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St. Louis Public Radio 2024 Teen Photojournalist Prize
We will broadcast special coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, starting with the RNC tonight at 8.

Join us for a gallery opening and awards presentation for the winners on the evening of Tuesday, May 14, from 7 - 9 p.m. at St. Louis Public Radio.

The St. Louis Public Radio Teen Photojournalist Prize provides professional recognition, publicity, encouragement, hands-on training, and resources to area high school students who demonstrate a talent for documenting their world through photography.

The competition is open each spring to teens in the St. Louis area, Rolla, Missouri, and Quincy, Illinois. Local schools and youth organizations throughout our listening area are encouraged to participate.



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2024 Prize Winners

A mother bird squashes a lady bug to feed her three babies in south St. Louis County.

2024 Teen Photojournalist Prize Best in Show

Ankita Pandurangi / Francis Howell North HS

Rainy Days in the Great Smokies - A fisher stops their boat on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023, while on a lake nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Few boats were on the lake because of the foggy and rainy weather.

A fisher stops his boat on a lake in the smokey mountains in North Carolina on Dec. 26 2023. Few boats were on the lake since of the foggy and rainy weather.

Best Landscape

Ellie Hopen / Washington HS

Icy Cold Winter Day - Ice floats down the Missouri River toward the Labadie, Mo.-based Ameren Power Plant on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Klondike Boat Ramp in Augusta, Mo.

Hazelwood Central High School students Marvin Martin and Montrell Thorton swim in the pool on June 16, 2023, after a long and hot summer day filled with football practice and workouts in St. Louis.

Best Feature

Mya Willis / Hazelwood Central HS

In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue - Hazelwood Central High School students Marvin Martin and Montrell Thorton swim in the pool on Friday, June 16, 2023, after a long and hot summer day filled with football practice and workouts in St. Louis.

Hattie, an Australian Working Kelpie, faces off with a cow during the St. Louis Herding Club’s cattle herding dog trials at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Mo.

Best Animals and Wildlife

Bayley Rowe / Nerinx Hall HS

Never Back Down - Hattie, an Australian Working Kelpie, faces off with a cow on Saturday, March 23, 2024, during the St. Louis Herding Club’s cattle herding dog trials at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Mo.

Surrounded by a sea of yellow wildflowers, Lexi Portell basks in the warmth of the afternoon summer sun at Shaw Nature Reserve on Aug. 7, 2023.

Best Portrait

Ava Carson / Nerinx Hall HS

Summer Dreams - Lexi Portell basks in the warmth of the afternoon summer sun while surrounded by a sea of yellow wildflowers on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at Shaw Nature Reserve in Franklin County, Mo.

A man roars in celebration as a wooden castle burns to the ground in 2023 at Swamp Fest in Indiantown, Fla.

Best General News

Josh Deichman / Ritenour HS

The End - A man roars in celebration as a wooden castle burns to the ground on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Swamp Fest in Indiantown, Fla.

JaShawn (“JJ”) Andrews, a 15U team player with Bradley Beal Elite, dunks on Team Durant on Thursday, May 28, 2023, during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament in Memphis, Tenn.

Best Sports Action

Thomas Krueger / Chaminade College Preparatory School

Memphis Slam - JaShawn (“JJ”) Andrews, a 15U team player with Bradley Beal Elite, dunks on Team Durant on Thursday, May 28, 2023, during a Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament in Memphis, Tenn.

Ladue softball players Marisa Schreiner, Arden Busker, Emme Shapiro and Camryn Miller celebrate in the dugout on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2023, after defeating Clayton, 18-9, in Clayton, Mo.

Best Sports Feature

Vincent Hsiao / Ladue Horton Watkins HS

All Smiles - Ladue softball players Marisa Schreiner, Arden Busker, Emme Shapiro and Camryn Miller celebrate in the dugout on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2023, after defeating Clayton, 18-9, in Clayton, Mo.

Honorable Mentions

A Galápagos Hawk (buteo galapagoensis) consumes a Marine Iguana (amblyrhynchus cristatus) on Monday, Jul. 3, 2023 on Fernandina Island, Galápagos.

Honorable Mention: Animals and Wildlife

Owen Wohl / Clayton HS

Wave Goodbye - A Galápagos Hawk (buteo galapagoensis) consumes a Marine Iguana (amblyrhynchus cristatus) on Monday, Jul. 3, 2023 on Fernandina Island, Galápagos.

A butterfly rests on a leaf in my neighborhood in St. Charles on May 31, 2023.

Honorable Mention: Animals and Wildlife

Ankita Pandurangi / Francis Howell North HS

Still as a Statue - A butterfly rests on a leaf on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in my neighborhood in St. Charles, Mo.

