Photo by Daniel Miller, The University of Toledo

Monthly Image Competition


Monthly Image Competition Rules


The Monthly Image Competition (MIC) started in 2004 as way for members to share photographs they had made, in friendly competition. University of Houston photographer Jeff Shaw originated the idea and the competition has grown from a few images in the early days to over 300 monthly entries. Throughout the life of the competition, manufactures have offered prizes for the Best of Show each month, and for the overall winner at the end of the year.


  • The MIC takes place during the academic year, August to May.
  • A member may enter a maximum of 4 images per month.
  • The categories are the same as the Annual Print Competition and members rate each image on a one to seven scale with seven being the highest rating.
  • Each image receives a score that is calculated by multiplying the average by 100 to arrive at the final monthly score.
  • Those monthly scores are then added together to determine the overall winner, who is recognized at the Annual Symposium in June.


Not only does the MIC provide a friendly competition, it also provides a tool to foster creative ideas and to see what others in the profession are doing. Because fellow university and college photographers judge the images, winning participants know their images are appreciated and valued by their counterparts at some of the best college and universities around the world.


Many photographers have commented on how the MIC has improved their daily work. In a lot of institutions there is only one photographer and the MIC provides a means to gather information on photos that are being made at other schools.


Glenn Carpenter, President of the UPAA


Past Winners

Annual Photo Competition


Annual Photo Competition Rules


In 2019 the Board of Directors voted to change the The Annual Print Competition to the The Annual Photo Competition (APC). This competition is the flagship competition of the UPAA. Judging the APC occurs online each year around the time of the Annual Symposium. Images are judged on a scale of 1 to 7. This is a unique process allowing all members to have voice in choosing the very best in higher ed photography. It also insures consistency and understanding of the effort required to make an exceptional photograph. The APC in conjunction with the Monthly Image Competition determine the highest award of the UPAA, Photographer of the Year (POY). The POY is chosen by the board based on the scores in both the APC and the MIC, 65% APC and 35% MIC.


Past Winners

Nikon Shoot Out Competition


The Nikon Shoot Out brings together creativity, interpretation, and timeliness into a fun and competitive exercise. Each year at the symposium the Nikon representative gives an assignment that must be completed in a specified place and time. All those participating are on equal ground as they make one image and submit it without post processing for judging by the Nikon Representative in attendance. This exercise has real world implications to what a university photographer experiences each day.


Past Winners

Annual Publications Competition


A committee of designers, editors, and marketing professionals from the college/university hosting the Annual Symposium judge each entry. They look to see how photography is used in the publication. Awards are given to the institution in this competition and are presented at the symposium.


Publication Competition Rules


Past Winners

Annual Narrative Series Competition


The Annual Narrative Series Competition Competition is designed to allow our members to enter videos and projects like Exposure and Adobe Spark to be judged by their peers. There are three categories in this competition.


Annual Narrative Series Competition Rules


Past Winners

There are no past winners to display.

Quarterly Narrative Series Competition


The Quarterly Narrative Series Competition is designed to allow our members to enter videos and other projects like Exposure and Adobe Spark, to be judged by their peers. The board realizes the additional time that is required for these type of production and this is the reason for a quarterly competition.


Quarterly Narrative Series Competition Rules

2023 Q1 Narrative Series Competition
2023 Q2 Narrative Series Competition
2024 Q3 Narrative Series Competition
There are no past winners to display.