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Photo Contest

The National Wildlife® Photo Contest, which began over 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.

As the National Wildlife Federation continues the critical work to combat climate change, protect wildlife, and connect people with nature, Eco-Schools USA urges youth to consider using their photographs to bring awareness to these issues and increase support for conservation work. This inspiring photo is one of the winners from the 2022 photo contest in the Young Nature Photographers category.

Sandhill crane chick

Age Range

Age on date of entry, 13-17.

Important Dates

January 18, 2023: Contest Opens

March 26, 2023: Contest Closes

October 2023: Winners Notified (Subject to Change)

Winter 2024 Magazine: Winners and Honorable Mentions 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 Young Nature Photographers 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 Winter 2024 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
  • 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