Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This Contest was judged by: St. Petersburg Times photography staff
Boyzell Hosey, Director of Photography
Bruce Moyer, Deputy Director of Photography
Edmund Fountain, Staff Photographer
Scott Keeler, Staff Photographer

1st Jim Anness, The Record, Manhunt
2nd Tariq Zehawi, The Record, Fuel Spill
3rd Danielle P. Richards, The Record, Animal Rescuer

Comments: The first place winner of this category was very clear, as the photographer puts the viewer right in the middle of the scene. the strong quality of light and composition definitely helped elevate the image. Second place did a good job capturing a news scene with all the elements necessary to tell a complete story, while the judges appreciated the emotion shown in the 3rd place winner.

Feature Single
1st Tyson Trish, The Record, Water Spray
2nd Danielle P. Richards, The Record, Living with Cancer
3rd Thomas E. Franklin, The Record, House Call Vet

Comments: The judges felt that the first place winner was a very well-organized frame, with a good energy that spread through the many layers of the frame. Second place showed preparation on part of the photographer as the image showed intimacy not often seen in pictures normally categorized as features. Third place amounted to a funny frame with an odd moment. The expression of the dog staring back at the camera helped elevate this image from the rest of the entrants.

1st Tyson Trish, The Record, David Beckham celebrates
2nd Michael Karas, The Herald News, Olympic Boxer Hopeful
3rd Amy Newman, The Herald News, Wheelchair Basketball

Comments: Only six images were entered in this category, and while the judges felt that it was easy to find a first place winner, picking second and third was more difficult due to a lack of entries and a lack of quality amongst them. First place showed very strong emotion and composition and was clearly the best image of the bunch. Second and third, while better than the remaining pictures in the category and solid pictures in their own right, lacked the additional elements and quirks that traditionally help pictures win contests like this.

1st Thomas Franklin, The Record, The Mod Case Contest
2nd Tyson Trish, The Record, Folk Guitarist
3rd Tariq Zehawi, The Record, Twilight Zone Actor

Comments: The first-place winner showed a wonderful use of mood and light which gave the judges a feeling for the environment of the subject. We also liked that the portrait was not a posed one. Second place displayed an eye-catching use of color but the eye-level composition kept it out of first place. The third place winner provided the judges with a good sense of the subject's character through his facial expression.

Feature Multiple
1st Matthew Apgar, Courier News, Major or Minor
2nd No Award
3rd No Award

Comments: Only four picture stories were entered in this category, which made judging difficult. The judges felt that the three remaining entries were relatively weak and poorly edited. First place was awarded based on the fact that it was obvious that the photojournalist spent time with their subject in a variety of places over a span of time. The viewer gets a sense of who the subject is as a result.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Judged by the photo staff at The Day, New London, Conn.; Sean D. Elliot, Suzanne Ouellette, Dana Jensen, Tim Cook, Tim Martin, Adena Stevens, Peter Huoppi.


1. Noah Murray, The Star Ledger, Fire Victim

2. Michael Karas, Herald News, Soldier Funeral

3. James Anness, The Record, Wader

Comments: General news is the bread and butter of the daily newspaper photographer. As such, it was sad to see the really mediocre spot-news entries in this category that we can only assume were included because the photographers were of the belief that a spot-news photo gets greater consideration just because of the basic f8 and be there nature of the image. The judges felt strongly that just being there is not enough, you must execute with strong composition, use of light and emotional content. Noah Murray’s fire victim was clean, well composed and you could feel the man’s grief. Michael Karas’ soldier funeral was nicely composed and clean. James Anness’ flood victim was both dramatic and yet humorous.


1. Thomas Franklin, The Record, Hospital Dog

2. Danielle Richards, The Record, Hot Air Balloon

3. David M. Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Guitar Detail

Comments: An unusual number of entries in this category were very clearly of a news variety, funerals and other planned news events. This gave the judges fits, as we wanted to apply our “found moment” standard to this category and yet there were virtually no good examples of this type of photography in the category. Some of the general news type images entered in this category might have fared well in the news category but we were not permitted to re-classify entries. Thomas Franklin’s therapy dog photo column was probably the ONE feature image we liked across the board. One could argue that it also was “general news”, but we give the photographer credit for “finding” the moment through hard work and enterprise. It’s a nice moment. Second went to Danielle Richards for a classic visual feature with nice light and color. David M. Warren’s detail from a guitar maker’s workshop was a striking black and white composition.


