2022 People's Choice Award

National Wildlife’s 2022 Photo Contest People’s Choice Award

The National Wildlife Federation is proud to announce the People’s Choice Award winner and runners-up of the 51st annual National Wildlife® Photo Contest. Last year, over 4,900 people voted for their favorite wildlife photos from a pool of nearly 29,000 images. “It’s always intriguing to see which images catch peoples’ eyes,” says Lisa Moore, editorial director of National Wildlife magazine. “This year, as every year, the winners reflect a range of compositions and emotions, from the nuzzle of fox pup noses to the gleam of an alligator’s eye.” Enjoy!

Without further ado, National Wildlife’s 2022 Photo Contest People’s Choice Award Winner …

An elk in snow foraging from a tree

People’s Choice Award Winner
“Elk Calf”
Joyce Koueik, Madison, Wisconsin

This year’s People’s Choice Winner, from our Mobile category, is Joyce Koueik’s photo of an elk that she took on her phone while hiking the South Rim Trail of the Grand Canyon. “It was my last day there and I was taking my last walk when I suddenly saw this elk,” says Koueik. She quietly documented the elk foraging for a few minutes before it went on its way.  “When I looked back at this photo, I saw the background with part of the canyon in snow and the other part in sun and I was so happy to get this picture.”

Two fox kits touch noses

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
“Fox Pups Kissing”
Sara Blair, Pickering, Ontario

While staying in Canada to receive medical treatment, Sara Blair found solace in her daily walks with her partner, and became acquainted with a local fox mom and her kits. “One of the things that brought me joy during this time was taking my camera and watching the fox babies,” says Blair. “In this picture, they were having a cute moment after wrestling. They had just tackled each other and then tapped their noses. It looked like a kiss.”

An ibis taking off, with its shadow silhouette visible through its wings.

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
“Flight of a White Ibis”
Kenyan Guidry, Beaumont, Texas

Kenyan Guidry initially began his wildlife photography journey taking photos with his phone at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont, Texas. He posted photos of the wildlife he saw on his social media, and then became an official photographer at the marsh. Now, he goes there almost every day—working or not—to photograph ducks, alligators, eagles and other wildlife that frequent the marsh. “I was walking on the boardwalk where you can sometimes see hawks and bald eagles, but it wasn’t very active, so I decided to come back later,” he says of the day he took this photo. “At the last second, I turned around, saw this ibis and fired off five quick shots.”

A close-up of an alligator's eye with the sunset and a person reflected in it.

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
“Watching the Sunset in an Alligator’s Eye”
Chrissy Martinez, Gainesville, Florida

While editing photos she had taken at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Gainesville, Florida, Chrissy Martinez realized she had accidentally captured a photo of herself reflected in an alligator’s eye. Hoping to recreate the shot, Martinez returned to the preserve— on the evening of a full moon when she knew the sunset would be brilliant. “I knew there would be a gator hanging out by the boardwalk, and it was in perfect position,” says Martinez. She had been observing the alligators at the preserve for a few weeks and was familiar with their behavior and how she could get her dream photo while maintaining a safe distance. “I was so captivated, I found myself watching the sun set through the gator’s eye. I finally got my photo in the after sunset glow.” Martinez noted that the photographs were taken on the ancestral lands of the Timucua, Miccosukee, and Seminoles.

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

2022 Photo Contest Winners »
2022 Photo Contest Honorable Mentions »
2021 People's Choice Award »

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