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. Let's Move Outside
    Part of The First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, Let's Move Outside encourages kids and families to be active and explore America's Great Outdoors. So, what are you waiting for? Get outside and share your adventure with us!
  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, 2012 and December 31, 2014 and contest entries are accepted from May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Winners will be announced by May 1, 2015.

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 2016. 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 May 1, 2014.
  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 cropping, red eye removal and/or adjustment of contrast and brightness
  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

What to Do

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