1. Tyson Trish, The Record, After The Flood

2. none

3. none

Comments: If this category is an example of the state of documentary photojournalism then things are bleak indeed. There was not a single entry the judges felt rose to a standard of quality worth awarding. Small groups of loosely affiliated photos, or multiple related, but redundant images, simple don’t make the cut. Only one entry demonstrated the commitment of time and effort that should be a bare minimum for this category.


1. Jeff Granit, Edison/Metuchen Sentinel, Lacrosse Hit

2. Bryan Littel, The Bridgeton News, Slide Home

3. William Perlman, The Star Ledger, Catcher Confrontation

Comments: the judges saw a lot of routine action and reaction photos as can be expected in this category. Jeff Granit’s lacrosse won for the tight composition and great faces. Comments of “ouch” and “is that even legal” were made. Bryan Littel’s high-angle of a runner’s headfirst slide home gained favor for the unusual angle and nice composition. William Perlman’s catcher pleading with the ump placed for the great face in a dramatic moment. Most judges felt the shot was a little loose on the crop though.


1. Jerry McCrea, The Star Ledger, Do The Math

2. Sarah Rice, The Star Ledger, Miracle Nail

3. Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Groucho Glasses

Comments: Jerry McCrea’s striking black and white portrait of the math teacher jumped-out. The formulae on the clear sheet in the foreground may be a relatively obvious cliché, but the image was nicely composed, cleanly lit and accomplished exactly what a portrait is supposed to, give the viewer a sense of the individual. Sarah Rice’s portrait of the man with his x-ray was chilling both in visual effect and literal interpretation. Not a perfect execution, but good enough. Leslie Barbaro’s portrait of the boys with the Groucho Marx glasses was funny, well executed but would have benefited from a cleaner background.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Monthly Clip Contest is Now Digital!

BREAKING NEWS -- The Monthly Clip Contest is now digital. No more searching for clips, no more dirty hands, starting with the October contest please send only digital entries on CD. In addition we are introducing a multimedia category, please refer to njppa.org for the complete set of rules, CD's must arrive by Nov. 7th. Email me with any questions.


Judged by: Kaylin Bowers, Matthew Rosenberg, and Jason Watson of the The Charlottesville Daily Progress

1st Pamela Ann Suchy, Jersey Journal, Stung by Grief
2nd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Water, Water, Everywhere
3rd Thomas Franklin, The Record, Twin trailers crash

Feature Single
1st Frank Wojciechowski, Princeton Packet, Statuary Stroll
2nd David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Greengenes Plays Sea Isle City
3rd Tyson Trish, The Record, Taiwan
HM Michael Karas, Herald News, Dancer

1st Bryan Littel, Bridgeton News, Pitcher
2nd Micahel Karas, Herald News, Red Bulls header
3rd None

1st Thomas Franklin, The Record, Driveway Chalk
2nd David Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Rachel Katz
3rd Thomas Franklin, The Record, Straw Hat Lady
HM Thomas Franklin, The Record, The Blacksmith

Feature Multiple
1st Reena Rose Sibayan, The Jersey Journal
2nd None
3rd None

Sunday, September 2, 2007



This Contest was judged by: Photo Editor Jeff Malet, Senior Staff Photographer Will Lester,
Staff Photographers Thomas R. Cordova and John Valenzuela

1st Jackie Schear-The Trentonian, Murder Reaction
2nd Tyson Trish-The Record, Cabrera Bail Hearing
3rd Tariq Zehawi-The Record, GWB Jumper
HM Matt Apgar-Courier-News, Habitat House

Comments: First place-The only photo entered that had any real urgency or emotion, photog was on top of it. Second place-Photog was able to catch an unusual moment in the courtroom other than a defendant sitting at a table. Third place-Nice image with a good crop from a faraway and difficult situation.

Feature Single
1st Peter Monsees-The Record, Baby Bear
2nd Michael Karas-Herald News, HARP Academy
3rd Peter Monsees-The Record, Chilling Out

Comments: Generally a weak category, no photo really jumped out at any of us. First though was an easy choice, even though we are not ones for animal photos-we did love the bear's relaxed posture. Second place-was an unusual angle which made all of us do a double-take when viewing it. Third place-a clean background gave this one the nod over other water photos in the group but still very cliche.

