It’s that time of year, when Albany-area shutterbugs dust off their lenses and head out to find the perfect shot. Although it might be a bit cold and rainy, there’s still plenty of breaks where sunshine and majestic scenes reveal themselves. Join the fun and enter the 2020 AVA Photo Contest.
You can download entry forms (for both video and still photography), review the rules, and instructions for submitting your work in the “Download entry forms” section at the bottom of this page. All entries must be received by us on Friday, March 6, 2020, by 5:00 p.m.
Good luck. First- through third-place ribbons will be awarded in each of the eight categories; Scenic, Landmarks, Events, Life in the Community, Open, Historic Albany, Culinary and Student. Gift certificates and ribbons will also be awarded for overall Champion, Reserve Champion, People’s Choice and Staff Choice. All of the winning photographers will be entered in a special drawing for $200.
A reception for all contestants will be held, during which door prizes will be drawn. The location and date of the reception will be announced.
We ask that your work specifically feature Albany. Your images of life in Albany and surrounding Linn County (Benton County for North Albany) are what we most commonly use in our publications, advertisements, and social media. Imagine what visitors might like to see—people enjoying themselves outdoors, fantastic food and drink (micro-breweries, distilleries, winemakers), events, hiking, biking, paddling, and the beauty and majesty of our city’s historic architecture.
We never get enough action shots of people out and about, so think about staging something with friends; just make sure you get their permission and a release form signed (see forms section below) if there are recognizable people in your work.
Image resolution and more
Special effects Images that have digitally applied effects (such as montages, double exposures or vignettes) cannot be used in AVA publications or national advertising. Images manipulated in photo apps with effects such as frames or special borders also cannot be used.
Signatures or watermarks Images that retain watermarks or photographer signatures cannot be used in publications or ads. We will always credit the photographer by name in any publication or online. If you wish to submit an image with your signature or watermark, please note it may be seen by a limited audience.
Resolution and size Additionally, image size and shape are very important. Photos should be large file sizes for print (biggest size image setting on your camera, 300 dpi or larger); smaller mobile phone images may be blurry when enlarged. Photos should be standard portrait or landscape since square, panoramic, or custom ratios are more difficult to place within ads.
AVA Annual Photo Contest Categories
The following defines our contest categories and gives you an idea of what we are looking for.
Scenic: Visit our parks, the Willamette River, hiking trails, vineyards, and surrounding rural vistas. Find something you think will make someone want to come visit us, and that represents the unique charm of our region. Rustic barns, farm- stands, wildflowers, the Willamette Valley with distant snow- capped mountains—our great outdoors is chock full of amazing scenic shots.
Landmarks: What is your landmark when you tell friends to meet you in Albany? Is it the Historic Carousel or maybe the clock tower at the Albany Train Station? A landmark is unique to Albany and lends itself to the quintessential identity of our city. Even an old building with a Victorian painted advertisement on a brick wall or a statue could be a landmark.
Events: Albany is an event-driven community. Think about our parades, our Christmas horse-drawn wagon rides. There’s always an event happening monthly—from AKC national dog shows at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to National Historic Preservation Month, there’s never a shortage of what to do! Make sure to check our events calendar and find something fun to photograph.
Life in the community: What is the quality of life in Albany? We are farmers, we are vintners and craft-brewers, we are artists, we are blue-collar welders and white collar executives, we are teachers… and we know how to have a great time no matter what we do. Help tell a visual tale about how we practice our daily lives.
Historic Albany: If you live in Albany, you know that we have deep historical roots. Our city has four nationally recognized historic districts. Albany’s architectural styles vary from the mid- 1800s to the 1950s. Grab a copy of “Seems Like Old Times” and document your personal visual tour or join us on one of the seasonal guided tours.
Culinary: We live in the proverbial bread-basket of culinary delights: farm-to- table special dinners; farmer’s markets; renowned and award-winning chefs; cozy coffee houses, bakeries; wineries and breweries; German and Hungarian restaurants. Our city bubbles over with bounty. Visit a local restaurant or a unique foodie or drink venue and let people know what delicious rewards await them.
Student: For young photographers ages 17 and under.
Open: All things Oregon! All phases of life including nature at her finest—animals, waterfalls, rainbows, cycling, old kitchen sinks (wink wink)—you name it. If it doesn’t fit into one of the categories above, submit it under “open.”
Who can enter?
The contest is open to all ages, all skill levels—from amateur to professional or hobbyist. We encourage teachers to involve their students.
Winning photos will be on display at the Albany Visitors Association, the Amtrak Train Station, while all entries will be shown at the Pix Theater on the big screen at the awards ceremony on April 20th. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded for Overall and Reserve Champions, Individual Category winners, and People’s Choice. Those attending the Pix reception will have the opportunity to win door prizes. All winners will be entered into a special drawing for a Gift Card in the amount of $200—shop for a new lens, memory card, or whatever you like! (If you’d like to see the video of the 2019 contest winning photos, scroll to below the entry forms section.)
Download entry forms and all documents
You must fill out all required forms to complete your entry. Click on the link to download to your computer and print. Please submit all pertinent paper work with your entry. *Note: Remember to submit the model release form for entries with people in your photos and videos.
Download the photo contest rules PDF (*Please note, the “open” category was inadvertently left off this list of rules. Please see above categories for 2020. Confirm that you are entering in the open category when you fill out your entry form.) AVA Photo Contest Rules
Download the photo contest entry form PDF Entry Form
Download the photo contest release form PDF Photo contest release form
Download the model release form PDF Model release form
All entries must be received by us on Friday, March 6, 2020, by 5:00 p.m.
*Featured image for this blog post of the Pacific Northwest Art & Air Festival by Oliver J. Anderson, from the 2018 AVA Photo Contest
View last year’s winners and get ideas