General Questions

The National Wildlife Photo Contest (NWPC) is open to all photographers worldwide who are at least 18 years of age, except employees and Board Members of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), their immediate families and individuals living in the same household as such employees and Board Members. NWF reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, entrant eligibility.
No, we invite entrants from all over the world to enter.

Opens: May 20th, 2015

Closes: July 1st, 2015

Your $5 per photo fee helps support NWF's work to protect wildlife and wild places. Please note that photos are not actually entered into the contest or made viewable by others or sharable until the contest fee is paid.
NWF appreciates all donations of images. If you wish to donate image(s) to National Wildlife Federation for use in furthering its mission, please check the appropriate box for each image during the uploading process. By donating the image(s) to NWF, donor assigns NWF a joint ownership interest in image(s) under Copyright laws. You retain all right and title to the image(s) as a joint owner. By checking the box and agreeing to donate the image(s) to NWF, you agree all writing and signature requirements under the law are satisfied. NWF greatly appreciates all image donations, which will be used to support NWF’s charitable mission. Click here for further explanation.

Grand Prize: A trip for two (2) people on any of the tour offered by Caravan Tours, to be used within 18 months from notice of being awarded the Grand Prize, plus $1,000 for travel costs (Approximate retail value: $5,000).

First Place: One for each category (7 total): Cash Prize of $500

Second Place: One for each category (7 total): Cash Prize of $250

Honorable Mentions: NWF 2015-2016 calendar (value: $15.99 each)

Find more information in our Contest Details.

Questions About Entries

We are looking for striking color and black and white images of nature—on land, in the air and beneath the water’s surface—from anywhere in the world. These images may show animal behavior, portraits of wildlife in natural habitat, plant life, natural landscapes, or people interacting with nature.
Do not include photographs of pets or domestic animals. Images of captive animals photographed in game farms or roadside zoos, or animals from these facilities photographed elsewhere with handler’s control, will be disqualified.

Captive animals photographed in major zoos, wildlife research facilities or rehabilitation centers are acceptable. Clearly label these animals as captive in the Subject box when uploading and provide details in the Story box.

Previously published photos may be entered; however, please include information on when and where the photos appeared. Winning photos from other competitions may also be entered, but include the name of the contests and the years they won. Such information is informative only and will not influence judges’ decisions.
Yes. Acceptable adjustments are: to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness; removal of dust and scratches; cropping; black and white conversions; and use of HDR (high dynamic range), where multiple exposures of the same scene are combined for a greater tonal range. Not acceptable are photo composites (combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene); the addition, duplication, deletion or moving of objects in the photos; or the use of artistic digital filters and effects. Examples of artistic filters and effects are watercolor, neon glow, posterizing, stained glass, and others which do not show the scene in its natural way.
Yes. Your photo can be watermarked. It is recommended that the watermark not interfere with the scene of your photo. Please read the complete Contest Rules.

Technical Difficulties Registering

That’s normal! Our new platform allows you to immediately start submitting your photos. If you forget your password, you can retrieve it from the login page.
No. Our payment portal uses PayPal but you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay for your entries. After confirming your entries, you will see an additional option to pay by a separate online bank account or credit/debit card. If you continue to have problems, please contact us.

Technical Difficulties Uploading Photos

No, you may upload some of them and then return to the upload more at a later time. You will be able to add and delete images, edit details about them and switch categories. After you have paid for a certain photo, however, you may not edit the photo.
No, all photos must be entered in the contest via our website. If you cannot create digital image files yourself by scanning your photos, they can be easily converted by visiting your local photo store.
First and foremost, save a backup of the originals. Software such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Microsoft Office Picture Manager will help you resize and save copies of your images. Look for resize or adjust size in the menus. There are also a number of online resources for resizing photographs.

Our new platform has three stages of submitting your photos.

  1. Drafts: You've started the photo submission process but can still edit and change information.
  2. Submitted (Not Yet Checked Out): You have locked in your entry for submission but haven't paid yet. You cannot edit entries at this point.
  3. Paid: You have gone through the payment process and submitted your entries. Only at this point are you eligible for the photo contest prizes. Within 24 hours after completing this stage, your photos will show up in the photo gallery.


Didn't find your questions here? Please do not hesitate to contact us.