Reader Photo Contest Rules

*The Basics

Only photographs taken in Maine are eligible. Photographs must have been taken within the past two years. Photographers need not reside in Maine to be eligible to win.

The contest starts September 1, 2020. Send us your entries by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time), October 27, 2020. We’ll publish the winning photos in each category in a future issue of Down East. Prizes in each category will be awarded by January 2021.

Submission Categories

These images capture the natural beauty of Maine. They can be from the coast, the mountains, the woods, or anywhere in between, as long as the main subject of the image is the breathtaking Maine landscape.

Maine is well known as a great destination for outdoor adventure. These images will showcase some of the many of activities that one can engage in while exploring the Pine Tree State. From ice climbing to sea kayaking, we’re looking for amazing images of people actively enjoying the outdoors.

Home to more than 16,000 different species, Maine is a great place to photograph wildlife. These images will feature wild species native to Maine. Whether it’s a puffin along the rocky coast or a black bear deep in the North Woods, we’re looking for the best of the best.

Down East Reader Photo Contest Image Specifications

  • Save files in the .jpg format with maximum quality.
  • File size must be no more than 6 MB.
  • All uploaded entries are final and cannot be replaced, deleted, or edited.
  • Images modified with high-dynamic range (HDR) filters or otherwise heavily manipulated are not eligible for this contest.


This contest is open to US residents (excluding any jurisdiction where restricted or prohibited by law).

  1. HOW TO ENTER: Please submit your photograph(s) (1 photo per $10 entry fee). All photographs must be original works by the Entrant. Photographs will be judged based on creativity, composition and the ability to capture a strong sense of place. Work that was previously awarded or published for a fee is ineligible. Upload entries at Remember to complete the online submission form for each submission. Those submitted without completed entry form and/or required information will be disqualified. Entries: No limits to number of entries, but please do not enter the same photo more than once ($10 entry fee per photo applies). In the event of a dispute over ownership of an online photo, entry will be deemed submitted by the holder of the e-mail account listed. Any photograph submitted will include a photographer credit in print and as feasible on In submitting this photo you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Down East Enterprise Inc., its agents and employees from any claim or proceeding resulting from your entry. In addition, you warrantee that you are the sole owner of all rights related to the photo, and its content or inclusion in this Contest does not infringe copyrights or other property rights of any party. If a person is recognizable in the photograph, you will need to provide a signed model release (send to Down East Magazine, Attn: Photo Contest, P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843). It is your sole responsibility to notify Sponsor in writing if you change your e-mail address. Only photographs submitted via the online submission on will be considered for the contest. Finalists must be able to provide Down East Magazine with a print-quality hi-res file of their photograph.
  2. ELIGIBILITY: Contest open to individuals 18 years of age or older as of December 1, 2020, and US residents (excluding residents of any other jurisdiction where restricted or prohibited by law). Employees of Down East Magazine, its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, dealers or retailers, advertising, production and promotion agencies, the independent judging organization, and the immediate families and/or members of the same household of each are not eligible. Contest void wherever prohibited or restricted by law. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.
  3. RIGHTS: By participating in this Contest, each entrant grants the Sponsor a non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide right to reproduce, and modify, the submitted photograph in Contest-related materials in any form or media without limitation in Down East Magazine and on, in digital archives, in e-mails and in promotions related to this Contest and/or similar future contests, and compendiums (in any media) of contest submissions and/or winners. The entrant grants such license without expectation of compensation of any kind. Entrants retain the copyright to their work, and sponsor will not reproduce entrants’ photographs in any non-Contest-related materials without compensation and/or permission. The entrant accepts the conditions stated in these Official Rules, agrees to be bound by the decisions of the judges and warrants that she/he is eligible to participate in this Contest. By accepting prize, winner agrees to release Sponsor, its directors, employees, officers, and agents, including without limitation, its advertising and promotion agencies from any and all liability, loss or damages arising from or in connection with the awarding, receipt, and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any prize-related activities.
  4. PRIZE: Winners will be awarded prizes as outlined below and winning images will also appear in print in an issue of Down East Magazine. Winning entries — including runners up — may also be included in an extended online gallery (and elsewhere as indicated in Section 3). Photographs recognized as runners up may also appear in the print and online edition. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner’s photograph, name, hometown, and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion, and publicity without additional compensation.
  5. WINNER SELECTION: Winning photographs will be selected from all eligible photographs by the editors of Down East Magazine and special judges chosen by Down East editors, whose decisions are final and binding on all matters relating to this contest. The prize is guaranteed to be awarded, assuming sufficient number of entries. Winner will be notified by e-mail at the e-mail address with which they entered the Contest, and will be required to acknowledge e-mail by Sponsor or its designated agent within 7 days of date of e-mail notification, or an alternate winner will be selected. If any prize notification letter, e-mail notification or any prize is returned as undeliverable, and there is ample time to select and clear an alternate winner, the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner.
  6. MISCELLANEOUS: Sponsor and judging organization not responsible for late, lost, stolen, damaged, garbled, incomplete, or misdirected entries or communications; for errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operations or transmission of information, in each case whether arising by way of technical or other failures or malfunctions of computer hardware, software, communications devices, or transmission lines or data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of entry materials, loss or otherwise. Sponsor disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participation in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with, this Contest, and reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, cancel, terminate or suspend this Contest should any virus, bug, technical failures, unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond Sponsor’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Contest. In the event of such cancellation, termination or suspension, a notice will be posted. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, modify or cancel this contest at anytime and to disqualify any entrant if his or her participation affects the integrity of the Contest.
  8. WINNER’S LIST: Winners will be contacted in advance of the issue publication.
  9. SPONSOR: This contest is sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, 3 Wade St., Augusta, Maine 04330, and run by Down East Enterprise, Inc., P.O. Box 679, Camden, Maine 04843

Employees of Down East, its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, dealers or retailers, and advertising, production, and promotion agencies — and the immediate families and members of the same household of each — are not eligible to enter.