Photo Contest

The City of Gainesville, Florida invites individual photographers to enter the Ninth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest. Your photo could be featured in an upcoming photography exhibition. The grand prize winner will be unveiled in January 2018! Don't miss the opportunity to showcase your talent! No need to be a professional, any individual can enter. Please read the following rules, terms and conditions before submitting any photos.

OFFICIAL RULES: The City of Gainesville, Florida invites individual photographers to enter the Ninth Annual Gainesville Photography Contest. Please read the following rules, terms and conditions before submitting any photos. By submitting a photograph to the contest, you are agreeing to the contest rules.

The photography competition (the "contest") is open to all individual photographers at least 18 years of age. The contest is open to all participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. All submissions are irrevocable and final.

YOUR RIGHTS: You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit -- including ownership, if applicable -- other than those rights licensed in the next sentence. By entering the contest, you certify that you have the authority to and that you grant to the City of Gainesville, Florida (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photographs you submit to the City of Gainesville, Florida, and (ii) the right to use your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.

CATEGORIES: The overarching theme for this year’s contest is “Best of Gainesville.” This year's categories are:

  • Defining Gainesville
  • New American City
  • Architecture and Design
  • Creeks, Nature and Environment
  • People at Play; People at Work

WHAT TO ENTER:  ***Please note all photo submissions must be taken within the greater Gainesville area. Each photographer should submit no more than 10 (ten) photographs to the contest.

The overarching theme for this year’s contest is “Best of Gainesville.” Gainesville is more than just a location or feeling; it is a place of discovery, an ever-evolving moment in time that connects family and friends, past and future, with the here and now. It is an authentic look at how we live our lives with a shared sense of ownership and responsibility for in this unique community space that is our home. Gainesville is a city in which creativity and innovation unifies all of us, bringing neighbors together with a common purpose and communal identity. It is in this sense that we look to you, the photographer, to capture unique aspects of our city that reflect its authentic character above and beyond its traditional connection as host city to the University of Florida.           

Submissions to the contest should include photos that express the growth and vitality of Gainesville as a special place to live, work and play; photos that depict Gainesville’s physical and natural beauty and the unique characters that reside in Gainesville. Photos should reflect the topography, people, culture, arts and ideas that evoke authentic Gainesville.

Please do not include photographs where the primary subject is a pet or domestic animal. If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to the City of Gainesville, Florida upon request. Entrants must not submit images that violate any laws, involve the willful harassment of wildlife, damage to property or the environment by the photographer or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) should be noted as such. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "high dynamic range" image are unacceptable.

All photographs will be credited with the entrant’s name. The City of Gainesville, Florida has final approval of any language that appears on its website with any of the photos and will not promote or endorse third-party products or services.

HOW TO ENTER: Each photo must be submitted electronically, by one of the following three methods:

  1. Via the City of Gainesville Website - Fill out the form at the bottom of this webpage, which includes your name, email address, photo title and Flickr™ url.
  2. Via Flickr™ - To submit your photos via Flickr™, use your Yahoo!® ID to login to If you do not have an account, you can sign-up for free at Flickr™ and Yahoo!® are trademarks of Yahoo, Inc. After logging in, upload your images using the mechanism provided. If you are not already a member of City of Gainesville, Florida's group on Flickr™, join by clicking "Join this Group?" on the group's homepage. The group pool can be found here:

    Browse to the image(s) on Flickr™ you wish to submit for the contest, and use the "Add to Group" function (near the lower right hand area of the page) to add your images to the City of Gainesville, Florida's photo pool.

    If you have trouble using Flickr™, please consult their online help files. The City of Gainesville, Florida is not responsible for any issues or problems you encounter while trying to upload a photo on Flickr™.
  3. Via Manual Submission - If you choose not to use Flickr™ to submit your image(s), please email for directions.

    The City of Gainesville, Florida reserves the right to upload photos submitted through this process to its public group on Flickr™.

INFORMATION TO INCLUDE: The following information should be included with each submission:

  • Photo captions: Photo captions must accompany all submissions, and should include:
    • the title of the photograph,
    • the location the image was taken and
    • the name of the photographer(s).
  • Contact information: In order to give appropriate credit to the finalists, please contact us via Flickr™ and send us your email address or send your email address directly to It is important for us to have a way to notify the finalists once they are selected and to give credit to the photographers.

ELIGIBILITY: Photographs that have been recognized by this contest in previous years are not eligible for resubmission. Photographers that have been previously recognized by this contest may enter other photographs. Non-winning photographs may be resubmitted for consideration, provided the other rules of this contest are followed.

To ensure eligibility for the contest, entries must be hi-res and have a minimum resolution of 300 ppi (pixels per inch) or approximately 2300x1840 pixels. Images that do not meet this standard may or may not be judged, solely at the judging panel's discretion.

Entries may originate in any format -- including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints -- so long as they are submitted electronically. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant the City of Gainesville, Florida a license (see "Your Rights" above). You must to disclose to the City of Gainesville, Florida when and where the photo appeared previously.

JUDGING: Images will be judged on originality, composition, overall impact, reflection of the contest theme and artistic merit. The judge’s panel is comprised of City of Gainesville, Florida staff members familiar with photography and/or graphic design and responsible for selecting images for various City of Gainesville, Florida printed and online materials.

Members of the judging panel (and their immediate family) are ineligible to participate in the contest. City staff are eligible to participate in this contest, but photographs must be taken during non-work hours.

All submissions must adhere to the policies already in place on Flickr™. The City of Gainesville, Florida reserves the right to remove any photograph deemed inappropriate. The City of Gainesville, Florida has sole and absolute discretion to determine winner eligibility. All decisions made by the judges are final.

DEADLINE: Online entries can be uploaded starting 12:01 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The deadline for submitting entries is 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, Nov, 27, 2017, or after 350 photographs have been submitted, whichever is first.

Entrants may be asked to submit a paragraph about the story behind the photo between Dec. 15-31, 2017. Finalists will be announced and notified on or before January 16, 2018. The Grand Prize Winner will be unveiled in January 2018.

The City of Gainesville, Florida reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.

WINNING PHOTOS: The judging panel will select at least 20 photos as finalists. Winning photographs will be selected from the pool of finalists. The pool of finalists and the Grand Prize Winner will be determined by the judging panel.

The finalists’ photographs will be on display at a photo exhibition held in 2018. Winning photographs may be displayed inside City Hall or another city facility after the photography exhibition. All of the finalists’ images will be used in a free PDF calendar that will be available for download on the City of Gainesville, Florida website.  

All of the finalists’ images will be used in a free PDF calendar that will be available for download on the City of Gainesville, Florida website.  

QUESTIONS: Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to  

Please also take a look at last year's winners.