What we're all about...



The University of Maryland's National Press Photographers Association student chapter was started in the Spring of 2013. A team of motivated students from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism formed the chapter alongside faculty adviser Bethany Swain, a decorated member who was part of the NPPA Board of Directors. These students were motivated by visual storytelling that strikes at the heart of emotion and shows the power of the human experience.


By the Spring of 2014, headshot events were created as a way to raise money for the chapter. As it grew, membership doubled in less than two semesters. As a result of the fundraising, the organization's members were able to attend national events such as the Northern Short Course, as well as the Storytelling Workshop in Oklahoma. In 2015, UMD's chapter was recognized as the National Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year.


In May 2015 all the original founding-members had graduated and there was a new team left to fill their shoes. Since then the chapter has evolved and extended its reach. The chapter's headshot events have evolved into advanced lighting and portraiture experiences for members who want exposure to posed photography. Additionally, the chapter offers more opportunities to its members through professional panel discussions, artist talks, and portfolio critiques.


Moving forward the chapter hopes to strengthen its membership presence and do more work throughout the community, promoting stories centered on the human experience.

How to Join

Joining NPPA is a great way to get involved with a global photojournalism community. Our strong network of student, faculty, and alumni provides members with an opportunity to practice photojournalism, to find work, to get hands-on experience with professional equipment, or to simply receive a resume critique. Being a part of UMD NPPA signifies to employers your dedication to quality and ethical visual storytelling. Paid membership also provides the following benefits:


  • Free professional headshots
  • Graduation Cords
  • Annual subscription to News Photographer Magazine
  • Weekly email newsletter
  • Exclusive access to members-only NPPA competitions
  • Access to the Job Information Bank
  • Discounts on products and discounted rates to NPPA sponsored workshops

Interested in officially joining NPPA? Visit here and follow the steps to create a student membership account.


Once you've created an account and paid the member fee, email umdnppa@gmail.com with the following information:


  • Your full name
  • Payment confirmation
  • Phone number
  • Student ID
  • Year (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student)
  • Twitter handle
  • Website URL
  • Vimeo link
  • Instagram handle
  • NPPA username

Still have questions? Head on over to our contact page!

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