Iowa 4-H Camera Corps

Apply for the 2020-2021 Iowa 4-H Camera Corps

Iowa 4-H Camera Corps is a talented group of youth photographers working together to make beautiful, powerful, and creative photographs of communities from across of the state of Iowa. It is a unique opportunity to practice your photography skills and receive public recognition and juror feedback on your work.  

Each month, a photography theme is provided with a different focus. Professional evaluators will give individual feedback to each photographer after they submit their monthly photograph, and then each photograph will be exhibited digitally on the Iowa 4-H Facebook page where voting will be open to the public.

The top ten Juror's Choice and top ten People’s Choice photographs will be printed, framed, and shown at statewide gallery exhibitions every month.

New for this year we are adding a certificate program where youth photographers will level up from newbie to master photographers as they complete certain tasks and challenges.

All youth from all counties are welcome to join Iowa 4-H Camera Corps. We want to help you become the best photographers you can be!

“I just want to say that I have really had a lot of fun doing these assignments and using my camera more. For a while I was starting to lose interest in
photography, but this has really helped me practice more.”

“Each month I seem to find a new way to enjoy each theme! This theme has to be one of my top favorites. At first it was a challenge to create a photo during golden hour that wasn't going to be a silhouette, I am so thankful for these monthly themes to help myself and others grow!!”

This months theme:

January’s Iowa 4-H Camera Corps Theme 45 is “Moments of Joy.” Please make sure to go out and create new photographs for each theme challenge!

Happy 2021! As we start this new year, we challenge you this month to capture moments or signs of joy!

The start of a new year is the perfect time to seek out joy in our everyday lives. Joy can be captured in many different ways and is unique to everyone. Whether your moment of joy is a smiling friend or family member, or instead an object that brings you joy, that’s up to you! The main goal with this theme is to capture a photograph that tells a compelling story and evokes feelings of joy - whatever that may be to you.

One of the most beautiful and powerful things about photography is that it allows you to freeze a moment in time. Then, when you look back at that photograph, you can remember those emotions that were felt at that time and revisit that story. This theme is all about telling those stories of joy!


  • Instead of posing your subject, try and get some candid shots! A candid photo is an unplanned moment with no posing. Think of yourself as a photojournalist!
  • Joy is often shown in people's eyes, or eye contact with someone else or something else, a strong composition will allow the viewer to see and feel that connection! Imagine a leading line from someone's eyes to someone else or something else.
  • Put your camera in burst/continuous shooting mode. Whether you are shooting on a DSLR or a cell phone, using burst mode will continue to take many photos at a high speed until you take your finger off of the shutter. This feature allows you to capture a moment as it unfolds, and can be particularly great for getting authentic candid shots.
  • Try to keep your camera around you as much as you can. This is getting easier and easier now that most of us have smartphones. As you see a moment begin to unfold, don’t be afraid to grab that camera and start shooting!
  • Since this theme is all about telling a story, be prepared to tell that story when you submit your photograph! After you take the photo, ask yourself, what story does this tell? What does this photo mean to me?

For some ideas and inspiration, check out this photo gallery!

When submitting your photograph please save your image as: Your County_First Name_Last Name.jpg
Voting will be opened to the public on the Iowa 4-H Facebook page after submissions are received and closed at the end of the month. Winners will be announced and highlighted on Facebook shortly after.

Submit only one photo per month, per theme. If you take multiple photographs, which we encourage you to do, please choose the photo you believe to be the best. Submitting only one photograph will allow for better critique.

Please submit your “Moments of Joy” photo by January 31st via JotForm using this link:


Have your camera set to the highest resolution!  This makes it possible to enlarge photographs without reducing quality. (Minimum 300 dpi)
Set your camera to large JPEG or RAW.
Photos can be horizontal or vertical.