1st Ed Murray-Star Ledger, Seton Hall Prep Celebrates
2nd John Munson-Star Ledger, Play at Plate
3rd Michael Karas-Herald News, Clifton Over Bloomfield
HM-Michael Karas-Herald News, Clifton Number 1

Comments: First place-We liked how the photog got right in their with the celebration. We felt that we were part of the jubilation. Second place-Best peak action in the category narrowly missed out on first. Third place-Good use of layers HM-Better crop would have moved this image higher.

1st Ed Murray-Star Ledger, Rutgers’ Moon Mission
2nd Peter Monsees-The Record, Teaneck’s Cultural Mavens
3rd Kevin R. Wexler-Herald News, Cool Character

Comments: First place-was the only image which and any real thought behind it, the image was lit very well. Second place-Good subjects make for a nice moment. Third place-nice balanced lighting.

Feature Multiple
1st Kevin R. Wexler-Herald News, Zainab’s Journey
2nd Danielle P. Richards-The Record, State Fair
3rd Leslie Barbaro-Herald News, Play Ball

Comments: Only 5 entries!!! First place-Zainab's Journey-nice edit with a good lead image as well as good access moved this one to the top easily. Second place-Folks at the Fair had a tighter edit than Third places Play Ball and that was the difference here.

1st Bumper Dejesus-Star Ledger, Got Money?
2nd Leslie Barbaro-Herald News, Out of Control Sked
3rd Peter Monsees-The Record, Virtual Reality

Comments: First place- Quick easy read, simple photo, which gets to the point. Second place-Well lit and executed.

Friday, July 13, 2007



Contest judged by Shmuel Thaler, Shaminder Dulai and Kate Falconer from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

1st Amy Newman, Herald News, ‘Firefighter evacuates boy in Lodi’
2nd Jim Anness, The Record, ‘Boat on flooded street in Little Falls
3rd Robert Sciarrino, The Star Ledger, ‘Flood and fire in Bound Brook’
HM Jim Anness, The Record, ‘Flipped car on Route 46’

A strong category with lots to choose from, first place rose to the top of a lot of flood photos – great moment showing the human impact of the flooding. Second place was a nice perspective of the flooding with great use of the entire frame. Third place was a nice moment showing the combination of flood and fire. Lack of emotion on the subjects and the telephone pole in the center of the photo dropped the entry to third. Honorable mention was a very clean shot of a rainy day car wreck with good story-telling quality.

1st Jose Moreno, Courier-Post, ‘Easter prayer through cross’
2nd Thomas Franklin, The Record, ‘Goose umbrella’
3rd David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, ‘Inflatable bunnies’

Once again, first place rose quickly to the top from a weak pool of entries. Great use of the cross-shaped windows to tell the story of parishioners celebrating Easter. A refreshingly innovative view of the kind of assignment we shoot every day. Second place was a nice moment of interaction between human and goose. Third place was a humorous moment framed nicely.

1st Frank Wojciechowski, Princeton Packet, ‘ Snowy lacrosse’
2nd Tyson Trish, The Record, ‘Play at first’
3rd Tariq Zehawi, The Record, ‘Safe at second’
HM Tony Kurdzuk, The Star Ledger, ‘Puck against the boards’

First place was a great lacrosse peak action shot in the snow. A wonderfully surprising shot with very strong graphic quality. Second place was a baseball shot that transcended the typical slide into first shot with a nice kick to the face and dynamic position of the two players. Third place is a nice humorous moment with great expressions from the players. Honorable mention was a well-done hockey shot with great placement of the puck.

1st Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, ‘ Murderball’
2nd Thomas Franklin, The Record, ‘Charlie’s records’
3rd Thomas Franklin, The Record, “Basketball player in hall’

A very weak category where we struggled to come up with any winners. The best of the lot was a clean and nicely lit shot of a wheelchair athlete. Second place utilized interesting framing and repetitive shapes. Third place was well lit, but the judges felt the photo in the foreground felt forced and unnatural.

Feature Multiple
1st Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, ‘A nun’s story’
2nd Tony Kurdzuk, The Star Ledger, ‘A New Jersey few know’
3rd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, ‘What lies beneath’

The judges loved the first place entry about the daily life of a nun. Each image stood on its own as a strong picture and the photographer did a great job of elevating a seemingly mundane subject into a dynamic picture story. Second place was a well-done series of photos giving a glimpse into a trouble spot in the news. The shooter obviously spent time and effort to get the trust of the subjects and the variety of images was excellent. Third place had a number of good pictures introducing readers to a part of their community they may not know. Good attempt, but it needed a bit more depth to elevate to first or second place.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

2006 Clip Results Totals Top 25

Congratulations to all of the winners, calculated totals reflects points for entered clips and winning clips minus any disqualifications for missing clips.

