Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023 | Win up to $2,500

Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023

Are you a passionate photographer looking for a photography contest to show your skills? The Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023 is a highly regarded Photography competition. This international photo competition 2023 is organized by the Smithsonian Institution, one of the world’s leading cultural and educational institutions in the United States. This international contest attracts photographers from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of images that capture moments, stories, and the beauty of our world. The Smithsonian Photography Contest is typically open to photographers of all skill levels, backgrounds, and nationalities. Hence, encouraging a diverse range of participants. If you are a photographer, whether professional or amateur, you must submit your photos for the 21st Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.

Having said that, in the past two decades, participants have contributed over 470,000 photographs to the annual photo contest hosted by the Smithsonian. The Annual Photography Contest captures the essence of human creativity. Thus offering a window into diverse landscapes, compelling human stories, and various other themes. The Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest includes various categories. Encouraging photographers to explore themes such as Travel, Sustainable Travel, People, Altered Images, Mobile Photography, and the Natural World. Winning entries and remarkable photographs from the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023 will receive cash prizes of up to $2,500. Similarly, the Annual Photo Contest by the Smithsonian serves as a platform for the exchange of creative ideas and visual storytelling. This online photography competition celebrates the art of photography and the power of visuals. 

Moreover, the Smithsonian magazine competition invites international photographers to submit their best work. Along with the cash prize, selected photographs will feature in the Smithsonian Magazine, hence providing exposure to a wide readership. In addition, for the Smithsonian Photo Contest 2023, photographers can submit their entries during a specified entry period. Submissions will be judged on criteria such as quality, creativity, uniqueness, and alignment with the theme of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023.


Categories of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest:

  1. Travel: Entries in this category focus on locals, people, or activities both within the United States and abroad.
  2. Natural World: This category includes animals, plants, and landscapes, as well as geological or climatological features.
  3. The American Experience: Photographs in this category capture events, objects, or activities that connect the American people to their history or cultural heritage.
  4. People: This category involves portraits and photographs of either individuals or groups, representing human experiences and expressions.
  5. Drone/Aerial: This category includes photographs captured using devices such as drones, planes, or helicopters. 
  6. Artistic Images: This category uses photography as a creative and imaginative platform to express ideas or concepts.


Table of Contents

  • Country: Online
  • Financial coverage: Paid
  • Deadline: November 30, 2023
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    Eligibility Criteria :

    Does this online photography contest sound interesting to you? If it does, do not forget to submit your photographs before the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest deadline and read the eligibility criteria below. 

    Eligibility Criteria for Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023:

    • The Grand Prize, Readers’ Choice prize, and prizes in the Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Artistic Images, and Drone/Aerial categories are available to photographers aged 18 years or older. 
    • To qualify for any category of the photo contest, the photograph must have been taken by the entrant after 1 January 2020.
    • Contestants need to confirm that they are the exclusive creators and copyright owners of the submitted photograph.
    • Cropped photos are acceptable in all categories. 
    • Minor adjustments, such as removal of sensor dust or scratches on negative scans, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast, toning, slight color adjustments, and conversion to grayscale, are permissible across all Smithsonian Photo Contest categories.
    • Similarly, except for the Artistic Images category, the inclusion or removal of objects is not allowed.
    • For photos featuring recognizable individuals, entrants must be ready to provide a model release from the subject. In the case of minors, the release must be obtained from the subject’s parent or guardian. 
    • Moreover, participants whose photos portray the work of others, such as sculptures, statues, paintings, and other copyrightable works, must also provide a release. 
    • In cases where the entrant cannot provide all necessary releases, the Smithsonian reserves the right to disqualify the submission. 
    • Photos must adhere to federal, state, and local laws.
    • Images that violate another person’s rights, including copyright, are not eligible for consideration.
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    Benefits :

    If you meet the eligibility criteria above, you must read the several benefits of the Annual Photo Contest by Smithsonian in 2023. These are listed below. 

    Benefits of the Smithsonian Magazine Annual Photography Competition:

    • Winning or featured entries gain exposure on a global scale, reaching a diverse audience of photography enthusiasts and professionals. 
    • Winners of the Smithsonian Annual Photography Contest have the chance to win cash prizes, including the Grand Prize of $2,500, $500 for each Category Winner, and $500 for the winner of the Readers’ Choice award. Hence, providing financial recognition for their work.
    • Moreover, being part of such a prestigious contest enhances a photographer’s portfolio.
    • Winning photographs or select entries may be featured in Smithsonian publications, both in print and online.
    • The Smithsonian may also choose photos for highlighting on its website or inclusion in a publicly accessible contest archive. 


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    Application Process:

    • To register for the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest, all candidates must visit the official website or click on the ‘apply now’ button.
    • Candidates must provide all the necessary information on the application portal.
    • Similarly, each contestant can submit up to 15 photographs per category, leading to a maximum of 90 submissions for the contest.
    • To ensure the best display, it is essential to submit photographs in .jpeg, .jpg, or .gif format.
    • Also, make sure that you meet the criteria and requirements of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest 2023.
    • Only online submissions will be eligible.

    Deadline to Apply for the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest:

    • The deadline to apply for the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest is 30 November 2023

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