California sunset


Photo Contest

About, Our Partners and the Official Contest Rules


Partners For Nature

The world we depend on depends on all of us. Thanks to our Earth Month partners, we are raising more awareness for protecting nature. These national and local businesses are engaging their customers and employees, working together to make a difference for our world.

Global Partners

Bank of AmericaBack CountryBlack Diamond LokaiEcospireOdwalla


Local and Other Partners

AnglersBuunni CoffeePortland TimbersCherrybrookGrossmansBurlington FurnitureElemental CoffeeHobby’s HoagiesThe Bird HouseUrban RootsThe Loaded BowlSunnyside DinerHealth Nut CaféPackardsMcNelliesLudivineReasor'sScratch Kitchen


The official rules of The Nature Conservancy's Digital Photo Contest.



The Digital Photo Contest (“Photo Contest”) is open to all professional and amateur photographers who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry. 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 employees, are not eligible to enter.

By submitting an entry to the Photo Contest, entrants certify that their participation in this Photo Contest is not illegal or in violation of any law, regulation, treaty or administrative act, and that the laws of their governing jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry do not prohibit or restrict the receipt of any Prize under this Photo Contest.

The Nature Conservancy reserves the right to reject any entry if, in The Nature Conservancy’s sole discretion, the laws of an applicable jurisdiction, including but not limited to the entrant’s jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry, would prohibit or limit The Nature Conservancy from proceeding with the Contest as intended or the consideration or awarding of any Prize would impose additional administrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on The Nature Conservancy.

Furthermore, individuals residing in any “Excluded Jurisdiction” are ineligible to enter the Photo Contest. Excluded Jurisdiction means any country listed on the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Active Sanctions Programs list available at


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.


The Photo Contest begins at 12:00am on April 1, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm on May 31, 2017 (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.


The Public vote for People's Choice begins at 12:00am on June 15, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm on June 30, 2017 (the “Voting Period”). Votes submitted before or after the Voting Period will not be eligible. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Photo Contest.


The Nature Conservancy is committed to a future for people and nature. For our 2017 Photo Contest, we’d like to know: “what’s your nature?” What does nature mean to you? Everyone sees nature through a different lens, and we want you to show us your view!

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:

  • 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 and photographs of persons without the necessary consent required by law in your jurisdiction. The Nature Conservancy reserves the right to require entrants to submit evidence of the subject’s legal consent to be photographed for the submitted photograph, which may include a signed waiver from the subject. NOTE: Waiver requirements vary by jurisdiction, and the entrant is responsible for obtaining a legally enforceable waiver from any photographed subject.
  • 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.
  • The Nature Conservancy shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. 

Submissions may be watermarked if desired, but the watermark should be inconspicuous enough to not interfere with the judging of the photo. A watermarked photo might not be honored by the competition (at the judges’ sole discretion) if the photographer is unable or unavailable to provide a pristine, watermark-free version of the image when asked. Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit. 


All images must be submitted though our photo submission websites, 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 May 31, 2017. 


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 each selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): You’ve nailed it. Your images rise above the rest and encapsulate our natural world in a stunning way.
  2. Categories:
    1. 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 period to be held on in June 2017.
    2. Mobile (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): Best photo taken via a mobile device (phone or tablet).
    3. Young Photographer (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): Best vibrant moment of living in nature, taken by an 18 – 25 year old.
    4. People & Nature (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): Illustrates above and beyond the hope that people and nature can thrive together on this planet.
    5. Underwater (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): Best underwater moment.
    6. Wildlife (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): 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 (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): Best action/adventure nature moment.
    8. Nature in Cities (1 winner selected from among the 100 honorable mentions): 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 and will appear on by June 15, 2017. 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 July 1, 2017.

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. 


Jennifer Adler is a conservation photographer, cave diver, and National Geographic Explorer. Her current work is focused on reconnecting the next generation of Floridians to the aquifer beneath their feet using photography and immersive education. This work is part of her PhD at the University of Florida, which includes developing and implementing an environmental education project called Walking on Water. This project immerses elementary school students in the springs, cameras in hand, and teaches them about the aquifer via the first 360-virtual tour of the Floridan Aquifer, which she developed last summer. Jennifer is The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest’s 2016 Runner-up Winner. You can find more of her work at and on Instagram @jmadler.

