About

History

The Washington State High School Photography Competition has a grass roots beginning in the mid 1980’s. Formed by a group of high school photography instructors as a way of elevating student photography, the early competitions included only a handful of high schools, a few hundred entries, passionate instructors and eager students. The images were collected and organized by the instructors and later judged by an impartial jury. Ribbons were awarded and the final images traveled throughout the year to be exhibited at the competing schools. It was small, informal and entirely volunteer.

In the 1990’s the event attracted sponsorship and public awareness rose due to exhibits at the Seattle Art Museum, featured articles in the Seattle Times newspaper, a segment on KING TV’s Evening Magazine and New Day programs, and a prestigious awards ceremony featuring Washington State Governors Mike Lowry and Gary Locke. In 2018, we received 3,914 entries from 66 schools. The current 2018 exhibit will be exhibited at Wallingford Frame Central from June and July, Seattle Art Museum in December and Kenmore Camera in January and February.

Support

The competition welcomed support from sponsors Museum Quality Framing, who graciously offer to professionally mat and frame all 36 final exhibit images and host the awards ceremony; Canon USA, who provide operating funds; the Jones Soda Company, who reproduce 6 student images on 250,000 of their soda bottles; and the Photographic Center Northwest, who provide tuition for one of their classes to a deserving student. Kenmore Camera, a local photographic dealer, showcases the final 36 images on their website and handles some administrative tasks.

People

The event remains largely a volunteer effort with many students and teachers devoting time throughout the year to ensure its success. In addition to the executive director, an advisory board of active high school photography instructors provides guidance.

  • Kelly Atkinson, Executive Director
  • Sully Hester, Woodinville
  • Janet Nuehauser, Bainbridge
  • Rob Flye, Inglemoor
  • Chantelle Moran, Meadowdale
  • Jeremy Leffel, Stadium