1. Tom Franklin, The Record, 1104
2. Ed Murray, Star-Ledger, 629
3. Kevin Wexler, Herald News, 537
4. Peter Monsees, The Record, 462
5. Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, 412
6. Tyson Trish, The Record, 344
7. David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, 327
8. Elizabeth Lara, Herald News, 251
9. Mark Sullivan, Home News Tribune, 230
10. Michael Karas, Herald News, 220
11. William Perlman, Star-Ledger, 215
12. Robert Sciarrino, Star-Ledger, 212
13. Jim Anness, The Record, 208
14. Bryan Littel, Bridgeton News, 202
15. Tariq Zehawi, The Record, 199
16. Pete Ackerman, Asbury Park Press, 178
17. Danielle Richards, The Record, 177
18. Tony Kurdzuk, Star-Ledger, 176
19. Amy Newman, Herald News, 172
19. Scott Lituchy, Star-Ledger, 172
21. John Munson, Star-Ledger, 138
22. Dawn Benko, The Daily Record, 105
23. George McNish, Star-Ledger, 98
24. Noah Murray, Star-Ledger, 96
25. Chris Faytok, Star-Ledger, 94

Sunday, June 3, 2007



Photos judged by John Maniaci, Craig Schreiner and Leah L. Jones
At the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, Wis.

1st Michael Karas, Herald News, Aisha and Lisa after Drug Raid
2nd Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Naval Aviator Remembered
3rd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Brandi McTighe Consoles her Brother
HM Noah Murray, The Star-Ledger, Rider University Students Grieve

1st David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Branch Campus
2nd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Ballroom Dancers
3rd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, 3rd Grade Dance Lesson
HM Tyson Trish, The Record, Snow Removing Dog Walker

1st Thomas E. Franklin, The Record, Eastside Girls Sad
2nd Tony Kurdzuk, The Star-Ledger, Vince Carter v. Mobley & Brand
3rd Jeff Granit, Tri-Town News, Jackson’s Ken Carney
HM Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Lily Calo embraces Holliance after loss

1st Tyson Trish, The Record, Travis Ritter, Fire on Ice
2nd Thomas E. Franklin, The Record, Elvis in Glen Rock
3rd Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Deirdre McKay and Janei Pugh
HM Bryan Littel, The Bridgeton News, Martina Thomas and Brine’ja

1st Tariq Zehawi, The Record, The Milkman Cometh
2nd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, No School Left Behind
3rd Thomas E. Franklin, The Record, Boy Donates Long Hair

1st Peter Monsees, The Record, Hot Dog Eater
2nd Peter Monsees, The Record, Speaking in Pixels
3rd Peter Monsees, The Record, Offering of Olives
HM Peter Monsees, The Record, Grandma’s Cheesy Dish

Sunday, May 20, 2007


This Contest was judged by: Sam Morris, Steve Marcus, Tiffany Brown and Richard Brian of the Las Vegas Sun

1st Peter Monsees, The Record, Salvaging Memories
2nd Peter Monsees, The Record, Mets Jersey
3rd Tyson Trish, The Record, Glen Rock Memorial

Comments: Nice look of exasperation on the woman burned out of her house coupled with a sense of place.

Feature Single
1st Thomas Franklin, The Record, The Rink
2nd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Taking the Plunge
3rd Jennifer Brown, The Star-Ledger, Valentine’s Day Mess

Comments: First place was a nice moment, a little more context would have helped. Second place you could feel the chill and third was a nice find for a weather feature with the added benefit of being topical.

1st Tyson Trish, The Record, Bergen Champs
2nd Tyson Trish, The Record, Hockey Check
3rd Bryan Littel, The Bridgeton News, Wrestling

Comments: Nice jube on the winner with students and players meeting at a peak. Second was a good reaction on a check and third place had nice dramatic lighting but needed some breathing room on the sides and better exposure on the coach.

1st Thomas Franklin, The Record, Winter Formal
2nd Peters Monsees, The Record, Ice Damage
3rd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Johnson Basketball

Comments: Overall a weak category. First place captured a nice moment between the kids and second place was helped by the contrasting colors of the shattered glass and vest. Third was an okay group portrait but we need to know why they are in a restaurant to give it some meaning.

