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Photo Contest

National Wildlife's 2023 Photo Contest

The 2023 National Wildlife® Photo Contest is now open!


Our 52nd annual photo contest is open from January 18, 2023 through March 26, 2023. Every person who enters not only honors their own work, but also helps support the conservation mission of the National Wildlife Federation, which is dedicated to saving wildlife species and their habitats. Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, we’d love to see some of your best images of wildlife and wild lands, whether from around the world or your own backyard.

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You can submit images in any of these nine categories:

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

This long-running, prestigious contest is unique because it celebrates wildlife, habitats and the natural world with an emphasis on conservation and on ethical photography that honors the well-being of animals in the wild. Modest entry fees help support the conservation work of the National Wildlife Federation—and help inspire our millions of members and supporters to care about wildlife and to act on its behalf.


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

We're proud to announce the 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.



Garden for Wildlife's 2022 Photo Contest


The 2022 Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest is now closed

The Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest seeks to illustrate the faces of Garden for Wildlife through striking, colorful images showcasing the impact of habitat gardens on wildlife and people–in urban, suburban, and rural settings, and on land, in the air, and in water.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's contest. We sincerely appreciate your contribution and we’re glad you’re a part of this growing family of talented, dedicated people! NWF anticipates notifying winners by March 2023. A selection of the winning photographs from the 2022 contest will be published in the Spring 2023 issue of National Wildlife magazine. All winning images and honorable mentions may be viewed beginning in early April 2023 at nwf.org/garden

Visit gfwphotocontest.nwf.org to see the public gallery!



2021 Garden for Wildlife Photo Contest


See the 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.

See the winners of the
50th National Wildlife® Photo Contest!


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. 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.

See the 49th annual 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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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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