Photography Awards and Competitions for High Schoolers

Camera for photographyBy: Mia Myklebust

If you’re a film junkie with an eye for the unusual you may want to think about photography as a college major. Many schools have wonderful photography programs and, even better, there are many awards out there for budding photogs. Below is a list of photography contests you can enter to get exposure and to help fund your college career.

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
These awards highlight teenagers with outstanding artistic talent and brings their work to a national audience. The awards are hosted by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Teen Ink
A great forum to put your work out there and get some exposure!

BRICKrhetoric (or GREYstone)
A Quarterly online literary and visual arts journal. Established in Chicago in 2009, BRICKrhetoric features original poetry, prose, artwork and photography with a multicultural and urban focus. Grades K-12 should submit to the Greystone section of the site which is published in the months of February, May, August & November.

An online community and print literary magazine by and for girls 13-17. and for art

Young Arts/NFAA
This org provides young artists (ages 15-18 or grades 10-12) with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding young artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts. Support is offered in ten artistic disciplines including photography.

Davidson Fellows
The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards $50,000, $25,000and $10,000 scholarships to extraordinary young people, 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work. Photography would fall under the “Out of the Box” category. lens

Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships allow U.S. college students from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds not only to realize their artistic dreams but also to give back to their communities.

James Allen Fox Foundation Contest
Founded in memory of James Alan Cox, a television photojournalist, The James Alan Cox Foundation forStudent Photojournalists aims to provide financial support to student photographers of high school and college age. Win a digital camera or a $2,500 scholarship.

Forum College and HS Photography Contest
The 35th College & High School Photography Contest will open August 2014. Since 1980 over $250,000 cash prizes have been awarded.

Congressional Art Competition
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Contact your representative to confirm your district’s participation and obtain specific guidance. Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries.

Young Travel Photographer of the Year
This category is only for photographers aged 18 years and under. Young TPOTY is divided into two age groups: 15-18 years old & 14 years & under. A winner will be chosen from each of the two age groups.

National Geographic Student Photo Contest
The contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are in 9th through 12th grades at the time of entry. All entries must be submitted in digital format through our online entry form. Submit an original photograph, taken by you that conveys what exploration or adventure means to you.

SONY World Photography Awards — Youth Award
Whether you are studying photography in school or college, or just have a passion for taking photographs of your daily life, enter this competition for the chance to become the Youth Award Winner. The contest is open to anyone 19 and under. There are three great categories available to enter that will allow you to illustrate your blossoming photographic talent; Culture, Environment, and People.
So get out there and capture the moment! As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”


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