Feature Multiple
1st Tony Kurdzuk, The Star-Ledger, Ancient Artifacts
2nd Elizabeth Lara, Herald News, Teacher’s Disability
3rd Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Cheerleaders

Comments: First place did a nice job with a potentially horrible assignment, good variety of shots. Second was nice but it would have been better to have some more interation. Third had a lot of the same photo. Both second and third could have been helped by varying the subject to camera distance and having more variety, tight medium and wide shots.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

January 2007 Clip Results

This Contest was judged by: The Charlotte News and Observer

1st Noah Murray, The Star-Ledger, After-School Horror
2nd Jose Moreno, Courier-Post, Candlelight Vigil
3rd Tariq Zehawi, The Record, Eaton Sentencing
HM Noah Murray, The Star-Ledger, Afternoon Tragedy

Comments: First Place: The individual faces bring it all together with strong emotions. Clear winner. Second Place: Composed well. Great moment of static event. All the elements of candlelight vigil with the added moment of emotion. Third Place: Best face of all pics, but photog knew where to look taking away from spontaneity. HM: Good information in pic. It would have placed higher if cropped left student out, came up at bottom.

Feature Single
1st Jennifer Brown, The Star-Ledger, Fog over the Hudson
2nd Michael Karas, Herald News, Animal for Eid ul-Adah Holiday
3rd John Munson, The Star-Ledger, Hellrazors

Comments: First Place: Nice serendipity. Clouds dip at right moment for umbrella to peak interest. Photog did not over dodge and all the elements came together for a timeless photo. Second Place: Painterly. It draws you into the moment, yet I am taken away to the old world. I see energy but the moment is still. The photog thought about composition. Third Place: I feel like I am there in the moment. Lit very well!

1st Jeff Granit, Tri-Town News, Wrestling Jubo
2nd Frank Wojciechowski, Princeton Packet, Wrestling
3rd Michael Karas, Herald News, Basketball

Comments: First Place: It is a peak moment of victory that is lit well. Second Place: Great expression. Wish the crop was tighter on the left. Third Place: Clean, peak action that was cropped/framed well.

1st Mitsu Yasukawa, The Star-Ledger, Thinking Big
2nd Tom Franklin, The Record, The Proud Paparazzo
3rd None Awarded

Comments: First Place: We could not find something wrong. Enough said. Nice location shooting. Second Place: So close! Should have cropped top down to top of color “photo.” A lower cleaner crop would have won. We love the composition and concept. Third Place: NA

Feature Multiple
1st Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Jersey Band
2nd Amy Newman, Herald News, Blind Wrestler
3rd Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Funeral

Comments: First Place: Looks like the photog enjoyed this shoot. Nice variation of moments, places, emotion. Good, different story. Second Place: Repetitive photos/edit. Needs better cropping. Nice moments, and we like that you followed the subject but need to edit. Third Place: Strong individual photos. Great daily work, but does not rise to the level of story telling.

Monday, March 19, 2007

NJPPA POY judging this Saturday 3/24

This Saturday March 24 will be the judging for the NJPPA Pictures of the Year competition. It will take place beginning 9am at The Star-Ledger, University Av. & Court St. in Newark. The judging is open to anyone and will most likely go through to about 7pm. If you would like to attend just come by any time, no need to let us know first. The building entrance is up the ramp on University by the overhang. Just tell the guard inside you are going to the NJPPA judging on floor 2R. The judging room is just to the right off the elevator.

Results of the contest will be posted on the NJPPA.org web site Saturday evening at the conclusion of the judging. The Photographer of the Year and Best in Show winners will be kept secret and announced at the upcoming awards dinner later this year. I look forward to seeing some of you there and wish everyone good luck!

Tony Kurdzuk
NJPPA President

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Next Two Years

As your new president I am honored to serve the New Jersey Press Photographer's Association and its members. I would like to congratulate or new Vice President, Kevin Wexler, Secretary/Treasurer, Reena Rose Sibayan, as well as thank our Webmaster Cie Stroud, Clip Contest Chair Tyson Trish and Contest Chair Jennifer Brown for their continued hard work.

