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 2021 AVA Photo Contest. This year we are embracing safe distancing with an online entry process — see the How To Enter section below!
DEADLINE! MARCH 19 AT 5 PM.
The purpose of this contest is to find images suitable for use in the AVA’s marketing program for Albany, Linn County and the Willamette Valley.
We ask that your work specifically feature Albany and surrounding Linn County. The images we most commonly use in our publications, advertisements and social media feature people enjoying life in our area.
We know visitors want to see images of people relishing fantastic food and drink (micro-breweries, distilleries, winemakers), participating in events (Art & Air, shows at the Expo Center), and having a great time outdoors (hiking, biking, and paddling in our parks and around town) and enjoying the beauty and majesty of our city’s historic architecture! PLEASE NOTE: all photos depicting water recreation must be compliant with life jacket laws.
Since it can be hard to get just the right shot with people, consider staging something with people you know. That way it’s easy to have them complete the model release form. Please be safe and abide by COVID safety guidelines.
Photograph image resolution, size & shape
Photos should be large file sizes (biggest size image setting on your camera, 300 dpi and 1MB minimum in size). Photos should be standard rectangular portrait or landscape; square, panoramic, or custom ratios are more difficult to place within our ads.
Images that have digitally applied effects (such as montages, double exposures or vignettes) cannot be used in AVA publications or national advertising.
Photograph Subject Categories
The following 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 represents the unique charm of our region: rustic barns, farm stands, wildflowers, the Willamette Valley with distant snow capped mountains. Amazing scenic shots are plentiful in our great outdoors.
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 and our Christmas horse-drawn wagon rides. AKC national dog shows at the Linn County Expo Center to National Historic Preservation Month, there’s never a shortage of things to do! Make sure to check our events calendar and find something fun to photograph (be sure to get people’s signed permission if you can clearly see their faces). Remember, you can use photos from 2019, 2020, or 2021.
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 workers 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.
People: Visitors love to see people enjoying themselves, but we know it can be hard to get the shot right and get strangers to sign release forms. Consider enlisting your family and friends at a picnic in your favorite Albany park or enjoying a meal from your favorite restaurant.
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. We need images from all seasons so consider revisiting your favorite place at different times of the year!
Culinary: We live in the proverbial bread basket of culinary delights: farm-to-table special dinners; farmers’ markets; renowned and award-winning chefs; cozy coffee houses and 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. Attend the farmers’ market and capture the bounty.
Student: For young photographers ages 18 and under.
A committee of judges will (anonymously) assess photos for subject and composition. Judges will consider some of the following criteria: is the subject appropriate for the category, is it a really good/unusual example of that subject, is the composition in focus, does it draw you in, is it original? Student photographs will be judged in their own category.
Champion, Reserve Champion, and People’s Choice awards will be $200, $100, and $50, respectively. Certificates and a small gift card to a local business will be awarded to the first-place winners in each category (except Student), and certificates will be awarded to second- and third-place winners in each category. Student first-place winners will receive a gift card for a SplatterBox party, second- and third-place winners will receive certificates. In order to access a large audience, a limited number of the photos will be eligible for the People’s Choice Award. You will be asked to identify which photo you would like entered in this category on your entry form. That image will be posted on our Flickr and Facebook pages for open voting. Winners will be announced in April 2021. If COVID safety guidelines permit, there will be an awards reception.
Who can enter?
The contest is open to all ages, all levels: from amateur to professional or hobbyist.
How to Enter:
Review the RULES and Required forms below and then email email@example.com and we will send you the online entry form through Survey Monkey– you do not need a subscription to use the survey.
All entries must be submitted to Albany Visitors Association’s online through the entry form on SurveyMonkey (or by pre-arranged appointment) by 5 pm Friday, March 19, 2021.
See and download the RULES 2021 Rules
All entrants must complete and return (with their fee) a Photographers Use & Reproduction Release
Download the 2021 Photo Photographers Release
In addition, you may need a Model Release if there are recognizable peoples’ faces in your photo.
Download the 2021 Model Release
*Featured image for this blog post of the Pacific Northwest Art & Air Festival by Dan Bateman, from the 2020 AVA Photo Contest