Often referred to as "PIB", the Photographic Institute of Billings, Inc. was formed as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation in November, 1976 with the objectives of promoting photography in all its aspects as a fine art for the people of Billings and the surrounding areas.

Originally, the primary purpose of the organization was to create a cultural center to be used for the education and enjoyment of all peoples interested in photography, products of photography and related graphic art fields and to foster current and permanent exhibitions.

In addition to conducting photographic print competitions for nearly 20 years, other activities of PIB included photo auctions, camera swaps, calendar competitions, workshops and presentations. Many of the workshops and presentations were conducted by well-known photographers of various backgrounds. The following is but a partial listing: Dewitt Jones, John Telford, Freeman Patterson, Edna Bullock, Cole Weston, Howard Bond, Rudi Dietrich, George Lepp, Dennis Darling, Kent Kobersteen, John Shaw, David Hanson and Hal Gould.

In November, 1990, the name was changed to the Photographic Institute of the Yellowstone (PIY). The organization continues to cooperate with other organizations interested in the photographic arts and in extending the cultural horizons of the people of Montana and Wyoming. An annual event is the Photographic Exposition (Photo Expo), which includes a print competition, educational photographic workshops and presentations by regionally and nationally known accomplished photographers. Sports photographer Dave Black of Colorado and Montana nature photographer Tom Murphy have each given presentations at past Photographic Expositions. Other events throughout the year, usually held on a quarterly basis, include workshops and photographic outings.

Mission Statement:

Our mission statement is to assist and cooperate in fostering, stimulating and encouraging a growing interest in and understanding of and love for the photographic arts; in acquisition, exhibition, and display of photographic arts from the past and from the present; in sponsoring lectures, readings, discussion groups, gallery talks and other related activities; in providing classes and instruction in the photographic arts; and generally in providing to the people of Montana and Wyoming the opportunity to take a place in the main current of the photographic arts of today, as well as to observe and learn from the photographic arts of the past.

Current Officers:
Vice President: Dennis Hirning
Treasurer: Jens Selvig
Secretary: JoAnn Hirning
Contact PIY:
By Mail:

        Photographic Institute of the Yellowstone
        P.O. Box 51178
        Billings, MT 59105
        Ph (406) 652-8247

View past Expo winning photos:

© Photographic Institute of the Yellowstone