Fl, Destin, Dec. 24, 2023

Honorable Mention: Landscape

Gideon Weinberg / Kirkwood HS

A day away at the beach - A young girl digs up sand along ATV tracks on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Destin, Fla.

A bare tree stands from the aftermath of facing the winter season in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday, Mar. 3, 2024, near Tilles Park.

Honorable Mention: Landscape

Murllin Bender / Gateway Science Academy

Branching Pathways - A bare tree stands from the aftermath of facing the winter season in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday, Mar. 3, 2024, near Tilles Park.

Senior Daniel Kent looks up during a photoshoot at his house in Weldon Spring, Feb. 18. Kent plans to pursue a career in music performance as a trombone player at either the Manhattan School of Music or UMKC. Kent made all three Missouri All-State instrumental ensembles, and he participated all four years.

Honorable Mention: Portrait

Karissa Simmons / Francis Howell HS

Upward Thinking - Senior Daniel Kent looks up during a photoshoot at his house on Sunday, February 18, 2024, in Weldon Spring, Mo. Kent plans to pursue a career in music performance as a trombone player at either the Manhattan School of Music or the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Kent made all three Missouri All-State instrumental ensembles and participated all four years of high school.

This photo was taken by Kylee Smith, at a local Park on June 1st 2023 of my brother Camren Smith and my friend India Toohey.

Honorable Mention: Portrait

Kylee Smith / MAP (Montessori Adolescent Program)

Back to Back - Camren Smith and India Toothy on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at a local park.

Co-owner Jerry Li stands next to his nephew Edison Lu, junior, in their family-owned restaurant Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum in University City, Mo. Oct. 7, 2023. The two spend nearly everyday together greeting customers, serving their famous Cantonese food and maintaining the restaurant.

Honorable Mention: Portrait

Vincent Hsiao / Ladue Horton Watkins HS

Living Through Lu Lu's - Co-owner Jerry Li stands next to his nephew Edison Lu, junior, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, at their family-owned restaurant Lu Lu Seafood and Dim Sum in University City, Mo. The two spend nearly everyday together greeting customers, serving their famous Cantonese food and maintaining the restaurant. “The restaurant is a family business,” Lu said. “The whole family is working together and contributing their skills to keep the restaurant alive.”

Francis Howell North's junior shortstop Luciano Bommarito strikes out in the bottom of the seventh inning after trailing by 10 runs during the Midwest Classic tournament on Mar. 29, 2024.

Honorable Mention: Sports Feature

Austin Griffin / Francis Howell North HS

Strike Three - Francis Howell North's junior shortstop Luciano Bommarito (#4) strikes out in the bottom of the seventh inning after trailing by 10 runs on Friday, March 29, 2024, during the Midwest Classic Tournament.

Julian Hartin and Drake Reeves in front, David Ruiz and Connor Hibbets in the back showing their emotion during a powderpuff game at Kevin Greene field in Granite City.

Honorable Mention: Sports Feature

Brayden Cook / Granite City HS

Powderpuff Pizazz - Julian Hartin holds Drake Reeves as David Ruiz and Connor Hibbets show their emotion on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, during a powderpuff football game at Kevin Greene Field in Granite City, Ill.

Junior Avery Helms (4) leans to hit the ball in the girls volleyball state semifinal against Lee's Summit West at Southeast Missouri State University's Show Me Center, Nov. 1. The Vikings beat the Titans 3-0, advancing to the state championship.

Honorable Mention: Sports Action

Karissa Simmons / Francis Howell HS

Bump It Up - Francis Howell’s Avery Helms (#4) leans to hit the ball on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, during the girls volleyball Missouri state semifinal against Lee's Summit West at Southeast Missouri State University's Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The Vikings beat the Titans 3-0, advancing to the state championship.

Bystanders hold hands as they watch police respond to a fatal shooting on the 5200 block of Delmar in St. Louis, MO, Tuesday, February 27th, 2024.

Honorable Mention: General News

Jack Auer / St. Louis University High

Fear - Bystanders hold hands as they watch police respond to a fatal shooting on the 5200 block of Delmar on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, in St. Louis, Mo.

Junior Montana Lopez-Brown chants into a megaphone during the staged walkout in protest of Black Literature and Black History courses being cut by the district.

Honorable Mention: General News

Raina Straughter / Francis Howell Central HS

Loud and Clear - Francis Howell Central junior Montana Lopez-Brown chants into a megaphone on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, during a staged walkout in protest of Black Literature and Black History courses being cut by the school district’s board.

