The School Newspaper of Tomball High School

The Cougar Claw

The School Newspaper of Tomball High School

The Cougar Claw

Photographers’ Challenge

UPDATE: The contest has been moved to April 25 to avoid conflicts with district UIL meets.


We’ve all been there. You mail off a stack of photos, and then wait weeks until you find out if you won. You never meet other photographers, don’t see your work stacked up side-by-side against others. The writers get to compete head-to-head. Why can’t you?

Tomball High School is giving school photographers a chance to finally showcase their skills. Our contest, to be held Saturday, April 25, will allow you to prove that you’re a true whiz at photography. One lucky photo won’t be enough, you’ll have to produce photos in three separate categories, on deadline, and then edit and submit them. There is no better real-world test of your skills.

Photographers will get 1 hour to shoot a specific type of picture, in three separate categories. At the end of the day, they will get an additional hour to edit and submit their photo for judging. The top 5 photos in each category will win and earn points toward the team trophy. The top overall portfolio will also win points toward team awards.


  • Nature Photo
    • The photographer will get one hour in the nature area behind Tomball High School. This is a wooded area, and while there are trails they are overgrown. Caution should be used, this is very rough terrain. Dress accordingly. The entire area is fenced, photographers must take their picture inside the fenced area. This event is RAIN OR SHINE, so be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you. After all, news doesn’t stop happening when it rains.
  • Sports Photo
    • The photographer will get one hour to shoot a baseball or softball game. All standard rules of covering a game apply: No flash photography, no entering the field of play and no disruption to the game is allowed. In the event of rain, we may change to a basketball game.
  • Environmental Portrait
    • The photographer has one hour to create a portrait shot. They can use anyone they find as a model. The shot will not be in the studio, but rather on location. They can go anywhere on the campus grounds.
  • Portfolio
    • Photographers will submit their three top photos in each of the categories, plus a fourth photo from any category. These four photos will be judged as a portfolio, separate from the three individual categories.

All photos will be edited using PhotoShop, either on our computers or on your own. We have a large computer lab available for you to use. Digital copies will be turned into the contest, and all three categories will be printed and displayed for the judges. Contestants will also be allowed to view the entries. Judges are all experienced photographers, either from the educational world or newspaper field. Judges will name the top five photos in each category, as well as an overall top 5 for “best of show.” Trophies or ribbons will be presented to the top five in each category, the top five portfolios, and the top three overall teams.

Tournament fees

Each school will pay a $100 tournament fee to help cover the cost of judges. Each entry is only $10, and the photographer will be competing in all three events and the portfolio competition. This is much less expensive than most writing competitions where the same writer is paying for each of the four writing categories. Our goal is to have at least 10 schools, and there is no cap on the number of entries.

Entries will be accepted until Friday, April 24. Any school entering the day of the event will pay a $50 surcharge. Changes to the number of entries from a school already coming can be made anytime at no charge. We encourage schools to sign up early so we can better prepare for the tournament.

Add your entries on THIS ENTRY FORM and e-mail it to [email protected], and we will send you an invoice. Alternatively, you can mail your entries and your check to:

Tomball High School
Attn: Jerry Fordyce
30330 Quinn Road
Tomball, TX 77375


About Tomball

We are located just northwest of Houston, in the NW corner of Harris County – just a short drive from Houston, The Woodlands and Brenham. There are great places to eat and lots of things to do nearby. And hotels in the area are very affordable.

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Photographers’ Challenge