• The Student Press Law Center’s “Unmute Yourself!” photo contest is open now! Leading up to Student Press Freedom Day (which is February 24, 2022) we’re looking for the best photography and visual storytelling from student journalists that shows student journalists in action.

    Student Press Freedom Day is built for students and we want to feature student work on our platforms. By submitting, you will not only have a chance to be recognized in the form of a prize but also by having us feature your work to our national audience. We may share your work even if you don't win the contest.

    You can submit an entry in one or both of our contest divisions:

    Photo Essay: (4 Photos)

    Your submission should tell us a story about student journalism. Examples include:

    • A photo essay showing a week in the life of student journalists
    • Photos of your newsroom in its production process
    • Preparing for an interview
    • Setting up your studio for a news broadcast

    Individual Photo:

    Student journalists are dynamic and often wear many “hats”. Send us a photo that shows student journalists being awesome! Examples include:

    • Photos of student journalists reporting in the field
    • Photos of student journalists handing out yearbooks or newspapers
    • Photos of student journalists writing or editing
    • Photos of student journalists taking photos or videos 

    Here are the rules: 

    • You can only submit your own work. You may not submit works that you do not own.
    • The contest is open to high school and college journalists and recent graduates (May 2021).
    • The contest has two categories: Short Photo Essay (Max of 4 images per essay) and Best Photo (Submit one image) 
    • Each individual may submit up to 4 individual photos to be judged independently or two photo essays containing 4 images each.
    • You may submit entries to both categories, however, you may only win one.
    • Photos should contain student journalists. Everyone in the photos must consent to be photographed. You are responsible for ensuring that they have.
    • You do not have to send in new work! Feel free to dig into your archive for some of your best shots.
    • The winner will be selected based on the number of votes their entry receives. For individual entries, this is straightforward. Whichever image gets the most votes, wins. For the photo essay division, we will add the number of votes each image in the essay receives together to determine the winner. Make sure your friends vote for all of your images! 
    • The contest will close on December 12, 2021.
    • Questions? Reach out to ABenson@SPLC.org.


    Individual Photo Division:

    • First place: $100 Gift Card, SPLC in the Classroom appearance
    • Second Place: $50 Gift Card, SPLC in the Classroom appearance
    • Third: SPLC in the Classroom appearance, free t-shirt

    Photo Essay Division:

    • First place: $100 Gift Card, SPLC in the Classroom appearance
    • Second Place: $50 Gift Card, SPLC in the Classroom appearance
    • Third: SPLC in the Classroom appearance, free t-shirt
  • Pick a category

    Upload your individual entry or first essay photo below

    Use the additional fields below if you are submitting a photo essay.

  • By checking "I agree to the official rules", I hereby give permission to the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) to use the video and/or photographs I submitted on SPLC and other websites and in publications, promotional flyers, educational materials, derivative works, or for any other similar purpose without compensation to me. I am providing an unlimited, perpetual non-exclusive license to the SPLC and retain the right to use my work. I understand and agree that video and/or photographs of me may be placed on the Internet. I also understand and agree that I may be identified by name and/or title in printed, Internet or broadcast information that might accompany the photographs and/or video recordings of me. These images and video and/or any derivative works will remain the property of SPLC and may be used in publications and marketing campaigns with or without the names of those pictured. I have secured all rights in the work necessary to grant this permission to the SPLC. I will indemnify, save and hold harmless the SPLC, its employees and agents against any and all claims and liability, including expenses and attorney fees, incurred as a result of any reliance by the SPLC on the statements I make here.