Upcoming: College Photographer of the Year judging

by Chris Dunn

Like others in the industry, photojournalists love the opportunity to meet, compete, learn from each other and work together on projects. I will highlight these opportunities in brief posts as deadlines and dates for various photojournalism workshops and competitions approach.

Student photojournalists have many reasons to review their recent work, edit what they deem to be the best photos and stories and assemble everything — all at the very last minute. Internship applications, job applications and portfolio updates are among the student’s most common motivations to scour the last few months’ or year’s archives and edit, and re-edit, and revamp.

So are competitions.

Coming up next week: the College Photographer of the Year competition judging.

Founded in 1945 and administered by the Missouri School of Journalism, CPOY is an annual photojournalism competition for students and recent graduates. Students can submit entries in any of eight single-picture categories, four multiple-picture categories, the portfolio category and three multimedia categories.

Entries, which must have been created in the past year, are typically due near the beginning of October every year. (Yes, folks, the deadline is past for 2010.) Awards for the various winners — those whose images rose above the thousands of others submitted — range from Nikon camera gear to opportunities to intern at National Geographic or collaborate with MediaStorm.

Starting next Monday, Nov. 8, the week-long judging begins. Held on the Missouri journalism school’s campus, the judging is open to the public and takes place every day through Saturday, Nov. 13. One category is judged at a time, from the elimination round to the final round.

The judges, who are selected annually and are industry professionals, are always mic’ed up during the final round so everyone can hear their deliberations. Also during the final round, the judging is available online through vodcasting, so those who can’t attend the judging on-campus can still see which entries almost made the cut and hear the judges talk out their thought processes.

I will be in Columbia, Mo., next week and plan to watch most of the judging. I’ll post any insights I have from the judges’ comments and/or from my observations, especially regarding the photo-editing process and the multimedia categories.

But remember — if you can’t be there, consider tuning in to the vodcasts!

Disclosure: As a recent photojournalism graduate of the Missouri journalism school, I have entries in this year’s CPOY competition.