Shock running through her body, sophomore Layla Stranquist overcomes her fear with her cheerleading teammates, Jordyn Hopper, Aubree Larock, and Lacey Hubert. The team was surprised with a reptile show in the cafeteria as a way to bond. “I was so scared at first, but then I actually wanted to hold the snake. It was a weird experience,” Stranquist said. “Our coaches wanted us to do something different to build connections and this activity helped us get out of our comfort zone.”

Honorable Mention: Feature

Rachel Brazier / Parkway West HS

Snakes and Surprises - Shock running through her body, sophomore cheerleader Layla Stranquist overcomes her fear of snakes alongside her teammates, Jordyn Hopper, Aubree Larock, and Lacey Hubert. The team was surprised with a reptile show in the cafeteria as a way to bond. “I was so scared at first, but then I actually wanted to hold the snake. It was a weird experience,” Stranquist said. “Our coaches wanted us to do something different to build connections and this activity helped us get out of our comfort zone.”

Confetti rains down on newlyweds Meghan and Chad Briesacher as they dance the night away at their wedding reception at The Coronado in St. Louis on Nov. 4, 2023.

Honorable Mention: Feature

Ava Carson / Nerinx Hall HS

Love (and Confetti) in the Air - Confetti rains down on newlyweds Meghan and Chad Briesacher as they dance the night away on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, during their wedding reception at The Coronado in St. Louis’ Grand Center neighborhood.



Prizes

Best in Show — $800 Visa gift card

First Place Categories — $200 Visa gift card each

All contest winners receive:

  • Master class with STLPR photojournalist Brian Munoz (as space allows)
  • Publication on stlpr.org and on STLPR social media
  • Display on Public Media Commons big screen
  • Exhibition at UMSL at Grand Center
  • A framed print of their winning photograph

The Contest

  • Students will submit original photographs made between Tuesday, April 11, 2023 and Monday, April 8, 2024.
  • Entries should have a title, caption and personal reflection as outlined on the entry form.
  • Deadline: Monday, April 11, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. (noon)
  • No more than 3 photo entries per person.
  • Entries will be judged by a panel of award-winning local photojournalists and visual storytellers
  • Winners will be honored at the opening night of the gallery exhibit at St. Louis Public Radio on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m.
  • See the full contest rules

Contest Categories

Judges will review entries for the following categories:

  • General News

    An issue-based or general news photograph. If you’re a photographer for your school publication — you can include photos created for student media in this category.

  • Feature

    A photograph that captures the human interest of daily life.

  • Sports Action

    A photograph that captures the spirit of a sports competition — individual or a team — through peak action.

  • Sports Feature

    A photograph that captures peak emotion by an individual, or team, through game reactions or emotions related to sport.

  • Portrait

    A photograph that captures a unique aspect of a person’s character or personality. You are able to pose or direct your subject in this category.

  • Landscape

    A photograph that captures the spirit of a natural environment but could also focus on human-made features or disturbances of landscapes.

  • Animals and Wildlife

    A photograph showing the beauty, detail and character of an animal or other wildlife. Please do not put yourself in danger while capturing these images.

Students can view excellent examples of these categories on the National Press Photographers Association contest page.


Contest Resources

Teachers and youth organizations can download these digital assets for handout and display:

Quincy area flyer

Rolla area flyer

St. Louis area flyer

So, what separates photojournalism from simply taking pictures?

Photojournalists can tell a story or make a statement through a single image. The images they capture have the power to transport viewers into a moment in time and show insight on a broader subject.

These images celebrate times of joy, capture times of anguish and find the beauty in everyday life. They also allow someone at home to not only know what is happening elsewhere but see it, too. Photojournalism requires patience, creativity and most importantly, curiosity.

2024 Contest Rules

Please review all of the contest rules before submitting your entries!

  1. No entry fee is required and all rights to images remain the property of the photographer. See the copyrights and permissions disclosure for full details.
  2. By submitting to the Contest, the entrant agrees to abide by all Contest rules.
  3. All entries must be original works by the entrant. Unauthorized use of another’s image will result in disqualification.
  4. To be eligible, entries must have been made by the entrant between Tuesday, April 11, 2023 and Monday, April 8, 2024.
  5. The contest is open to local high school or home-schooled students.
  6. Each entry must be submitted with an entry form detailing the title, caption and a personal reflection; no more than three entries per participant are allowed.
  7. Judging: Entries will be blindly judged by a panel of professional photojournalists and media professionals, taking into account: the moment captured, image composition (lighting/color/layering/focus), the creativity behind the image, the caption, and the student reflection provided. The decisions of the judges are entirely their own and are final and binding.
  8. Photo Editing: Color images should replicate what the human eye experiences. Because this contest focuses on photojournalism, artistic manipulations are not allowed.

