Trails by Glenn Carpenter, Moraine Valley Community College

View awards by type:

Board Appreciation Award

The UPAA Board of Directors will consider nominations for an award honoring a person on your campus [non-UPAA member] who has made a significant impact on the profession of photography in service to higher education. Every so often there is an administrator or other staff person who has shown exceptional support in advancing your professional development along with improving your mental and physical work environment. As a result you and your services become more valued to your campus community.

Distinguished Service Award

Established in 1964 the Board of Directors may from time to time select any member of the Association who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors has rendered exceptional service to the Association to receive a Distinguished Service Award.

FUPAA - Fellow of the University Photographers' Association of America

The Board of Directors may from time to time elect any member of the Association who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, has shown distinguished ability, service to the Association, and contributions to the advancement of Photography, as a Fellow of the Association. Fellows shall have the right to place the letters FUPAA after their names for so long as they remain members.

Honor Awards - Print & Publications Competition

During the annual photographic exhibit, UPAA Honor Awards will be presented for individual photographs judged as outstanding within the defined categories of the Print and Publication Competition.

Master of the Profession

In 2011 the Board of Directors set out to recognized members for their production of consistently high quality photography. The result of this effort lead to the creation of the Master of the Profession award.

To be eligible a member must be in good standing for 10 years, have a history of quality images in UPAA competitions, and exhibit dedicated service to the organization. Current Board Members are not eligible for this award.

Nominations may be submitted to the Board of Directors at anytime. Each year two members may receive this award.

Photographer of the Year - POTY

This award was originally discretionary by the Board, and not presented on an annual basis in the early years.

A University Photographer of the Year Award may be presented to a UPAA member by the Association. The Photographer of the Year award is selected by the Board after all judging in the annual Print Competition is complete. The method used is a value system based on each individual's number of 1st place entries, second place entries etc. with some value placed on the number of prints entered in a given category. (i.e. if there is a 1st place finish in a category with 200 submissions, it may be judged as being of higher value compared to a 1st place winner in a category that only had 35 submissions.) This usually becomes important in very close decisions. There are other criteria based on eligibility and the quality of the body of work. The Board reserves the right to select the Photographer of the Year based on the value system and makes every effort to be fair to all entrants.

Note: Photographer of the year has been recently sponsored by Canon. While selected by the Board, the prize of a high end camera has been offered up by Canon.

President's Award

Established in 1965, this award was orginally presented to a member for technical perfection in print processing and presentation.  In 1983 it was presented for Excellence in Publications [our current Publications Award].

Now at the discretion of the President of the UPAA awards this honor for appreciation of significant service to the organization and is presented at the annual symposium. Awards presented may be given to non-members of the organization for service to the organization during the symposium, or throughout the year.

Rollin H. Barrett Award

This award is named his memory, the first chairperson on the publicity committee and a charter member of the UPA (University Photographers' Association) as it was known as then. He died in July 1965 at the age of 71. Rollin received his education at the University of Connecticut, Cornell and Harvard. He was a professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Massachusetts until 1956, after which he served at Amherst College as the University Photographer from that date till his death.

Established in 1965, this award is given at the discretion of the Board at the annual symposium to a member who makes significant literary contributions to The Contact Sheet in the preceding year.

Fuji New Approach Award

Objective: First established in 1999, the purpose of the Fujifilm Professional "New Approach" award is to challenge professional photographers to show new trends in photography. The award is the cornerstone of our commitment to encourage photographers to gauge new trends as they surface and gain popularity and make photographs that will appeal to an evermore style conscious society.

Rules: The Award will go to the best entry in any of the Print Competition categories that best exemplifies this new approach to professional photography. The winner is determined by a panel of judges comprised of UPAA members and Fuji representatives [should they be present at the symposium].

Award: A Waterford Crystal timepiece will represent the award.

View past Fuji New Approach winning images

Nikon Shoot-Out Competition

Since 1990 at each symposium Nikon Professional has sponsored a photo competition. It was originally established as a slide competition, hence not all the wining images or details of the competition have been preserved.

Hosts of the symposium select the site of the shoot: the theme and selection of the winning images is determined by the Nikon representative at the Symposium Banquet. Participants are allowed a single image entry only based on their best of shot that fits the theme as predetermined by the Nikon representative. Award: Varies from season to season, but is always a desirable high end camera. Awards also include runner up and spouses/partner entries. [This is subject to change at the discretion of the sponsor].

View past Nikon Shoot-Out winning images

Monthly Image Competition - MIC

Sponsored by ThinkTank Photo, the overall winner as determined by the voting over the season by his/her peers, is presented with a voucher for a professional camera bag system of their choice.

  • Honor scoring images (Best of Show, 1st through 5th) will be the only ones to accumulate vote totals.
  • Rather than assigning points to the Honor awards the actual vote totals will be used and accumulated per member winning the place to determine positioning in the overall competition.
  • Ties in any category will each be awarded and the vote totals accumulated for the member.
  • Place winners will receive certificates from the competition chair on a monthly basis.
  • Vote totals are accumulated from month to month by eligible participating members and tallied at the annual symposium in June.
  • Highest standing in this competition is awarded Winner of the Monthly Image Competition.