Smithsonian Photo Contest 2019


Smithsonian Photo Contest

Smithsonian Photo Contest

Opening: April 2, 2019
Deadline: November 30, 2019
Entry fee: Free
Prizes: $500, $2,500, valuable prizes’s 17th Annual Photo Contest begins April 2, 2019, and ends November 30, 2019, at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

What to enter

The following six contest categories are drawn from subjects of special interest to

  • Natural World
    Animals, plants and landscapes; geological or climatological features; and scientific processes and endeavors.
  • Travel
    Locales, peoples or activities in the United States and abroad that convey a sense of place.
  • People
    Portraits and photos of groups or individuals.
  • The American Experience
    Events, objects or activities connecting the American people to their history or their cultural heritage; photographs that tell us what it means to be an American and provide a sense of what it is like to live in this country.
  • Altered Images
    Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects.
  • Mobile
    Any photograph taken with a mobile device (phone or tablet).

To be eligible for any category, a photograph must have been shot by the entrant since January 1, 2017.

You may submit up to 15 photographs per category for a contest total of 90 submissions.


Eight prizes will be awarded, as follows:

Grand Prize

$2,500, plus a trip sponsored by Travel category sponsor The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. Images submitted to all categories are eligible for the Grand Prize.

Category Winners

The winners of each of the six categories will receive $500.

Readers’ Choice

The winner of the online Readers’ Choice award will receive $500.


Smithsonian Photo Contest 2018 Winners

© Rory Doyle, GRAND PRIZE, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Rory Doyle

Newest Cowboy in Town

Newborn Jestin is welcomed by his father Jessie at his home in Cleveland, Mississippi.


© Carla Rhodes, READERS' CHOICE, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Carla Rhodes

Giddyup, Partner

A lava lizard hitches a ride atop a marine iguana on Fernandina Island, Galápagos. Witnessing the mutualistic relationship between the two reptiles was truly magical!


© Anuroop Krishnan, Natural World, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Anuroop Krishnan
Natural World

Red-Fronted Lemur

A red-fronted lemur in Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar.


© Willem Kuijpers, People, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Willem Kuijpers


Young boys in Trapani, Italy assist in carrying heavy floats bearing sculptures that depict scenes from the Passion of Christ during the day-long Misteri di Trapani procession on Good Friday.


© Denis Karasev, Travel, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Denis Karasev

Spring Snow

A spring snow in Moscow.


© Jassen Todorov, The American Experience, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Jassen Todorov
The American Experience

The Painful Aftermath

A little over a month after fires ripped through Santa Rosa, California in 2017, the long and painful process of rebuilding began. Many people didn’t survive the horrendous fires in northern California, and thousands lost their homes. Aerial image (photographed from a plane).


© Daniel Garay, Altered Images, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Daniel Garay
Altered Images


Imagine, dream, bend and break the rules. My photo series GRVTY2 tries to see the world in an unexpected way. Places you see every day, either by traveling or on a screen, are turned into something else.


© Kelley Dallas, Mobile, Smithsonian Photo Contest
© Kelley Dallas

Playing Piano

Best friends sit together trying to play the piano.


Smithsonian Photo Contest 2017 Winners


GPIC International Photo Contest – Global Photography
GPIC International Photo Contest - Global Photography