2016 Photo Contest Rules and Conditions

Deadline to Enter–June 20, 2016

Monarchs and HummingbirdThe Wild Ones Annual Photo Contest is the perfect chance for you to show off your creativity and photographic talents while inviting us in for a look at your unique view of native plants and natural landscaping.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer, you don’t have to have a fancy camera, and you don’t even have to be an expert on native plants. All you have to do is follow the rules and suggestions listed below, snap some good shots, and send in your entries.

Contest Eligibility, How to Enter, and Deadline

Only Wild Ones members and employees of our Business Members, whose membership is (and will be) current during the course of this contest are eligible. Household memberships include everyone who lives within the same household. Complete the entry form for each photo.

Each photo entry must be accompanied by an entry form. Send all entries to us in digital format. Submit your photos by e-mail. Acceptable file formats include JPEG or TIFF.

To help avoid any confusion, please rename your digital file to match the title you have on the entry form. Photo Contest Submission Form.

Wild Ones must receive your entries no later than 4 p.m., June 20th of this year. No exceptions. 

E-mail any questions to: photocontestHQ@wildones.org

Contest Categories

Flora Subject of the photo must be plant species native to the United States or Canada and native to the area in which the photo was taken. Plant species include forbs, grasses, vines, ferns, trees, shrubs — any native plant from any ecoregion.

Scenery Subject of the photo must feature an aspect of native woodland, savanna, prairie, and wetlands. Photo may include landscaping amenities such as stone walls and sculptures, and wildlife as part of the natural landscape, but these objects should not be the central focus of the photo. Emphasis must be on the natural landscape.

Child or Children Photo must relate to children 18 years of age or younger exploring the natural environment (prairies, woodlands, or wet areas made up of native-plant species).

Pollinators–Insects, Butterflies, Bats or Birds The pollinator and native plant must be native to the United States or Canada. If the pollinator is on a plant, the plant must be a native species.

Non-Residential Landscaping Photo must feature native plants and natural landscaping around non-residential buildings or facilities or elements of non-residential developments as part of the subject. Examples might include businesses, shopping areas, non-profit facilities, and government facilities that are landscaped using native plants. Emphasis must be on the natural landscaping.

Residential Landscaping Photo must feature native plants and natural landscaping with residential buildings or elements of residential developments as part of the subject. Emphasis must be on the natural landscaping.

Photos by Kids Photo must fit into one of the listed categories, and be taken by a child 18 years of age or younger. Regardless of the contest category, these photos will be judged as part of the kids category. Children can enter up to four photos, but no more than two entries from any of the listed contest categories. For example, a child might enter two photos into the Flora category, one photo into the Landscaping category, and one photo into the Scenery category.

Wild Ones in Action–People outside attending events and activities People enjoying nature, observing web of life, restoring the ecology. The photo must contain native plants.

Contest Rulesmilkweed

  • The subject of all entries must be native plant species, native species landscape, or native plant ecology found in the USA or Canada. Be sure the plants are true natives and native to where the photo was taken. A photo of a nativar, hybrid or cultivar of a native plant is not acceptable.
  • Photo entries that do not conform to the contest categories listed above will be disqualified.
  • Each qualified entrant may enter no more than two entries per main category, and no more than four entries per member.
  • Photo entries must not have been entered in any previous Wild Ones Photo Contest, and must not have been published as a winner in any other photo contest.
  • All digital files must be 5 megabytes or smaller and must be at least 1,600 pixels wide or tall. Please rename your digital file to include your name and the title of the picture that you used on the entry form.  Example:  John Doe Monarchs at Play.jpg
  • Photo entries must have been shot within three years of current year’s contest.
  • Photo entries must have been shot by the contest entrant.
  • A photo montage will be considered a single entry, and all images in the montage must fit into one of the categories and portray a single theme. Before and after images of native plant landscaping could be considered for montage entries.

Judging Criteria

Prior to judging, photos will be approved by the photo contest committee. Entries will be judged by a photographer of stature. Here are some of the points the committee and judge will consider:

  • Native to the Area: Are you sure the subject of your photo is a true native to the area where the photo was taken? If a plant is not native to your area, even if you take a photo of it growing in your yard, the photo will not be acceptable.
  • Authenticity: The goal of the contest is to gather beautiful digital images of native plants, natural landscapes and related subjects in their natural state. Photos that have been altered beyond reasonable optimization, such as cropping, and exposure, contrast, and color adjustments, will be disqualified. Images that contain multiple images are not acceptable. However, high dynamic range (HDR) images that are made of multiple exposures are acceptable. The judging committee reserves the right to determine if images meet these requirements.
  • Category: Does your photo entry conform to the category? Considering the category descriptions, does the photo include and emphasize the required subjects?
  • Composition: Be sure that the composition of your photo is interesting enough to attract attention and show off the subject of the photo.
  • Color: If your entry is a color photo, be sure that the colors look true to life without any distracting color cast. Unless you deliberately shot the photo for a certain effect, it’s best that the photo have a normal color balance.
  • Creativity Matters: Keep in mind that creativity is important. A straight-ahead, perfectly exposed, and tack-sharp photo of a coneflower may display the flower very well for identification purposes – but another photo of the same coneflower taken from a different angle, with different lighting, and maybe with the background blurred out, may show the flower “in a new light.” And it’s this new light that photo contest judges often look for and reward.
  • Sharpness: Is your photo appropriately sharp and in focus? It’s not necessary (or even possible or desirable sometimes) for every part of every photo to be sharp and in focus, but be sure that the parts of your photos that should be sharp are sharp and in focus.
  • Exposure: Is your photo properly exposed? Is there detail in the highlights and the shadow areas? Is it too dark or too light? Unless you deliberately shot the photo for a certain effect, it’s best that the photo have a normal balance of light, dark, and contrast.
  • Wild Ones Mission: Consider how your entries fit in with the mission of Wild Ones. If the subject of your photo is an insect, be sure that the photo also includes a reasonable amount of emphasis on native plants or natural landscaping. Otherwise, the photo has nothing to do with the mission of Wild Ones.

Selection of Winners

The judge will determine a first-, second-, and third-place winner in each category. After the initial judging, the photos will be displayed on the Wild Ones web site, and members will be invited to vote for their favorite photo to determine the People’s Choice Award. Winners will receive award ribbons, and we may also award additional prizes. Winning entries will be displayed as photo contest winners on the Wild Ones web site. Your name and the title of your photo will accompany the photos on the web site.

Winners will be notified by e-mail, no later than July 31 of each year, with a hard-copy mailing of the appropriate ribbon and/or any additional award to follow.

Copyright

By entering the contest you certify that there are no conflicting claims against your copyright and that nothing related to your entry violates or infringes upon another person’s copyright. By entering the contest you agree that Wild Ones may use your photos in Wild Ones publications, promotional materials, presentations, and on the Wild Ones web sites. Further, you agree that Wild Ones may also use your entries in conjunction with fulfilling its partnership obligations with other environmental organizations. You retain copyright and all other rights related to your photographs.

By entering this contest you agree to release and hold harmless Wild Ones and its employees, officers, affiliates, agents, and advertising, design and promotional agencies from any and all damages, injuries, claims, causes of actions, or losses of any kind resulting from your participation in this contest, including infringement of intellectual property rights. Wild Ones and its employees, officers, affiliates, agents, and advertising, design and promotional agencies assume no responsibility or liability for any damages, injuries, claims, causes of actions, or losses of any kind arising in whole or in part from this contest.

Photo Contest Submission Form