Photography Talent Contest


 The Shoot Like Shirley Contest has been discontinued. Thank you for your support over the years!





Photo credit: David Bernal Photography

photo credit: David Bernal Photography


This award is in honor of Shirley Pefley, an esteemed photographer whose talents and kindness left an imprint on the photography community.

Shirley was well liked and respected among her peers not only for her superb photography but for how much her subjects, fellow photographers and everyone she interacted with on a shoot enjoyed being around Shirley and her camera as she worked. Shirley was always friendly, eager to "talk shop" about the newest cameras or photography trends and involved in the photography community. Specializing in high school senior portraits and youth, high school and college sports action, Shirley's work revealed her love for photography and people.

Shirley's family has generously funded the Shoot Like Shirley award to support emerging young women photographers.

Statement from Shirley's Family:

Shirley had a passion for photography, so in her memory this award is set up to help bring a promising young female photographer to the next level. 

Shirley took many classes and worked hard to learn as much as she could from coursework at various institutions, seminars, and at Stanford where she would later find a home photographing collegiate sports as part of the team responsible for sports photography for the university, and on occasion Cal sports as well.  She was also a long time photographer for the Los Altos Town Crier covering high school sports and managing the Youth Athletics page for over 6 years.  In addition she attended Sports Shooter Academy, won a photography contest shooting race cars at Sonoma Raceway, and served as TA in Stanford photography classes.It would be our joy to help a talented, promising young female photographer to develop their talent and share their skills in photography areas such as Shirley enjoyed.


In addition to Shirley's family, our thanks to the following companies who generously offered their support for the Shoot Like Shirley Award



Award Recipient:

Featured as Shoot Like Shirley Recipient | Thorough Portfolio Review

PhotoMechanic License courtesy of Camera Bits 

Retrospective® Shoulder Bag (choose preferred size and color) courtesy of ThinkTankPhoto

Memory card and reader courtesy of SanDisk

Sports Shooter Academy tuition covered courtesy of Sports Shooter Academy

$1,000 Cash Prize courtesy of Shirley's Family


Runner Up:

Featured as Shoot Like Shirley Runner Up | Thorough Portfolio Review

PhotoMechanic license courtesy of Camera Bits 

$500 Cash Prize courtesy of Shirley's Family


All Applicants:

All applicants will receive constructive feedback on their portfolio application.

Select individual images may be chosen to be featured on the Shoot Like Shirley Awards Page.



Designed to encourage women under 30 to take their photography to the next level.

Application Window:  May 15th- June 15th, 2020      Award Announced:  July 1st, 2020


In no more than 500 words each, address the following prompts:

-Describe Your Photography Background and Experience.

-Detail Your Photographic Aspirations.

-Explain What Makes You Passionate About Photography.

Image Submission:

10 images that showcase your best work.

All images should be sized to be ≤2MB. Winners will be notified via email.



Catharyn Hayne

Catharyn Hayne  - Photographer, Director of Water Polo, KLC fotos

Catharyn is internationally recognized for her water polo photography with clients including USA Water Polo, Rock Tape, Kap 7, USAWP Junior Olympics, and Tony Azevedo's Aquatic Games.

Catharyn initially met Shirley on a pool deck (of course) and soon realized they had Sports Shooter Academy in common as part of their background with shooting sports. Catharyn and Shirley went on to repeatedly find themselves working together at various large events for USA Water Polo. 

Shirley was always a pleasure to work with, laugh with, and share insights with. Women sport shooters are always a minority and finding a camaraderie and friendship in the media area is very special. Shirley's passing came as a shock to the entire community, and has left an empty space in our hearts and on deck. Shirley was always there to speak candidly about her work, willing to help others, and her humble approach was appreciated by all. Shirley's legacy of friendship and support will live on as she continues to give back via

Megan V Winslow

Megan V Winslow - Photo Editor, Los Altos Town Crier

Shirley Pefley generated a following in the community through the action-packed photographs she supplied each week to the Los Altos Town Crier’s Youth Athletics section. As the Town Crier photo editor, I was responsible for toning Shirley’s images for print, and I consistently found myself in awe while doing so. Her photographs of young children playing soccer and softball and other sports perfectly captured her subjects’ wonderment. Her timing was impeccable, and she always managed to squeeze the shutter at the optimal point, the split second when faces glowed with delight and feet froze as they left the ground in a fury of movement. Each time I studiedShirley’s images, I learned something new about photography. 

The fact that the Town Crier discontinued the Youth Athletics section following Shirley’s passing is a testament to her indelible value to the newspaper; we knew no one could take Shirley’s place. 

John Todd
John Todd  - Photographer, Instructor, Owner, International Sports Images

A professional photographer for over twenty-five years, John has a wide range of expertise in many forms of photography including sports, advertising promotion, corporate, and fine art. He owns and manages International Sports Images (ISI Photos), the official photography supplier to U.S. Soccer, Stanford Athletics, and Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. John has photographed the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups, College Football National Championships and the Mavericks Surf Competition, among others. His work has appeared in Time Magazine, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine, and has been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution as part of a women-in-sports photography exhibit. John also teaches in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program, where Shirley was not only a student of his, but also a TA, contract photographer for ISI, and a good friend. 



Designed for women between 18 and 30 years old living in the United States. While individuals outside of this group may apply and receive feedback, they will not be eligible to receive the award or prizes.


2020: Winner Meg Oliphant and Runner Up Shae Hammond

2019: Winner Katelyn Mulcahy and Runner Up Katie Chin

2018: Winner Lauren Amorese and Runner Up Katharine Lotze


Please direct any questions to [email protected]