Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, Yellowstone visitation

2nd Annual Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest Accepting Submissions

Submissions are open for the 2nd Annual Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest.

Submissions are open from now to September 12. Full details on how to submit photos are below.

Hosted by the Yellowstone Park Foundation and Nature’s Best Photography, the Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest seeks to highlight Yellowstone’s “amazing variety of wildlife, geothermal features, and vast wilderness.” The inaugural contest was held last summer. All told, 11,000 images were submitted from photographers in 31 countries. You can see a slideshow of the top 100 below, courtesy of the YPF.

You can also see the 2015 Winning and Honorable Mention Photos here.

Photos will be judged by Tom Murphy (local wilderness photographer) and Steve Freligh (editor-in-chief of Nature’s Best Photography and director of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards). Murphy and Freligh helped judge contest entries last year.

General Rules

The Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest is open to photographers of all ages and rank, as stipulated below:

• Professionals (those who earned $5,000 or more last year from photography)
• Amateur (earned less than $5,000 last year from photography)
• Youth (18 and under before/on September 12, 2016)

Photographers are asked to submit photos in one of two categories: Wildlife and Landscapes. Photos of captive animals do not count and will not be considered. Photos may be submitted in one category or in both. Photoshopping is prohibited, except to clean up images remove “in-camera dust spots.” Cropping is permitted.

All photos must be taken within Yellowstone National Park boundaries. There is no date restriction on photos submitted for the Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest.

Special Rules

Entrants in the Yellowstone Forever Photo Contest must not infringe on other contest participants or people in Yellowstone National Park. In addition, photographers are not allowed to submit “obscene, provocative, or otherwise unobjectionable content;” they are also not allowed to submit images that involve “the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer.”

In addition, any Youth photographer selected as a finalist must have consent from a parent before publication or promotion.

Submitting Photos

Pro and Amateur photographers must pay $25 per entry; Youth must pay $10 per entry. Entries may have multiple photos, with up to 20 photos permitted per entry. You may submit multiple entries.

In the first round of submissions, photographers are asked to submit low-resolution copies (RGB 72 ppi Jpegs, between 1,000-1,800 pixels and no larger than 500 KB per entry) for consideration. Label each file FirstName_LastName_Subject e.g. JohnDoe_GrandGeyser.jpg.

To submit photos digitally, create a Contest Account though Nature’s Best Photography.

Semi-finalists will be asked to submit high-resolution (300 ppi Tiff and RAW [if available] files) copies of their entries. They will also have to submit a detailed caption for each shot. Failure to supply high-resolution photos and captions may result in disqualification.

Otherwise, you can submit photos via mail. Please send both low- and high-resolution photo files on a thumb drive (labeled with your first and last name) burned to disc(s), along with your payment by check (payable to Nature’s Best Photography) and the completed entry form. The mailing address is below:

Nature’s Best Photography, Yellowstone Forever 2016
1930 Isaac Newton Square W, Suite 200C
Reston, VA 20190 USA

You can also pay via phone by calling toll-free at 1-888-884-5999 or by calling 1-703-467-9783, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday.

In addition, photos taken on mobile devices may be entered for consideration using the hashtag #YellowstoneForever2016 on Instagram, tagging the Yellowstone Park Foundation (@goyellowstone) and Nature’s Best Photography (@naturesbestphotomagazine). Favorite images will be features in online presentations but are not eligible for prizes/grants.


First place Pro and Amateur photographers will receive $1,000; youth photographers will receive $500. First place winners in each photo category and each photographer category will receive an award plaque, new binoculars, an annual park pass, and a one-year free subscription to Nature’s Best Photography. In addition, their work will be featured in print, exhibitions, online presentations, and in Nature’s Best Photography magazine.

Second place photographers in each category will receive $250, an award certificate, and a one-year free subscription to Nature’s Best Photography. Their work will be features in print, exhibitions and online presentations, as well as in Nature’s Best Photography.

Third place winners will receive $100, an award certificate, and a one-year free subscription to Nature’s Best Photography. Their work will be features in print, exhibitions and online presentations, as well as in Nature’s Best Photography.

Finally, honorable mentions in the top 100 will receive an award certificate and be featured in YPF and NBP online presentations.

Winners will be announced in the spring of 2017. Further, winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the Old Faithful Haynes Photo Shop.

For the full list of contest regulations as well as an entry form, click here.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

Check Also

Yellowstone winter season

Yellowstone 2023 State of the Park report released

It’s a road map to where those running Yellowstone National Park set priorities for this …