2018 Illinois Student Photo Competition
Camera taking picture of students dancing
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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign annual This Learning Life photography competition is now open to submissions for 2019. Any submissions made now will automatically be entered in the 2019 competition. Details of categories and prizes and the date and time of the 2019 awards ceremony will be announced at the end of July.


This Learning Life is a campus-wide competition celebrating the Illini learning community on our beautiful Urbana-Champaign campus. We want to see what learning looks like through your eyes! We invite you to sharpen your visual communication skills, and get prizes and recognition for it, and also get that great, personal image that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Digital storytelling has become an essential skill to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. We hear from employers all the time that they are seeking people across all disciplines who have that creative mindset. Whether you’re in mechanical engineering or crop sciences, social work or microbiology, business or modern languages, if you know how to tell a story, reveal something of your inner world in a single image, or think critically about the great human endeavor to know that is learning, we want to give you the opportunity to challenge yourself. We hope your insights and perspectives will also inspire a greater awareness of the intrinsic value of the on-campus experience, here at Illinois.

All currently enrolled UIUC students are invited to enter an image, a caption and a brief narrative text to accompany the image. Entries will be judged by a multidisciplinary panel for:

  • Relevance to the This Learning Life themes
  • Originality
  • Visual Impact

Get your camera (or smartphone) and start looking for your winning image! Submissions open officially on August 1, 2019, and continue until midnight, [TBD]. You can submit up to 6 entries. 

Images must be submitted as RAW, TIFF, or high-quality JPEG or JPEG2 files  with a minimum resolution of 300 ppi and a minimum size of 10 inches on the longest side. Maximum file size 100MB. Please do not submit PNG files.

Prizes include a grand prize ($250 gift voucher), two runners up ($50 gift vpuchers) as well as other prizes for best image related to a category (see list of categories in the details section). Winners will also receive an exhibition-quality print of their image.


All winning images will be included in an exhibition hosted by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, other exhibition spaces around campus, an online gallery hosted on the CITL Web site, and will be archived for long-term preservation through campus archives.


This Learning Life is organized by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, along with other sponsors and campus organizations.


This Learning Life is organized by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. CITL seeks co-sponsorship with both administrative and academic units to sponsor thematic categories, and to help promote the competition.

  • Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • iSchool
  • University Library / Scholarly Commons