Karine Aigner is an award winning conservation photographer, an associate fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and a member of NANPA. Karine’s work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, GEOLino, Nature Conservancy Magazine, and BBC Wildlife to name a few. Karine also leads photographic tours across the globe to cool places like the Galapagos and Tanzania. She has worked with children all over the world, using the camera as a tool to teach awareness and conservation. In her spare time, she works with public school systems, trying to get kids with cameras into nature.  You can find more of Karine’s work here:

Sean Lee-Davies Formerly Director of Editorial for Tatler Asia, Sean left the magazine World in 2010 to develop his fine art portfolio and expand his film and vr production house, Awethentic Studio. Sean has since made films for National Geographic, Fox Channels, News Asia and TVB, as well as commercials and corporate videos for many top luxury brands such as Cartier, Burberry and De Beers. Aside from his commercial work, Sean is an avid conservationist and nature lover. He founded project C:Change in 2010 to raise awareness about environmental issues in Hong Kong and Asia and created "love is wild", a traveling multimedia exhibition to raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade. Sean has given numerous talks, including two TED X talks as well as being featured on Hong Kong Tatler's cover for his environmental work. You can learn more about of Sean's work here:

Leah Horstman is an award winning landscape and commercial photographer from San Diego, California. Her work has been been published and seen worldwide. In 2016, she received top honors for her work displayed in the San Diego Natural History Museum’s “Natures Best” gallery. But of course, her favorite honor came with winning The Nature Conservancy’s top honor in the 2016 nature photography contest. “It was so incredible to be honored by an organization that means so much to me… and with an image I hold very near and dear to my heart”. You can find more of her work at

Jason Houston has spent over 20 years photographing community, culture, and how we live on the planet for editorial outlets and NGO clients around the world including The Nature Conservancy. His engaged, long-term approach to complex issues captures informed, authentic narratives that help educate the public and guide social and environmental change. Jason is a fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers and a fellow at Wake Forest University’s Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. Recent projects include indigenous rights and isolated tribes in the Peruvian Amazon, fisheries on both coasts of the United States and throughout the developing tropics, wildland firefighting in the American West, and his daughters climbing wall in their garage at home in Colorado. You can find more of Jason’s work here:

Luke Matson is a landscape, lifestyle and adventure photographer based in Seattle. He enjoys backpacking, hammocking, cooking tasty meals in his cast iron skillet, and unwinding to classical jazz. He hopes to get outside and do plenty of camping in the North Cascades with his wife and one year old daughter this coming spring and summer. Luke is The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest’s 2016 People & Nature Winner. You can find more of his work at

Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer, film-maker and the author of eight books on Canada's Pacific coast. Named by Time magazine as one of the "Leaders of the 21st Century" for his efforts to protect British Columbia's endangered rainforest. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won the North America Nature Photography Association's Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network's Rainforest Hero award. He is currently Directing and filming an IMAX feature film on the Great Bear Rainforest. You can learn more about Ian's work here:


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 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:

  • Camera Package –  (A kit that includes a 360 camera, 12 months of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan and a $100 gift certificate at BH Photo & Video to pick up those 1 or 2 missing essentials).
  • $500 gift card for outdoor gear and clothing with personalized recommendations from Backcountry’s Gearheads.  
  • A photo mention in The Nature Conservancy’s award winning U.S. magazine.
  • Placement in The Nature Conservancy’s 2019 calendar.
  • Lokai Bracelet
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences.
  • Total Value: $1,000 USD

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

  • A $250 Patagonia gift card
  • Lokai Bracelet
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • Total Value: $268 USD

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

  • A $250 Patagonia gift card
  • Lokai Bracelet
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • Total Value: $268 USD

Seven (8) Category winners (People’s Choice, People & Nature, Mobile, Underwater, Wildlife, Adventure, Nature in Cities and Young Photographer) will receive:

  • A Nature Conservancy branded Patagonia fleece
  • Lokai Bracelet
  • Mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences
  • Total Value: $78 USD

100 honorable mention winners will receive:

  • Mention on The Conservancy’s photo contest page 

To the maximum extent permissible by law, All winners are responsible for paying any taxes and any and all other costs and expenses not listed above, including but not limited to customs fees if applicable. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600 USD, a winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form prior the award of any prize, and/or any applicable tax forms for awarding the prize in the winner(s) jurisdiction(s). 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 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 to:

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


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.


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, text and a monthly e-newsletter. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time.


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 July 1, 2017. 


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to


Stay Updated

Learn about the places you love and find out how you can help by signing up for Nature eNews.

I'm already on the list Read our privacy policy

Thank you for joining our online community!

We'll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates, and exciting stories.