Quarterly Photo Editing

What is the Best Use of Photography contest?

The Best Use of Photography Quarterly Clip Contest recognizes the individuals and publications that identify and encourage excellence in photojournalism and reward that work with effective usage on the pages of their publications.

The use of photography is a complex process involving many steps along the way to excellence. Some, such as photographer coaching and assignment editing, are difficult to evaluate as one looks at a page. But picture selection, cropping and sizing, page design and the packaging of words and pictures can be evaluated by studying a page.

BUP is not a photo contest. Neither is it a design contest.

But both page design and the quality of the photography (both staff-generated and from wire services) are important factors in determining the most effective use of photography to visually tell stories in our newspapers. Judges are urged to consider all these factors as they determine which pages to honor.

Entries for the 4th Quarter are now being accepted. Click the register now button to enter the contest.

Who Can Enter?
The contest is open to all NPPA members in good standing. Only one person on a team entry needs to be an NPPA member.


  •  News Page
  • Sports Page
  • Feature Page
  • Picture Page
  • Multi-Page

The first three categories include the front pages of news, sports and features sections, and inside pages that deal with appropriate work. Note that for section fronts, it’s the section – not the type of pictures on them – that determine the category. For instance, a metro front or A1 that has a photo of people playing on a beach is a news page, not a feature page.

The Picture Page category is a single, one-subject page that tells a story or gives a photographic impression of an event or subject. True doubletrucks or facing pages designed as a doubletruck – with type or a photo or graphic extending over both pages – may be entered in this category.

The Multi-Page category has no subdivisions along subject matter: Any entry of more than one page belongs in this category.

A single page from a Multi-Page category also may be entered in the single categories. However, single- page entries cannot be entered twice. For example, a layout on weightlifting cannot be entered in both the sports and the feature categories.

No more than 10 entries PER PUBLICATION are permitted in any one category.

Entry Preparation

It’s important that judges see the pages as readers would see them.

Multiple page entries must appear in natural order, as the reader would view them.

Full pages must be entered (do not submit partial pages to exclude ads or anything else the reader would have seen). In a similar vein, submissions should be “clean”: For instance, instructions for printing and archiving should be removed from the pdfs.

The mandatory categories for those who contribute to the pages entered in the contest reflect the belief that photography, picture editing and page design are all critical factors in the effective use of photography in print. You can choose to enter individual names or a group credit, such as “Team.”

Contest Agreements
It is understood that any copyright of an entry remains the property of the publication and/or the original copyright holder. However, all participants agree that by entering the contest, entrants give permission to NPPA for its regional and national publications to reproduce winning entries, either through hard copy or electronically, including and not limited to, regional publications, News Photographer magazine, commercial online services and NPPA presences on the Internet. Reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure the security of electronic reproduction.



Points will be awarded during each quarter as follows:

  • First Place = 40 points
  • Second Place =30 points
  • Third Place = 20 points
  • Honorable Mention = 10 points

Winning entries and standings will be posted on the NPPA Web site each quarter. The publication that has accumulated the most points at the end of a calendar year will be declared the winner of that year's contest.

Entries for each quarter should be received by the national contest chairperson by the 15th day of the month they are due.

Month of publication and deadline for receipt of entries by the chairperson:

Month of publicationDeadline
January, February, MarchApril 15
April, May, JuneJuly 15
July, August, SeptemberOctober 15
October, November, DecemberJanuary 22


Please direct questions to the info@nppa.org