CALL FOR ENTRIES
What does an award-winning photograph look like? It can range from an captivating portrait of a family member to a moon-drenched landscape to movement captured at just the right time. Our 15th Annual Photo Contest is now open for submissions, and we're looking for the best of the best.
Who may enter:
The Grand Prize, Readers’ Choice prize, Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience and Mobile category prizes are open to photographers who are 18 years old or older. Individuals affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, including employees, emeriti, Regents, trustees, interns, volunteers, fellows, research associates and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses), and others living in their households, are not eligible for any prize. The Smithsonian will determine winners’ eligibility in its sole discretion.
How to enter:
Please submit photographs and requested information online through the official website. You may submit no more than 15 photographs per category for a contest total of 90 submissions. In order to be displayed in our online gallery without being stretched or distorted, photographs must be submitted in .jpeg, .jpg or .gif format, edited for web, at least 2,000 pixels wide and no larger than 10 MB. You must complete a separate form for each photo submitted.
We do not accept photographs submitted through the mail and do not accept more than one contestant per e-mail address. High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible.
Finalists will be asked to submit an original, unedited digital file or an original negative, print or slide. Original negatives, prints or slides will be returned to finalists. The Smithsonian Institution reserves the right to disqualify incomplete entries and/or contestants who are unable to submit, upon request, a high-resolution photograph of at least 300 dpi at 3,000 pixels on the longest side or an original photo negative, print or slide. Mobile photographs are exempt from this size requirement, but must be submitted at their highest resolution upon request.
The Smithsonian may collect a photograph’s metadata upon entry.
You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant the Smithsonian Institution (and those authorized by the Smithsonian) a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any Smithsonian Institution purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion of the magazine and its website, exhibition, and commercial products, including but not limited to Smithsonian Institution publications. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. The Smithsonian Institution will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.
The contest begins on March 28, 2017. All entries must be received through Smithsonian.com by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on November 30, 2017.
Photo entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, originality, responsiveness to the prompt and overall impact.
The Smithsonian will select 10 finalists per category, a winner for each category, and a Grand Prize winner from the 60 finalists. The 60 finalists will be notified of their status by the end of February 2018 and will appear on our website in spring 2018. At that time, the public can vote on our website for the Readers’ Choice winner from among the 60 finalists. The Readers' Choice winner, Grand Prize winner and category winners will be revealed online in spring 2018.
The Smithsonian will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry; the Smithsonian may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days.
Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.
Prizes: Eight prizes will be awarded, as follows:
- Grand Prize: $2,500
- Category Winners: The winners of each of the six categories will receive $500.
- Readers' Choice: The winner of the online Readers’ Choice award will receive $500.
One cash prize per person; winners may receive additional noncash prizes. Winners must sign a release and license, as well as a declaration of eligibility, and will be responsible for paying any notary public fees or taxes they may owe on a prize.
Online Features: The Smithsonian may select photos for highlight on its website or display in a publicly accessible contest archive; such selections will be made in the Smithsonian’s sole discretion.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.