose to apply for membership after entering the contest, WHNPA will apply your entry fee towards 2020 membership dues. Simply note on your application form that you entered the student contest.


Contest submissions will be accepted through January 31, 2020. No submissions will be accepted after 11:59 p.m. EST on January 31, 2020.

Judging Process

A public judging will be held on February 22, 2020 at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. Please feel free to join us and watch the process to see your entry critiqued.

Image Usage Rights

By submitting images to this contest you are granting limited use rights to the White House News Photographers Association and its sponsors to use your images for any of the following including, but not limited to publication of the winner portfolios, promotion of future contests and use by the association indefinitely. Your images could be used on posters, websites, and newsletters or for external advertising purposes without further compensation or permissions necessary. You will of course be credited for all your work and retain full copyright of the images. WHNPA does not reserve the right to sell your images to a third party or give your images to outside sources outside of the limitations of this contest promotion or promotion of the organization. If you have any questions about these terms, please direct emails to WHNPA President Whitney Shefte at [email protected].

Video Contest Rules

  • There is a limit of two entries per category per student.
  • Any video or elements not created by the entrant (such as file video) must be clearly labeled in the entry or in the notes if it won’t be clearly obvious to the judges.
  • Team projects should be clearly labeled for judges in the notes with the entry.
  • Judges have the right to move or eliminate entries that don’t fit the categories or meet the qualifications.
  • Please take reasonable effort to remove references to the school/program for which the work was created.
  • Judges may also consider work from the other categories for the Student Video Photographer of the Year award.
  • Work should be created or published from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019
  • Please submit one Vimeo or YouTube link per entry

Video Categories

  • V1 – Sports: coverage, analysis or preparation of or for a sports event or activity.
  • V2 – General News or Feature with Narration: news story with reporter narration. It may have a standup, but not required. This category aims to highlight work traditionally done for broadcast TV.
  • V3 – General News or Feature, Natural Sound Package: natural sound piece; a news story without reporter narration. Story should be less than 4 minutes. This category will honor short form news stories typically created for online distribution.
  • V4 – Feature: Long Form: a carefully crafted, in-depth story over 4 minutes long. Can have added reporter narration. Short films or documentaries should go in this category. Team projects should be noted on the submission form.
  • V5 – Student Video Photographer of the Year: students submit a portfolio (highlight reel) of their favorite stories, including up to three pieces. These individual pieces may be entered in other categories.

Entry Fee

$25 per entry.

How to Enter

  • To submit your entries, complete the entry form on the Enter Now – Video tab. You will also pay your entry fee at this time. Entries are not considered complete until payment is received and the completed form is submitted.