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Frequently Asked Questions

About Ocean Conservancy's Annual Photo Contest

What are the dates of the contest?

Contest submissions will be accepted Thursday, May 02, 2024, through Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Public voting will occur Wednesday, May 29, 2024 through Thursday, June 6, 2024. Winners will be notified and confirmed by email and/or telephone before they are publicly announced the week of June 24, 2024.

How do I submit a photo to the contest?

Before entering, make sure you have your photos ready to go! Ensure your images are between 1-50 MB at 300 dpi. Rename your files with your first and last name and image title (Ex. Jane_Doe_BeachSunrise). Submit your photo through our submission portal.

What are this year’s categories?

  • Human Impact
    Whether it’s a storm surge due to climate change, or fishing gear removed from a local waterway, how are humans making an impact on our ocean? Rescue efforts, trash cleanups, marine pollution, oil spills, etc. Send in your photos to inspire individuals to take action for our ocean.
  • Marine Wildlife
    Goblin shark glamour shots? Sea slug selfies? Porpoise portraits? We love to see ‘em ALL. Submit your most amazing photos of ocean wildlife for your chance to win.
  • Spectacular Seascapes
    From coral reefs to sensational sunrises, these photos will always leave us in awe of our ocean. We can’t wait to see your incredible coastlines and spectacular seascapes.

What are the prizes?

  • The Judge’s Choice – Grand Prize Winner
    The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and be featured in the 2026 Ocean Conservancy Calendar. They will also be featured on Ocean Conservancy’s blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
  • Category Winners
    The three category winners will each receive a cash prize of $300 and will be featured on Ocean Conservancy’s blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Every photo entered has a chance to be featured in Ocean Conservancy’s 2026 Calendar. Only the Judge’s Choice winner is guaranteed a spot in the 2026 calendar. Additional prizes may be awarded.

Which kinds of photos are eligible for the contest?

The subject matter of the photograph submission must consist of marine wildlife or marine habitats and must be photographed in a natural setting. Shots of aquariums, pools or other captive locations will not be accepted. Photographs of divers touching or stressing marine wildlife will not be accepted. Photographs that involve the willful harassment of wildlife or that cause damage to the environment by the photographer will not be accepted. Photos created by or with the assistance of generative artificial intelligence tools are ineligible.

Photos containing imagery inconsistent with the programs and policies of Ocean Conservancy will be deemed ineligible. If your entry is deemed ineligible, it will be disqualified and removed from the contest website. Review our terms and conditions for additional details.

How old do I have to be to enter/participate in the contest?

The contest is open to everyone. However, if you are 18 years old or younger, you may participate in the contest only with the permission and assistance of your parent(s) or guardian(s). There may be restrictions on which prizes someone who is under 18 years of age can win. Review our terms and conditions for additional details.

Can I enter even though I do not live in the United States?

Yes. Non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. residents can enter the contest. However, there are restrictions on which prizes non-U.S. residents are eligible to win. Review our terms and conditions for additional details.

Do I have to pay or donate to enter the contest?

No. You do not have to pay or donate to enter the contest—submitting your photograph and participating in our voting rounds are free.

How often may I vote?

Voting is limited to one vote per person per day, as determined by your IP address.

How do you select the winners?

One winner will be selected from each of the four categories by a public vote. The eligible photograph with the highest total votes in each category wins. Share your entry with your family and friends and encourage them to vote for your photograph to increase your chances of winning.

The winner of the Judges’ Choice will be determined by a panel of judges. The photograph that receives the highest average score will receive the Judges’ Choice Award. You do not need to collect public votes to win the Judges’ Choice Category.

What do you do with the photographs after the contest?

Your photos help Ocean Conservancy reach our conservation goals! After the contest, all submissions are added to our internal photo library and used throughout the year to inspire ocean lovers to take action on behalf of our ocean. You may see your image on our blog, in an email, on Instagram or other marketing efforts. Do not worry, we always credit the photographer.

Can I enter the contest through the mail, or by emailing you a photograph?

No, the only way to enter the photo contest is through our website: If you do not have any digital images of your photo, you can use a scan of a printed photo (saved as a jpeg file) to upload when entering the contest.

Still have questions?

Email us anytime: [email protected]

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