CONGRATULATIONS to the Winners in the 2021 AVA Photo Contest

Photo of two bee shaped hot air balloons kissing

We hope to share these wonderful photos on the big screen at the Albany Pix Theatre soon. Please check back or call the AVA at 541-928-0911. Until then, you can see all the 2021 photos on the AVA Flickr site and enjoy the winning photos  here:


CHAMPION, Victorian Splendor by Camron Settlemier

CHAMPION RESERVE, Life on 2nd Ave. by Melinda Martin

PEOPLE’S CHOICE, Sunrise at LBCC by Jill Weissbeck

1st Place Events, Lift Off Kiss by Cathy Webb

1st Place Student, Hackleman District by Erin Thomson

1st Place Life in the Community, Cleared for Takeoff by Dan Bateman

1st Place Culinary, Decadent Temptations by Dan Bateman

1st Place Historic Albany, Railroad Bridge by Shannon Cruz

1st Place People, Carousel Fun with GG by Lori Norton

1st Place Scenic, Cloudy Winter Afternoon by Lori Norton

1st Place Landmarks, Welcome to Albany by Stephanie Low

2nd Place Events, Porch Parade Passes by Camron Settlemier

2nd Place Life in the Community, Cedar Waxwing Takes on Photinia Berry by Camron Settlemier

2nd Place Culinary, A Pack of Peppers by Camron Settlemier

2nd Place Historic Albany, Cumberland by Melinda Martin

2nd Place People, Contemplating the Popcorn by Lori Norton

2nd Place Scenic, Santiam at Rest by David Maestas

2nd Place Landmarks, Christmas Carousel by Lori Norton

3rd Place Events, Pond Splash by Cathy Webb

3rd Place Life in the Community, Wheat in the Raw by David Maestas

3rd Place Scenic, Northern Pintail by Dan Bateman

3rd Place Landmarks,  Ellsworth Bridge by Shannon Cruz

3rd Place Historic Albany, Historic Home by Melinda Martin

3rd Place People by Jolene Tomson

3rd Place Culinary, Saturday Market Treats by Cathy Webb

This activity is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust, investing in Oregon’s arts, humanities and heritage and by the Linn County Cultural Coalition.

logo of OR Cultural Trustlogo LCCC


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.

Photograph Subject

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 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. Be sure to request your entry form before 5 p.m.!


See and download the RULES 2021 Rules

Required forms:

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

View 2020’s winners and get ideas

4 Comments on “CONGRATULATIONS to the Winners in the 2021 AVA Photo Contest

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your interest in our photo contest. Please find the information you requested below.

    Albany Visitors Association Photo Contest 2020
    Photo Contest Rules

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this contest is to find images suitable for use in the coming year’s marketing program for Albany, Linn County and the Willamette Valley.

    All photos must have been taken within the last three (3) years and not previously submitted in our photo contest.

    Images must be photographed in Albany, North Albany and/or Linn County.

    There is an entry fee of $2.00 for each photo submitted, limit of 15 photos per photographer, payable at the time of entry (cash or check only). Checks should be made payable to Albany Visitors Association.

    All entrants must submit photo in digitized format (CD or flash drive) (min 300dpi)(Min 1 MB in size) Each photo must be saved with name or title, location, photographers name, date format. (ie: Art & Air Festival Timber Linn Park, Bob Brown 82012). Photos will be displayed on Flickr for the public and judges to view, accessible from AVA’s website.

    Entrants will be required to sign a release allowing AVA to use their photos for promotional purposes. Photo credit will be given whenever possible when photos are used. Photographers retain all rights to their photos.

    Submitted images must not have been used in other media prior to this contest or previously entered in the AVA Photo Contest.

    Photos may be color or black & white.

    Photos may be digitally enhanced for contrast, color, hue, etc. but not digitally manipulated.

    Photographers must complete a signed photo release for any photo that prominently features an individual or group of individuals.
    All releases included in entry packet must be completed, signed and turned in with entry form.
    All photos with a recognizable face must have a model release signed by the person whose face appears in the photo! We cannot accept photos without a model release!

    All photos must be entrant’s original work.

    NOTE: All entries must be submitted to the AVA office at 110 3rd Ave SE in downtown Albany by
    5:00 pm Friday, March 6, 2020.

    For further information: call 541-928-0911, or visit our website at

  2. Hi, thanks for your interest in our photo contest! Yes, we will return your flash drive if you include a note that you would like us to and label the drive in some way.
    Albany Visitors Association

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for your interest in our photo contest. Please leave your photo ‘as is’.
    Albany Visitors Association

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