Photo Contest

Official Rules


The Digital Photo Contest (“Photo Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the United States who are at least eighteen (18) years old. Trustees, Board Members, Employees, interns, or partners of The Nature Conservancy, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.


The Photo Contest is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606 (“Sponsor”). This Photo Contest is in no way sponsored by, endorsed by, administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Entry Period

The Photo Contest begins at 12:00am EST on May 1, 2016 and ends at 11:59pm EST on June 30, 2016 (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Photo Contest.

What to Enter 

The Nature Conservancy is committed to a future for people and nature and we want to see it through your eyes. For our 2016 Photo Contest, we’d like to know: “what does nature mean to you?” Is it nature in cities? Is it in the forest or the parks in your area? Are there people, animals, or the tiniest details in it? How do you live nature? Capture those vibrant moments and express what nature means to you!

To ensure eligibility for the contest, please submit files no larger than 20MB at the time of entry. Higher resolution files of at least 240 dpi/ppi will be requested should an entry be preselected to be awarded a prize or an honorable mention. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .JPEG .jpg, or.png form. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable.

Entries should include metadata if at all possible. Caption information should include:

  • Location
  • Name of location (ex: Glacier, National Park)
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Country
  • Detailed caption of subject matter

Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see "Your Rights" below). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to The Nature Conservancy upon request.

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to The Nature Conservancy upon request.

The following submissions are ineligible:

  • Photographs of pets or domestic animals.
  • Images of captive animals photographed in zoos and commercial game farms.
  • Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright.
  • Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
  • Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, or damage to the environment by the photographer.
  • Images that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.
  • Images taken more than three years prior to the beginning date of the Contest (May 1, 2016).

The Nature Conservancy shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.

How to Enter

All images must be submitted though our photo submission website or through our Facebook photo submission application, including all required fields, including name, email and other information about your photo submission.

You can select an image directly from your computer desktop, or submit images from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for consideration in the contest. Digital images that are sent via mail or email will not be accepted.

You may enter an unlimited number of times, but you may not use an agency or automated system to enter. Sponsor reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as with a paragraph about their photo or the highest resolution version of their photo) anytime on or after July 1, 2016. 


Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to humans and nature, except that the People’s Choice award will be determined based on which of the honorable mentions receives the most votes. Judging will be conducted by a panel of Conservancy employees and a group of guest judges to be selected by the Nature Conservancy at its sole discretion (the “Panel”). The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and pick the following winners in the following categories:

  1. Overall (3 winners. 1 first prize, 1 runner-up, 1 second runner-up): You’ve nailed it. Your images rise above the rest and encapsulate our natural world in a stunning way.
  2. Categories:
    1. People & Nature (1 winner): Illustrates above and beyond the hope that people and nature can thrive together on this planet.
    2. People’s Choice (1 winner): Overall winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions based on the highest number of votes received during public voting to be held on in August 2016.
    3. Mobile (1 winner): Best photo taken via a mobile device (phone or tablet).
    4. Young Photographer (1 winner): Best vibrant moment of living in nature, taken by an 18 – 25 year old.
    5. Underwater: Best underwater moment.
    6. Wildlife: Best wildlife moment. Note that Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, or damage to the environment by the photographer will be ineligible.
    7. Adventure: Best action/adventure nature moment.
    8. Nature in Cities: Best urban nature moment.
  3. Honorable Mentions (100 honorable mentions will be selected): Amazing images that showcase and illustrate moments of life and its interaction with our natural world.  

The 100 honorable mentions will be notified of their status within 10 days of August 1, 2016 and will appear on by August 15, 2016. At that time, the public can vote for one People’s Choice winner from the up to 100 honorable mentions. All potential winners will be revealed online within 10 days of September 15, 2016.

All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

The Conservancy will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry. 

Potential Winner Requirements

Except where prohibited, a potential winner may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including proof of age, and liability/publicity release within 14 days. If a potential winner is a minor, his/her parent or legal guardian will be required to sign the documents on his/her behalf. If a potential winner fails to return these documents on time, an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.


The Conservancy will award the following prizes.

One (1) Overall grand prize winner will receive:

  • A GoPro Hero4 Black with accessories (Smart Remote, Headstrap + QuickClip, Suction Cup, Chestie, Battery BacPac, 32GB Extreme SanDisk, Floaty Backdoor, Dive Housing (60m), Adhesive Mounts, Camera Tethers, Handlebar Mount, LCD TouchBacPac with an approximate value of $1,000.
  • A photo mention in The Nature Conservancy’s award winning magazine.
  • Placement in The Nature Conservancy’s 2018 calendar.
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences.
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy.
  • Total Value: $1,010 

One (1) Overall runner-up winner will receive: 

  • A $500 Patagonia gift card
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy.
  • Total Value: $510

One (1) Overall second runner-up winner will receive: 

  • A $500 Patagonia gift card
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy.
  • Total Value: $510 

One (1) People & Nature Category winner will receive: 

  • A $250 Patagonia gift card
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy.
  • Total Value: $260  

Seven (7) Category winners (People’s Choice, Mobile, Underwater, Wildlife, Adventure, Nature in Cities and Young Photographer) will receive:

  • A Nature Conservancy branded Patagonia fleece
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy
  • Total Value: $80

100 honorable mention winners will receive:

  • Mention on The Conservancy’s photo contest page
  • 1 year membership to The Nature Conservancy
  • Total Value: $10

Prizes will only be shipped to an address in the United States.

All winners are responsible for paying any income taxes and any and all other costs and expenses not listed above. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600, a winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form prior the award of any prize. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. A winner may not request cash or a substitute prize; however, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason, as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to

Your Rights

Your photographs help The Nature Conservancy protect Earth’s amazing diversity of wildlife, people, plants and habitats. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit -- including ownership if applicable.

If you submit a photograph to enter the Photo Contest, you grant The Nature Conservancy a royalty-free, nonexclusive right during the Photo Contest to:

 If your photograph is formally honored by the competition as a winner or an honorable mention, you grant The Nature Conservancy a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:

  •  Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of our mission.
  •  Use the photograph in The Nature Conservancy’s internal and external communications materials including but not limited to web sites and web publications, fact sheets, fund raising publications, advertising, multimedia, presentation and membership services, annual report and Nature Conservancy magazine.
  •  Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for Conservancy-related use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, videos, membership premiums, and the like.
  •  Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  •  Retain a digital copy of your photograph that will be archived in the Conservancy photo library and accessible to Conservancy staff via the Conservancy internal online photo archive.  

The Nature Conservancy will endeavor to credit all photographs with the caption "Person's Name" when the full name is available.

General Conditions

In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsor by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

Release and Limitations of Liability

By entering, you agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, Facebook, their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Photo Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property. You waive the right to claim any attorneys fees and any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.


When you enter, you will automatically become an e-supporter of The Nature Conservancy. This includes special event invitations, digital messages and a monthly e-newsletter. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time.

Privacy and Publicity

Any information you submit as part of the Photo Contest will be used in accordance with Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. The information you provide when you enter is provided to Sponsor, not to Facebook. Except where prohibited, you consent to Sponsor’s use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Virginia.


To request a winners list, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to The Nature Conservancy, Digital Photo Contest, 4245 N Fairfax Dr. Suite 100, Arlington VA 22203 Requests must be received by November 1, 2016. 


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to



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