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Photo Contest


The 2021 National Wildlife Photo Contest is now closed.


The National Wildlife® Photo Contest, which began five decades ago, celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect both photographers and viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. The most compelling nature images can help protect wildlife in profound ways.

Students often have a passion for wildlife and nature that can inspire others and make a difference in the world—now and into the future. The National Wildlife Federation works to combat climate change, protect wildlife, and connect people with nature. Students can help with all these causes and more! Eco-Schools USA urges youth consider using their photography to help protect wildlife and wild places.


Age Range

Age on date of entry, 13-17.

Important Dates

January 13, 2021: Contest Opens

March 28, 2021: Contest Closes (extended through April 4, 2021)

Mid October 2021: Winners Notified (Subject to Change)

Mid November 2021: Winners Published 


Entrants 13 to 17 years of age MUST enter only the Young Nature Photographers category and MUST obtain verified parental or guardian consent.  

Fee Waiver for Students of Registered Eco-Schools USA

When entering the National Wildlife Photo Contest, you will be first directed to a payment page. Students of registered Eco-Schools USA qualify for a fee waiver. For more information, send a request for a waiver code to Please include the school name in your request.  


One first place prize and one second place prize will be awarded in the Young Nature Photographers category. Youth entrants also have a chance to compete for the Grand Prize. All amounts are in U.S. dollars. The Youth category prizes will be paid to consenting parent or guardian on the youth entrant’s behalf. NWF will also award Honorable Mentions from the finalists as the judges deem appropriate. All Winners and Honorable Mentions will appear on NWF’s website. NWF will also publish a selection of Winners and Honorable Mentions from any category in the December 2021-January 2022 issue of National Wildlife magazine, in print and online. Editors will send two copies of that issue to the Entrants whose photos are published. The winners will be notified by email.

  • Grand Prize: One winner receives the Nature’s Witness award, a cash prize of $5000 and a Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 Lens ($1399 value)
  • First Place: One winner receives a cash prize of $500
  • Second Place: One winner receives a cash prize of $250
  • Honorable Mentions: Each will receive a certificate of distinction and a National Wildlife Federation calendar      

Learn More & Register