Photo Guidelines

Please read the Official Contest Rules here and find Frequently Asked Questions here.


We're seeking amazing photos from amateur photographers that highlight the best of America's federal lands, national parks and historical sites in these categories:

  1. Adventure & Outdoor Recreation
    Share photos of your favorite activities and adventures on federal lands across America's Great Outdoors – camping, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, skiing, climbing, riding, etc.
  2. Historical & Cultural
    Inspire with images depicting historical locations and cultural events – from national historical sites and monuments to cultural celebrations on federal lands
  3. Scenic, Seasons & Landscapes
    Capture scenic vistas and sweeping landscapes - fall foliage, forests, winter wonderlands, flowers, mountains, deserts, canyons, lakes, beaches, rivers and more.
  4. Every Kid In A Park
    In conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Outside! initiative, Every Kid in a Park encourages kids and families to be active and explore America's Great Outdoors. Launched in 2015, the initiative strives to connect kids with natural resources and create the next generation of visitors, advocates, and supporters of our public lands.
  5. Wildlife
    Take a walk on the wild side with photos of wildlife on federal lands – mammals, birds, insects and reptiles. Keep your distance and stay safe!
  6. Night Skies
    Capture the magic of a night out under the stars. Slow the shutter speed down and see what develops!


Photos must be taken on the lands or within the facilities of these participating agencies:

  1. National Park Service
  2. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  3. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Forest Service


Photographs must be taken between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015 and contest entries are accepted from April 30, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Winners will be announced by May 1, 2016.

How to Submit?

  1. Submit photos at:
  2. Only submit photos you yourself have taken
  3. Submit photos in JPEG format. Try to ensure that the photo is 3 mb or larger with high resolution (300 DPI) as the winning photos must work in print.

How are the Photos Judged?

Photos will be judged on the following criteria:
(i) originality, (ii) artistic composition, (iii) technical quality, (iv) photographic technique, and (v) whether the photograph showcases the best of America's recreational opportunities.
See Prizes here.


We are looking for the official photo that will be featured on the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Lands Pass for 2017. Plus, it's a fantastic way to "Share the Experience" and let others see and appreciate all the incredible federal lands and adventures across the nation.

Who's Eligible to Enter?

  1. Legal residents of the 50 United States and DC, and at least 13 years of age or older as of April 30, 2015.
  2. Amateur Photographers (less than 20% of your total income is from photography).
  3. Photographs must be taken by you and you must have the rights to the photo.

Who's Ineligible to Enter?

  1. Employees of the participating agencies and sponsors and their family members are not eligible to win prizes. You are allowed to upload photos, but must check the box identifying that you are an employee.
  2. Individuals who derive 20% or more of their income from photography.

What Not to Do

  1. Do not alter of manipulate photos except for minimal cropping, red eye removal and/or adjustment of contrast, brightness or saturization
  2. Don't break any laws or rules of federal lands
  3. Don't do anything unsafe
  4. Don't photograph anything that is inappropriate, indecent or obscene
  5. No watermarks or logos

What to Do

  1. Enjoy your experience and share it with us!
  2. Vote for your favorites online
  3. Tell your friends