The official rules of The Nature Conservancy Photo Contest 2018



The Nature Conservancy 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 those 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 (The Conservancy) reserves the right to reject any entry if, in The 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 Conservancy from proceeding with the Contest as intended or the consideration or awarding of any Prize would impose additional axmldministrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on The 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 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606 (“Sponsor”).


The Photo Contest begins at 12:00am on April 1, 2018 and ends at 11:59pm on May 31, 2018 Eastern Daylight Time (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 1, 2018 and ends at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time on June 14, 2018 (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 Conservancy is committed to a future for people and nature. For our 2018 Photo Contest, we’d like to know how you connect with nature.

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.

To ensure functionality on our submission platform, please submit files no larger than 4032 x 4032 pixels and no more than 4 MB at the time of entry. Higher resolution files will be requested should an entry be preselected to be awarded a prize or an award of merit.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping, spotting for dust, 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 format. HDR images are acceptable.

If possible, please embed the photographer name and caption information in the photo’s metadata.

Entrants will be asked to provide the following information in the contest entry process:

  • Title of the photo
  • Caption: Describe what we see and where it was taken.
  • Select a category: Nature and People, Landscape, Water, Wildlife or Cities and Nature.
  • Country where photo was taken.
  • State or province where photo was taken.
  • Was the image taken in a local, state or national park?
  • Was the image taken with a mobile device?
  • 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 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 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 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 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 website. The entry forms contain required fields for information about the photo, category to be entered, and contact information for the entrant, including an email address.

You can select an image directly from your computer or your mobile device’s photo library. Digital images that are sent via mail or email will not be accepted.

You may enter an unlimited number of photos, 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 with more explanation about the photo or to provide a higher resolution version of the photo anytime during the contest period.

Judging will be conducted by a panel of Conservancy picture editors to be selected by The Conservancy at its sole discretion (the “Panel”).

Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to humans and nature.

The People’s Choice award will be determined by online voting by the public on the Favorite Images displayed on starting June 1 through June 14, 2018.

The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and make daily selections into a group of “Judges’ Favorites.” From this group of images, awards will be given in the following categories:

One (1) Grand Prize winner, one (1) Second Place winner, and one (1) Third Place winner will be awarded.

Up to three photographs in each of the following categories will be honored with an Award of Merit:


People and Nature: recreation, relaxation, or adventure

Landscape: A sense of place with or without people

Water: Above, below or in between

Wildlife: In the wild or in the backyard

Note that Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer will be ineligible.

Cities and Nature: Connecting with nature where we live

People’s Choice: Overall winner selected by the public from the Favorite Images published on between June 1 through June 14, 2018.

Up to 200 Judge’s Favorites images will be notified of their status and will appear on on June 1, 2018. At that time, the public can vote for the People’s Choice winner. All potential winners will be revealed online within 10 days of June 15, 2018.

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.


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 10 calendar 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.

All award winners will receive mention on The Conservancy’s digital presences.

One (1) Overall grand prize winner will receive:

  • Digital Camera Package (Valued at $3,000 USD)
  • Gift card from Backcountry valued at $2,000 USD.
  • Total Value: $5,000 USD

One (1) Second place winner will receive:

  • Backcountry $500 Gift Card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $580 USD

One (1) Third place winner will receive:

  • Backcountry $250 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $330.00 USD

Up to three (3) Awards of Merit in each of the categories will receive:

People and Nature

  • Backcountry $150 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD


  • $50 Patagonia gift card
  • Backcountry $100 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD


  • $50 gift package from Tom’s of Maine
  • Backcountry $100 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD


  • $50 gift package from Lokai
  • Backcountry $100 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD

Cities and Nature

  • $50 gift package from T-Mobile
  • Backcountry $100 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD

People’s Choice

  • $50 Patagonia gift card
  • Backcountry $100 gift card and duffel/travel bag
  • Total Value: $230 USD

To the maximum extent permissible by law, all winners are responsible for paying any taxes and any and all other costs and expenses associated with claiming the awards, including but not limited to customs fees, taxes, and any other administrative costs, if applicable. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600, prior to the award of any prize the winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form and/or any applicable tax forms for awarding the prize in the winner’s jurisdiction. 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 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 the Photo Contest, you grant The Conservancy and its related entities such as affiliates and subsidiaries a royalty-free, non-exclusive right in perpetuity to:

Display the photograph on the Photo Contest submission websites:;;

  • Allow third-parties to share the photograph on social media.
  • Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of our mission.
  • Use the photograph in The Conservancy’s and related entities’ 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, newsletters, and Nature Conservancy magazine.
  • Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for Conservancy and related entities’-related use in news stories, social media, 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 and related entities’ staff via the Conservancy’s internal online photo archive.
  • The Conservancy will endeavor to credit all photographs with the credit “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, 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 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. Except where prohibited, you consent to Sponsor’s use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and/or 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.


Winners will be announced on by 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time on June 15, 2018.

To request a winners list by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to The Nature Conservancy, Photo Contest, 4245 N Fairfax Dr. Suite 100, Arlington VA 22203. Requests must be received by July 1, 2018.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to