Over the next two years I plan to increase the membership of the organization, provide members with information and support and make the NJPPA a more active community. Here are some of the things we will be working on:

Increase Membership - We have seen a steady decline in membership over the last several years even though there seems to be just as many, if not more, news photographers out on the street. When I first joined this organization in 1984 as an intern at The Trenton Times it was something of a requirement if you wanted to work as a photojournalist in New Jersey. I remember staff photographer Tom Herde pestering me until I finally filled out an application and sent in my check. In those first months of working I didn't realize how important membership was but quickly caught on because of how active and involved the NJPPA members were at the time. There was a camaraderie that went beyond the contests and dinner that made you feel you were a part of something. I would like to get some of that back by giving current members more of a reason to join than just being able to participate in the contests and dinner.

I have heard from several members that right now there is not much point in joining beyond that. I also plan on doing whatever I can to get more members enrolled from the central and southern areas of our state. Despite our current enrollment we are NOT the North Jersey Press Photographers Association and stand to benefit greatly by having more of our membership from outside of that area.

Provide Information and Support - Current events in the last six years have dramatically affected our ability to do many aspects of our jobs as news photographers. The days when we had almost unfettered access and freedom at spot news and large events are seemingly gone. Every day there are more restrictions on us and more officials who take no pause in putting their own interpretation on the laws when it comes to our rights in gathering the news.

In the coming months I plan on creating a page on the njppa.org web site that is a central location for members to find information on all the laws and rights we have as photojournalists including information specific to county courthouses. Much of the latter information will be coming from our membership in all areas of the state so please feel free to contact me with specific information on your county's procedures. As NJPPA President I am also hoping to establish relationships with state and local police superintendents and chiefs. My goal is to help develop an understanding with law enforcement officers that will allow us all to do our jobs effectively without impedance on either part.

Become a more active community - In the coming months you will see some additions to the web and contests that I hope will make our community stronger and more active. First is the immediate launch of the NJPPA blog at http://njppa.blogspot.com/ This is a forum open to all for reading, and members for posting, any and all information on photojournalism here in New Jersey. Members are encouraged to post thoughts, ideas and hopefully start discussions on what's going on with them and others in our profession. Along with the njppa.org web site it will also be a clearing house for information and messages from the NJPPA and it's officers.

Beginning in March we will be adding a multimedia category to the clip contest. It will be judged quarterly and is open to still photographs presented on the web in multimedia form (no full motion video just yet). Look for details in the Clip Contest section of njppa.org on how to enter in the coming weeks. In addition to these we also plan on organizing informal meetings and get-togethers for all members and guests as a way to stay connected on a more personal level. Most will be in the evenings and may have a theme or guest speaker. Contact Jennifer Brown (jbrown@starledger.com) if you have an idea or would like to host an evening.

Lastly, we all know any organization's strength comes from its members. All of the officers ran unopposed in this past election and if we had not run the NJPPA would have been disbanded. This is not a guilt trip, it's the truth. I want to see our community grow in its interests and diversity as well as be a group our members feel interested in and proud to belong to. I am calling on all our current members to please do whatever you can to help out.

The NJPPA By Laws call for a Board of Trustees. These are five members who would normally have been elected along with the other officers, and whose responsibilities included formulating policies and interpreting the by laws. I can't remember the last time I voted for a trustee member, so in an attempt to comply with the by laws I am implementing the following. I would like to divide the state into five regions with one person in each region replacing the traditional role of trustee. These new trustees will not be responsible for interpreting the by laws and such, but will act as officers who help increase and maintain membership in that region. They will help members statewide form and maintain a more cohesive group and will be invited to participate in all meetings of the NJPPA officers. Please contact me (tkurdzuk@starledger.com) if you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested in becoming a new trustee.

I am very concerned by members telling me they currently feel disenfranchised and that there is no point in being an NJPPA member beyond the contests. We have some great ideas and lots of room for improvement. The officers of the NJPPA want to hear from you with your ideas and suggestions as well. Either by sending us an email directly or using the new blog space, I am sending out an open invitation to all members to let us know what you would like to see the NJPPA do and become, so here's your chance.

I am looking forward to the next two years as an opportunity to make the NJPPA all I know it can be. In so many ways New Jersey plays the role of stepchild to New York and Philadelphia. I would hate to see the news photographers in this state become included in that group and have nowhere else to turn for a professional organization. With your help we can prevent that and at the same time help ourselves by working together.

Tony Kurdzuk
President, NJPPA
Staff Photographer,The Star-LedgerNewark, NJ