    Examples of prohibited techniques include the exaggerated use of color saturation, contrast, and burning and dodging methods. You may not remove or add objects or subjects to a photo in part or whole. You may not use software capture filters. Please do not add masks, borders, backgrounds, text or other effects to your entry.

    Allowed editing includes minor cropping, exposure correction, white balance, color toning, sharpening and contrast adjustments. Changing a color photo to completely black and white is allowed — but not spot coloring.

  9. Captions: Captions, or cutlines, are the words that go along with an image to explain what’s happening in the photograph to provide more context. Without a caption, the viewer might get the wrong information or the wrong impression about what’s going on in the photo.

    Captions must have all the necessary information included in the first sentence of the photograph — who/what/when/where/why. Make sure to include the names of identifiable people in your photograph. Photo captions should try to follow Associated Press style.

    An example: John Smith, a 14-year-old student from Maryville, Ill, plays the saxophone on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 at Woodland Park in Collinsville, Ill. Smith learned to play saxophone at age 10 from his grandfather James, a local jazz legend who has performed around the world.

  10. Prizes will be awarded as follows: Best in Show: $800; Best in Category for General News, Feature, Sports Action, Sports Feature, Portrait, Landscape; and Animals and Wildlife Category: $200 each
  11. Winners will be notified of the results by phone and/or text message.
  12. Applicants should submit their applications electronically at stlpr.org/prize.

Copyrights and Permissions Disclosure

By submitting photos to the St. Louis Public Radio Photojournalism Contest, the entrant grants to The Curators of the University of Missouri and St. Louis Public Radio license -- with respect to photographs of which the entrant is the sole creator and copyright owner and/or comments, titles, captions, or reflections made by the entrant -- to use, reuse and publish the same, in whole or in part, in any and all media, now or hereafter, for the purpose of the Photojournalism Prize contest and promotions specific to the contest; and if appropriate, to use my name and pertinent education and/or biographical facts in relation to the contest entry.

The entrant agrees to defend, indemnify, save harmless, and fully and forever release The Curators of the University of Missouri, their Officers, Agents, Employees, and Volunteers, from any and all liability, claims and demands arising out of or in connection with the use of photographs and/or comments, titles, captions, or reflections including without limitation any and all claims for copyright infringement, libel, or invasion of privacy.

The entrant certifies that any and all Models and subjects were treated with respect and dignity and that no people, wildlife or the environment were harmed by the creation of my photograph(s). The entrant also certifies that any and all models and subjects who are identifiable in the photographs gave me consent to use their likeness. In order to receive cash prizes, winners will be required to provide personal information for tax purposes to comply with university policy.

Enter Now
The contest submission period is closed. Winners will be announced Thursday, April 18, 2024.

For questions regarding the contest rules, submit an email to: hello@stlpr.org.


The Judges

  • Brian Munoz

    Brian Munoz

    Brian Munoz is a staff photojournalist and multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. He most recently worked at USA TODAY as a visual storyteller and editor focusing on politics and sports, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and The Atlantic. Munoz's journalism — both written and visual — has been recognized by state and national organizations, earning him the designation as a 2019 ProPublica Emerging Reporter.

  • Cristina Fletes-Mach

    Cristina Fletes-Mach

    Cristina is the Visual Communications Specialist at St. Louis Public Radio. She previously worked as a videographer for Saint Louis University and St. Louis County and is a former Staff Photographer / Videographer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was part of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography awarded to the photography staff at the Post-Dispatch for their coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

  • Brian Heffernan

    Brian Heffernan

    Brian Heffernan is the digital editor and special projects editor at St. Louis Public Radio. Before coming to the newsroom in April 2018, Brian worked as a reporter and photojournalist for a variety of publications including Al Jazeera America, BBC, St. Louis Magazine, Riverfront Times, San Francisco magazine and the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newspapers in South Carolina.

  • Eric Lee

    Eric Lee

    Eric Lee is currently a staff photojournalist at St. Louis Public Radio. His personal projects center around identity, community, and resilience. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Bloomberg, National Geographic, New York Magazine, NPR, Washington Post, and other publications. He is the photographer for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Investigations winning series, "Capital Assets" by the Wall Street Journal.

    A native New Yorker, Eric earned his B.A. in film studies at Gettysburg College in 2015 and M.A. in new media photojournalism at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University in 2020.

    In his free time, Eric enjoys cooking, taking his dog on long walks, and watching films.

  • Whitney Curtis

    Whitney Curtis

    Whitney Curtis is a senior photographer & videographer at Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining WashU, her clients as an independent photojournalist included The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, ProPublica and Politico. Additionally, she worked as a staff photographer at newspapers in the Midwest and Mountain West. Her work has appeared in group exhibitions at the United Nations Visitor Centre, the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the Monroe Gallery of Photography.