The UIRA's annual photography contest offers association members a chance to share their view of the world through a camera lens.

UIRA is excited to announce that Hills Bank will be sponsoring the annual UIRA photo contest again this year.

Contest rules and procedures are featured below. Please review them carefully. We hope you'll considering submitting your photos!


Current UIRA members except those directly involved in managing the contest are eligible.

There is no entry fee.


  • Iowa: Photos taken in the state of Iowa
  • United States: Photos taken in the U.S., but outside Iowa
  • International: Photos taken outside the U.S.
  • University of Iowa: photos taken on the UI campus or affiliated areas (e.g., Lakeside Lab, Oakdale campus, Macbride Field Campus)


  • There is no restriction on the content of photos. They may involve people, places, nature, things, etc.
  • Photographs must be submitted in digital format, JPEG or JPG, 5 megabytes maximum. No print or film submissions will be accepted.
  • Photos need not be taken with a digital camera; scans of negatives, transparencies, or photographic prints are acceptable.
  • Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast and slight color adjustment or the digital equivalents, are acceptable. Photos may be cropped. Digitally-enhanced or altered photos will not be accepted.
  • Entrants may submit up to four photos in the contest, one in each of the categories.
  • Disguising or misrepresenting the origin of content is cause for disqualification.
  • Previously submitted photos may not be entered in subsequent contests.

Entry Timeline

  • Photographs must have been taken within two years before the date of entry.
  • This year the entry deadline is March 15, 2024.

Submitting Photos

  • Photos should be sent via email to Photos will not be accepted through U.S. mail.
  • When submitting photos, an entrant must include (1) name, (2) email address, (3) number of photos submitted, (4) category in which each photo is to be judged, and (5) brief captions for each photo. While brief, captions should be complete and accurate and describe the contents of the photos.
  • Submitted photos are final and may not be modified, edited, or replaced.

Judging and Criteria

Judging will be done by photographers not affiliated with the UIRA. There are three criteria:

  • Originality: Each photo must be original—that is, the work of the entrant.
  • Creativity: Creative photos diverge from traditional methods of presenting ideas and messages, due perhaps to an unexpected angle or focus on a detail usually ignored.
  • Photo quality: High-quality photos are well composed with a clear focal point. Unless special effects are intended, photos should not be blurry or overly dark or light.

Winners and Prizes

First-, second-, and third-place winners will be selected in each category. To honor as many entrants as possible, each entrant may win only once.

Winners will be announced after March 31.

Winning photos will be posted each year on the UIRA website and published in The Gray Hawk.

In addition, each winner will receive a a monetary prize.

Liabilities and Rights

Entrants retain ownership of and all copyright and other intellectual property rights for their photos.

By entering the contest, entrants acknowledge that submitted photos are original works created solely by the entrant, that the photograph does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim, or interest in the photograph.

The UIRA assumes no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the contest or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with the contest.