Oklahoma Camera Club Annual Youth Competition

Photography, a fascinating blend of art and science, has intrigued people ever since its inception. The Oklahoma Camera Club invites all Oklahoma High School students to participate in our annual “Youth Photo Contest.”

The Oklahoma Camera Club (OCC) was started in October 1931 by seven photographers, amateur and professional, who wanted to advance their knowledge of photography through fellowship and sharing of information and skills. In 1934 the club became a charter member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA).

Today the OCC is open to all – admirers of photographic art and avid photographers, amateurs and professionals, students and teachers, the young and the more mature. The OCC supports each member’s efforts to improve their photographic skills with enjoyable club meetings twice monthly with competition, programs, and fellowship.

One of the most successful services the Club has conducted is the annual “Youth Photography Contest” open to high school students state-wide. Carol McCreary began this service in 2003 until her death. We have had as many as 77 students enter, representing 25 high schools from around the state and one homeschooled student with up to $800 in cash prizes to the students; this amount varies year to year with donations. The OCC will sponsor the Oklahoma contest winners in PSA’s International Youth Photography Contest.

A letter from the Kingfisher High School photography instructor:


For upwards of 20 years, my photography students have eagerly participated in the Oklahoma Camera Club Youth Photo Contest. That participation has yielded a good deal of success and not just in awards.  Of course, placing in a contest sponsored by one of the premier adult camera clubs in the state and nation, evaluated by some of the finest photographers around, is a powerful thing but there is more.

Every student, regardless of ability, needs encouragement and high school students quickly see which compliments and critiques come from people who know what they are talking about.  To be honored by the OCC is, for my students, the peak of their high school photography experience.  Moreover, many of those students so honored are often students for whom school does not normally provide recognition.  Athletes, musicians, debaters, etc. all are praised by the school but seldom are the visual artists even acknowledged, let along recognized.  For many of my photo students, their awards are the first time in their lives they’ve ever been told “you do good work.”

Additionally, a photography program in a high school is very rare and must constantly justify itself.  As the instructor, I can tell the administration and Board of Education how valuable the program is and what it does for students but I have a self interest.  As in so many districts, our activities are often judged by the weight of the awards brought home and the praise of people from outside.  When our students bring home the recognition and kind words from others, it goes far in solidifying the support of the district leaders.  I cannot begin to say how grateful we are for the Oklahoma Camera Club and its Youth Photo Contest.  We in our school consider their contest the “State Competition” of photography. The club’s commitment to student photography is exceptional, and provides an important goal for which my students strive.

A. J. Johnson
Kingfisher High School

See the Oklahoma Camera Club 2022 Youth Gallery

See the Oklahoma Students who placed in the 2021 PSA Youth Showcase

See the Oklahoma Camera Club 2021 Youth Gallery