Photo Contest

2024 National Wildlife Photo Contest

The 2024 National Wildlife Photo Contest is closed for entry.


National Wildlife® magazine’s 53rd annual photo contest was open for submissions from January 17, 2024, through April 7, 2024. All entries support the conservation mission of the National Wildlife Federation, which is dedicated to saving wildlife species and habitats. Amateur and professional photographers alike were encouraged to share their best images of wildlife and wild lands, from around the world and their own backyards, in the following categories:

     • Birds
     • Mammals
     • Baby Animals: young of any species
     • Other Wildlife: underwater life, reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders, macro and more
     • Landscapes & Plants: from broad vistas to single blooms
     • People in Nature: responsibly enjoying wildlife or the outdoors
     • Mobile: taken with phones or tablets
     • Young Nature Photographers: open to ages 13 to 17
     • Portfolio: a collection of up to 10 images built around a common theme related to nature or conservation

The grand prize winner will be honored with the National Wildlife Nature’s Witness Award and receive $5,000. The winner of the portfolio category will receive $750. In each of the eight additional categories, first place wins $500, and second place wins $250. Winners will be announced in a press release, featured on our social media channels and published in print and/or online. Photo contest entrants are also eligible for the People’s Choice Award. Anyone 13 years of age or older can get in on the fun and vote!

Now in its 53rd year, the prestigious National Wildlife Photo Contest celebrates wildlife, habitats and the natural world, with an emphasis on conservation and ethical photography honoring the well-being of animals in the wild. Modest entry fees support the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation work and your photos inspire our millions of members and supporters to care about wildlife and to act on its behalf.


An image of a running zebra herd.

We're Proud to Announce the 2023 National Wildlife® Photo Contest Winners!


Some photos are eye-popping, some melt the heart, and some make us lean in closer. We had all of those reactions and so many more while judging our 52nd annual photo contest: a roller coaster of images and emotions totaling nearly 40,000 entries from more than 4,000 photographers. Contest winners hailed from across the United States and around the world, including photographers from Germany, India, Kuwait, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, reminding us of the universal appeal of nature's wonders.

“These memorable images stay with us, fueling a love for wildlife and the world around us,” says Jennifer Wehunt, editorial director of National Wildlife magazine. “Whether it’s a family of bear cubs following their mother or a single endangered plover backlit by the sun, these photos remind us of what we are working to conserve for future generations.”




Winners of the 2022 Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest

The fifth annual Garden for Wildlife Photo Contest attracted more than 7,200 photos from some 1,000 photographers sharing their love of nature—from city patios to rural meadows. Submitted in five categories, “these photographs showcase the beauty and importance of wildlife-friendly landscapes,” says GFW Manager Erin Sweeney. We hope you’ll enjoy this year's memorable winners.



An image of a western diamondback rattlesnake striking a green jay.

Winners of the 2022 National Wildlife® Photo Contest

Surprise! As our photo contest judges review the thousands of images submitted to our contest each year, some frames jump out with intense emotional punch. That was certainly the case in our 2022 contest, which drew over 30,000 photos from some 3,100 photographers around the world. The winners presented here, from each of our nine different categories, reflect nature in all its rich variety, from moments of raw but life-giving predation to a parent’s tender embrace, from lofty cliffside perches to placid undersea meadows. Whether avid amateurs or longtime professionals, nature photographers who share their gifts help the rest of us see the world through new eyes—and inspire us to save what we see. As the early, renowned nature photographer Ansel Adams once said, “Ask yourself: ‘Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream?’” Here we invite you to feast your eyes and dream away.




Winners of the 2021 Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest

The 2021 Garden for Wildlife Photo Contest showcased the impact that habitat gardens can have on wildlife and people alike. Selected from more than 9,000 incredible images entered, this year's winning photographs—as well as the stunning photographs that earned honorable mentions—capture an array of creative and inspiring moments showcasing the power, breadth, and impact of habitat gardens.



A male orangutan climbs upward, away from a flooded forest floor that reflects the sky in Borneo, Indonesia.

Winners of the 50th National Wildlife® Photo Contest

The National Wildlife Photo Contest celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect both photographers and viewers with wildlife and the outdoors. Compelling nature images can help protect wildlife in profound ways.

These images—made ethically in the wild—can inspire people to care about the creatures that share our planet—and to act on their behalf. For wildlife photographers, documenting the lives of animals is a passionate mission, revealing what’s often unseen and igniting human compassion for the natural world we’re all bound to protect. You’ll feel that bond when you gaze at these glorious winning images, standouts from the more than 40,400 we received in our 2021 photo contest. With special thanks to Tamron, proud supporter of the 2021 National Wildlife Photo Contest.




Tamron 2021



A crocodile swims through the water in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

2020 National Wildlife® Photo Contest winners

The National Wildlife Photo Contest, which began nearly five decades ago, celebrates the power of nature photography. These compelling images—made ethically in the wild—can inspire people to care about the creatures that share our planet and act on their behalf. For wildlife photographers, documenting the lives of animals is a passionate mission—revealing what’s often unseen and igniting human compassion for the natural world we’re all bound to protect. You’ll feel that bond when you gaze at these glorious winning images and honorable mentions, standouts from the from the more than 29,000 we received in our 2020 photo contest. With special thanks to Tamron, proud supporter of the 2020 National Wildlife Photo Contest.




See National Wildlife Photo Contest photography on exhibit

The National Wildlife Federation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science are proud to present “Nature’s Witness™,” an exhibition of 50 powerful wildlife photographs chosen to inspire conservation. Check out our virtual exhibit.



You can further support our mission by becoming a member of the National Wildlife Federation, which entitles you to receive National Wildlife magazine as a benefit of membership. For more information on how to join and get the magazine, click here.

 

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