St. Louis Public Radio

Photojournalism Prize

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

Announcing the Winners of the 2019 St. Louis Public Radio Photojournalism Prize

Best In Show

What I would remember by photographer Mya Davis

Surprise birthday party joy.

What I would remember - Mya Davis

McCluer North High

Category Winners

Night Spots by photographer William Mennerick
Best Landscape (tie)

The bustling Delmar Loop appears to be populated only by the Tivoli’s lights on a Friday Night in University City, Mo.

Night Spots - William Mennerick

Metro Academic and Classical High School
Sea of Rice by photographer Sam Liu
Best Landscape (tie)

This photo is a depiction of a tiny rice farming village named Zhoutou, which is located in the Chinese providence of Jiangxi. It is the village in which my father was born 52 years ago.

Sea of Rice - Sam Liu

Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
Butting Heads by photographer Ethan Fine
Best Action Shot

A Eureka High School varsity soccer player (left) bumps heads with a Fort Zumwalt South varsity soccer player after battling to get the ball in the air during the teams' matchup, Sept. 18.

Butting Heads - Ethan Fine

Eureka High School
Naturalization by photographer Sunny Lu
Best Caption

Tears streaming down her face, Senior Carrie Washington witnesses the emotional process of naturalization. On Friday, Sept. 13, Ladue high school held a naturalization ceremony in the gym with the student body in the bleachers looking on. “I actually spent some time in El Paso working with and speaking to people waiting to be granted asylum and they briefed me on how difficult it is to become a citizen, and seeing a group of people accomplish this nearly impossible goal was overwhelming,” Washington said. “I was overjoyed by this accomplishment and angered by the difficulty to reach this point and the false promises that may come with it.”

Naturalization - Sunny Lu

Ladue Horton Watkins High School
Valeriy's Workshop by photographer Ava Mandoli
Best Still Life

The workshop of Valeriy Parfenov, fine strings craftsman and owner of the First String Violin Shop in Overland, MO. Valeriy, affectionately known by many as Larry, opened the First String Violin Shop in 1993 after moving to St. Louis from Moscow, Russia. His workshop, unseen by many, is where he spent much of his time serving the musicians of St. Louis before he moved to Bulgaria in 2018.

Valeriy's Workshop - Ava Mandoli

Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
All the way home by photographer Mya Davis
Best Portrait

The one goal a baseball player should have. Make it home safely.

All the way home - Mya Davis

McCluer North High

Honorable Mentions

Stand up. Be heard. Make change happen. by photographer Zoe Krause

Brentwood High students march loud and proud, showcasing their signs about rising tides, rising heat, and our only home. Chanting of change, they call for their voices to be heard.

Stand up. Be heard. Make change happen. - Zoe Krause

Brentwood High School
Airborne by photographer Drew Clutes

After scoring a goal, Connor Gibson and Clark Woodruff, juniors, jump in the air in celebration, Mar 28.

Airborne - Drew Clutes

Kirkwood High School
Welcome Home by photographer Elianna Hagan

Varsity football captains link arms together as they walk out to welcome Father Tolton to their home moments before kick off for the homecoming football game. “ It was a humbling experience to be able to named captain and lead my teammates out there with 3 other brothers,” said Gabe Serri(15)

Welcome Home - Elianna Hagan

St. Dominic High School
Burning Love by photographer Ahmond Oates

Ritenour HS Senior Kevin Tyler enjoys the Ritenour Community Fireworks with girlfriend Hazelwood Central Senior Gina Smith.

Burning Love - Ahmond Oates

Ritenour High School
Powderpuff Power by photographer Isabella Zeneli

Running towards the end zone, Carlie Rodgers (12) hopes to score another touchdown, to win and move on to the finals. This is Carlie’s second and final year playing powderpuff.

Powderpuff Power - Isabella Zeneli

Lindbergh High School
Perfect Percussion by photographer Ella Wolfard

The Lindbergh High School Marching Band plays the fight song repeatedly while marching through the streets of Lindbergh in the 2019 Homecoming Parade. The band participates in the parade every year.

Perfect Percussion - Ella Wolfard

Lindbergh High School
happiness. by photographer Valeria Rivera

Camila laughs as she tries to hug her sisters.

happiness. - Valeria Rivera

Villa Duchesne
Chinese Noodle Making by photographer Rich Qian

In a mesmerizing display of his craft, a noodle maker twists the flour that eventually becomes Corner 17’s signature handmade noodles

Chinese Noodle Making - Rich Qian

Mary Institute and Country Day School
Hawaii by photographer Nate Crandall

Roosevelt student Trinity Boclair reacts to the photographer on a fall day in 2019.

Hawaii - Nate Crandall

Roosevelt High School
Musical make-up artist tests designs by photographer Zeke La Mantia

Junior Allison Huff, make-up artist for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” tests “prince” make-up design on herself.

Musical make-up artist tests designs - Zeke La Mantia

Webster Groves High School
Stopping at the Line by photographer John Hilker

Three SLUH defense men drag down a DeSmet ball carrier charging for the goal line.

Stopping at the Line - John Hilker

St. Louis University High School

Sponsored By:

Prize Sponsor:

Best in Show Prize

  1. Local camera shop gift certificate
  2. Local art store gift certificate for portfolio supplies
  3. Master class with St. Louis Public Radio photojournalists
  4. Publication on
  5. Publication and mention on station Instagram
  6. Temporary display on Public Media Commons screen
  7. Display in exhibit at St. Louis Public Radio, UMSL at Grand Center

Best in Category Prize

  1. Master class with St. Louis Public Radio photojournalists
  2. Publication on
  3. Publication and mention on station Instagram
  4. Temporary display on Public Media Commons screen
  5. Display in exhibit at St. Louis Public Radio, UMSL at Grand Center


The Photojournalism Prize is cancelled for 2020. It will return late 2021

So, what separates photojournalism from simply taking pictures?

Photojournalism can tell a story or make a statement through visuals. It has the power to transport viewers into a moment in time and communicate a message. For instance, try capturing emotions, take some action shots or even document newsworthy events. Photojournalism allows someone at home to not only know what is happening elsewhere but see it, too. Photojournalism requires patience, creativity and most importantly, curiosity.

Window to my world...

Tell a story with your image and caption to portray a view of your world as you or others experience it. We encourage you to draw upon broader themes you encounter rather than to take a literal interpretation of the prompt — you do not need to include an actual window in the photo!



Photos should have a title, caption, and personal reflection. These are important to the judging process. Entries are open to high-school-aged students.

Who may Enter:

Area high school students, age 14-18, are eligible to enter. Photos must have been shot by the entrant. The contestant certifies that he/she/they is the sole creator and copyright owner of submitted photographs.

No more than 3 photo entries per person. You must complete the form separately for each photo.

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, 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, such as Instagram filters. Do not add masks, borders, backgrounds, text or other effects.

Minor edits are allowed including cropping, exposure correction, white balance, color toning, sharpening and minor contrast editing. Changing a color photo to gray scale is allowed.

Any edits made to the photo must be described on the entry form.

Copyrights and Permissions:

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 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.