Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest

Artistic fields
Older than 18
Cash Prize
2500 USD Grand prize
500 USD x6 for each Category Winner
500 USD Readers' Choice
Online exhibition
Chance to be added to archives
Over the last 18 years, readers have submitted more than 470,000 images to Smithsonian’s annual photo contest. These photos have transported us to the far corners of Earth, captured spectacular, split-second moments and introduced us to fascinating people and unique landscapes. Browse breathtaking images captured by photographers from nearly every country in the world. Search by location and topic, and explore photographer portfolios for inspiration. The following six contest categories are drawn from subjects of special interest to Smithsonian magazine: 1. Natural World: Animals, plants and landscapes; geological or climatological features; and scientific processes and endeavors. 2. Travel: Locales, peoples or activities in the United States and abroad that convey a sense of place. 3. People: Portraits and photos of groups or individuals. 4. 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. 5. Altered Images: Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects. 6. Mobile: Any photograph taken with a mobile device (phone or tablet).
United States
Required documents
Artwork / Portfolio
Project Description
Application type
Online Form
Jury Members
Previous Winners
Selection Date