National Park Foundation Find Your Park

Photo Guidelines

Please read the Official Contest Rules here and find Frequently Asked Questions here.


We're seeking amazing photos from amateur photographers that highlight the best of America's federal lands, national parks and historical sites in these categories:

  1. Adventure & Outdoor Recreation
    Share photos of your favorite activities and adventures on federal lands across America's Great Outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, skiing, climbing, riding, etc.
  2. Historical & Cultural
    Inspire with images depicting historical locations and cultural events – from national historical sites and monuments to cultural celebrations on federal lands
  3. Scenic, Seasons & Landscapes
    Capture scenic vistas and sweeping landscapes - fall foliage, forests, winter wonderlands, flowers, mountains, deserts, canyons, lakes, beaches, rivers and more.
  4. Family, Friends & Fun
    Family, Friends and Fun encourages friends and families to be active and explore America's great outdoors.
  5. Wildlife
    Take a walk on the wild side with photos of wildlife on federal lands – mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. Keep your distance and stay safe!
  6. Night Skies
    Capture the magic of a night out under the stars. Slow the shutter speed down and see what develops!


Photos must be taken on the lands or within the facilities of these participating agencies:

  1. National Park Service
  2. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  3. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Forest Service
  6. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Photographs must be taken between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 and contest entries are accepted from May 4, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Winners will be announced Spring 2018.

How to Submit?

  1. Submit photos at:
  2. Only submit photos you yourself have taken
  3. Submit photos in JPEG format. Try to ensure that the photo is 2 mb or larger with high resolution (300 DPI) as the winning photos must work in print.

How are the Photos Judged?

Photos will be judged on the following criteria:
(i) originality, (ii) artistic composition, (iii) technical quality, (iv) photographic technique, and (v) whether the photograph showcases the best of America's recreational opportunities.
See Prizes here.


We are looking for the official photo that will be featured on the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Lands Pass for 2019. Plus, it's a fantastic way to "Share the Experience" and let others see and appreciate all the incredible federal lands and adventures across the nation.

Who's Eligible to Enter?

  1. Legal residents of the 50 United States and DC, and at least 13 years of age or older as of May 4, 2017.
  2. Amateur Photographers (less than 20% of your total income is from photography).
  3. Photographs must be taken by you and you must have the rights to the photo.

Who's Ineligible to Enter?

  1. Employees of the participating agencies and sponsors and their family members are not eligible to win prizes. You are allowed to upload photos, but must check the box identifying that you are an employee.
  2. An Employee is considered anyone who has been or will be employed by a partner or sponsor during the contest period or was employed during the time the photograph in question was taken.
  3. Individuals who derive 20% or more of their income from photography. Those who derive more than 20% of their income from photography are not prohibited from entering photos but are not eligible to win prizes.

What Not to Do

  1. Do not alter or manipulate photos except for minimal cropping, red eye removal and/or adjustment of contrast, brightness or saturation. Photo techniques such as HDR or long exposures are accepted.
  2. Don't break any laws or rules of federal lands
  3. Don't do anything unsafe
  4. Don't photograph anything that is inappropriate, indecent or obscene
  5. No watermarks or logos

What to Do

  1. Enjoy your experience and share it with us!
  2. Vote for your favorites online
  3. Tell your friends