This project teaches youth how to take quality photographs with a camera or digital device.

Judging will be community judging on Friday evening prior to fair week.


State Fair Entries:

2 beginner, 3 intermediate, and 3 advanced per county


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Contact Us

Lauren Fenneman, Youth Development Educator
Purdue Extension Dubois County
505 W 5th Street 
P.O. Box 588
Jasper, IN 47547

Photography Project Guidelines

All images are to be original images taken by the 4-H member during the current program year. Captions are not recommended.

Manual Information: See page 12  for project manual information. Project Manual completion is not a requirement.

Images may be taken with a film camera, digital camera, cell phone, or other electronic device. Altering of images by any other means besides the device it was taken with is to be entered in the creative/experimental category. Creative/experimental exhibits must include the original photo on the back side of the board, a description of how the image was altered, and equipment/software used to alter the image.


Editing photos such as cropping, color adjustment, and other enhancements are considered to be part of the normal photography educational learning process and are permissible. So judges can better evaluate a photography exhibit the 4-H member is asked to attach to the back of their salon or print board exhibit the make and model of camera used and a description of any editing.


A photo that has been modified to change the original intent, meaning, or story captured should be entered in the creative or experimental class. Photos exhibited as creative or experimental are to attach to the back of their exhibit the make and model of camera used, software, or other tools used to change the photo, a description of how the photo was changed, and copy of the original photo before editing.


Sepia tone photographs (mono chromatic) are to be entered as black and white photos.


Judges evaluating exhibits should recognize individual differences and creativity, therefore using information in this document as a guide rather than a requirement.

Posters are to be 22”x28” and displayed horizontally and placed in a clear plastic sleeve or covered with clear plastic to protect contents. Display boards should be designed to sit on a table using no more than 36” of tabletop space. Space should be left in the lower right hand corner to place an exhibit tag provided by Purdue Extension staff.



Print board exhibits are to include 10 photos mounted on a poster as described above, each no larger than 5”x7”. Number each print 1-10. Prints may be a mix of digital and/or standard development. Create a title of choice for the print board exhibit. Space should be left in the lower right hand corner to place an exhibit tag provided by Purdue Extension staff.

Salon prints are to be no larger than 11”x14”, mounted on a standard 16”x20” salon mount, and displayed vertically. Salon prints are to be placed in a clear plastic sleeve and captions are not recommended. Space should be left in the lower right hand corner to place an exhibit tag provided by Purdue Extension staff.

Poster Guidelines

All poster exhibits must be 22" x 28", displayed horizontally, and have a stiff backing (corrugated cardboard or foam core board preferred) and be covered with clear cellophane, plastic or in poster bag unless otherwise stated in project requirements. Quiz Boards are not considered posters and do not require a clear covering. Leave space in the lower right hand corner of poster for project label affixed outside of covering. (Poster board, foam core board, and poster bags are available at the Extension Office at cost.) 

Leave space on exhibit for label. Label size is 2 7/8” wide x 5 ½” long and will be attached in readily visible position.

References:  All posters, notebooks, display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit.  This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc.  It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public.  The judge will not discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed.


All pictures and wall hangings, etc. should be ready to hang or display. Use strong hangers (not can tabs) attached with nails or screws (not glue or tape) or provide a suitable stand. Label the stand with your name.


Exhibit labels supplied by the office are to be attached securely. There may be specific other instructions for certain projects. See individual project requirements for these instructions. Be sure all exhibit items can be identified with 4-H member name and 4-H club. i.e. notebooks, exhibits with multiple items, etc. Be sure all parts of your exhibit have your name on them.

Secrets of a Successful Poster
A successful poster will:
· Catch the eye of the passerby
· Be simple and clear
· Impress an idea or a fact upon the viewer
· Stimulate the viewer to support your idea, get more information, or take appropriate action.
· Have space left over—Posters that are uncluttered are easier to read.

An effective poster: attracts attention, focuses on a main interest or idea, and motivates you.

Planning A Poster
A poster should have one main idea. Have the reason clearly in mind before you start.
· Consider who your viewer will be
· Decide what you want them to know
· Decide what you want them to do
· Think of a clever theme or slogan
· Limit your effort to one main idea
· Make a small rough sketch
· Visual communication is an aid to what you are trying to teach with your project.

Choosing Colors
Color combinations affect how easily the message is read and the overall appearance of the poster.
· Consider the Contrast: This means you use dark letters on a light background, and light letters on a dark background.
· Let the most important items be the most important color.
· Colors that are close to the background shade will not show up well and cannot be read at a distance.
· Avoid using too many different colors. Two or three should be sufficient. You don’t want to overwhelm your main point!
· Avoid putting red and green next to each other—this is hard to focus on if a person is colorblind.
· Avoid bright neon colors—they may catch the eye, but they are hard to focus on.

· Lower case letters are easier to read than all CAPITALS. Use capitals only for emphasizing an important phrase or word to give variety.
· Save fancy or script lettering for catching the attention of the viewer.
· When hand lettering, always use guidelines. Using a ruler, lightly pencil in straight lines that can be erased when your poster is complete.
· Letters may be cutout and glued on, or precut letters may be purchased.
· Keep written material to a minimum. Use only headings, captions and signs necessary to tell the story.

Use different size lettering for items of varying importance.
· Allow margins to keep things from running together and looking too cluttered.
· Below is a table of letter sizes and their effectiveness:

*Ask your parents, 4-H Leader, or older 4-H member to look at your poster and tell you what they think.

1. Cut out all your letters, pictures and graphics.
2. Draw guidelines and place or draw in letters.
3. Lay all your pieces of your poster out on the poster board.
4. Ask yourself, “How does it look?”
5. Revise and rearrange as needed. Re-Do anything that should be a different size or color.
6. Move things around until you are happy with the overall effect and message of your poster.
7. Glue everything in place.

Project Levels

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Black and White Print Board
  • Color Print Board
  • Black and White Salon Print
  • Color Salon Print
  • Creative/Experimental Salon Print

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Black and White Print Board
  • Color Print Board
  • Black and White Salon Print
  • Color Salon Print
  • Creative/Experimental Salon Print


Choose one or more of the following:

  • Black and White Print Board
  • Color Print Board
  • Black and White Salon Print
  • Color Salon Print
  • Creative/Experimental Salon Print