2020 Photo Contest

Close up image of Silphium plant at Deer Grove-East
Silphium at Deer Grove-East. Photo by Liz Worth.

We’re looking for your very best photos of Forest Preserves landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, pictures that highlight the seasons and shots of people enjoying the outdoors or participating in our recreational offerings.

This year’s winning photos will be featured in the 2021 Forest Preserves of Cook County Calendar, which for 2021 may be printed and/or available online, and Forest Preserves social media accounts. Winning photographers will receive 10 copies of the calendar (if a printed calendar is produced) as well as a Forest Preserves prize package.

Review the Official Rules and submit up to five photos to fpdcc.info@cookcountyil.gov to enter the contest.

2020 Photo Contest Winners

The 2020 Photo Contest winners are posted on the Forest Preserves Facebook page.

The details of the 2021 Photo Contest will be announced in late August 2021.


Annual Forest Preserves Photo Contest Official Rules

Submission Requirements

Photos eligible for the 2020 photo contest must be submitted via email to fpdcc.info@cookcountyil.gov between September 1 and September 15, 2020. There is a submission limit of five (5) entries/photos per person and all photos must meet the following requirements:

  • All photographs must have been taken in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (this includes Brookfield Zoo or Chicago Botanic Garden).
  • Photographs must be in a digital format such as JPEG or TIF at a minimum resolution of 3600 x 2700 pixels at 300 dpi and a maximum file size of 24MB at time of submission.
  • Photographs included in the calendar will be horizontal (vertical photographs should be cropped before submitting).
  • All entries must include a caption with the specific location within the Forest Preserves of Cook County where it was shot and the approximate date when the photo was taken (e.g. Carl Hansen Woods Fall 2014; Poplar Creek Trail, March 2015).
  • Best efforts should be made to identify plants or wildlife that are the subject of your photograph and their identification should be included in your caption. (e.g. Turkey Vulture flying over Tampier Lake, July 2017).

General Rules

  • By submitting your photos, you are confirming that the photos are your own work and you own the rights to distribute the images.
  • Photos should feature Forest Preserves of Cook County landscapes, close-ups of plants, insects, birds and other wildlife, pictures that highlight the seasons, and shots of people enjoying the outdoors or participating in our recreational offerings.
  • Photos that were selected as winners or runners-up in past years’ contests are not eligible.
  • Limit of five (5) entries/photos per person.
  • All submissions must be free of watermarks (All winning photos included in the calendar will be credited appropriately.)
  • Photographers must obtain and supply, upon request, the name of and written permission from any person included in the photo entries, authorizing their image to be used in Forest Preserves of Cook County digital and/or print materials. (Entries of people for whom you are not able to supply the appropriate written releases will be disqualified. )
  • Photos including nudity, profanity, commercial or political interests, graffiti, or anything wildly off-topic are strictly prohibited. The Forest Preserves of Cook County reserves the right to disqualify any photographs that are deemed inappropriate.

Deadlines

  • September 1-15, 2020 – Submission period via email
  • September 23-25, 2020 – Winners and runners-up announced via email; photo album posted on the Forest Preserves official Facebook account.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.


Photo Rights

Your photographs help the Forest Preserves of Cook County spread the message of how important it is to protect our region’s amazing diversity of wildlife, plants and habitats. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.

Photographers retain all rights to photograph entries. However, by submitting photographs for contest entry, the Forest Preserves of Cook County is automatically granted a royalty-free, nonexclusive, world-wide, irrevocable right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Publish, distribute, and otherwise use the submitted photographs in any way, in whole or in part, in any format or media, now existing or later developed, for any lawful purpose, including without limitation, using the submitted photographs in its 2021 Forest Preserves of Cook County Calendar, on its website, in connection with the photo contest and calendar, in connection with general marketing and promotional activities, and on its social media pages.
  • As conditions of this permission, the Forest Preserves of Cook County shall credit all photographs used with “Person’s Name” and location photograph was taken.

If you have any questions, please contact: fpdcc.info@cookcountyil.gov.


Winning Photos

The Forest Preserves of Cook County judging panel will select the contest winners and runners-up. Thirteen (13) winners will be chosen by the panel, as well as 24 runner-up photos. Twelve (12) monthly and one (1) overall winning photographs will be selected. The twenty-four (24) runner-up photos may be featured in the Forest Way newsletter, on Forest Preserves social media accounts, and on the Forest Preserves website.

Forest Preserves of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden staff may participate in the staff photo contest.

Winning photos will be featured in the 2021 Forest Preserves of Cook County Calendar, which for 2021 may be printed and/or available online, and Forest Preserves social media accounts. Each winning photographer will receive 10 copies of the calendar (if a printed calendar is produced) as well as a Forest Preserves prize package.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the judges are final. Members of the Forest Preserves judging panel are not eligible to submit entries to the staff contest.

If you have any questions, please contact: fpdcc.info@cookcountyil.gov.