Chicago Botanic Garden


Special Events

Digital Photography Contest Rules

Our spring contest is April 3 – May 22, 2015
Winners announced May 29, 2015

The Chicago Botanic Garden's Digital Photography Competition (the "Contest") is open to all ages, except employees of the Chicago Botanic Garden (sometimes the "Garden") and professional photographers. The contest is open to all participants regardless of age, residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation.


You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit—including ownership if applicable—other than those rights licensed in the next sentence. By entering the contest, you hereby grant to the Chicago Botanic Garden (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photographs you submit to the Garden, and (ii) the right to use your name, city, state, and country of residence in promotions and other publications.


We are looking for striking digital images highlighting the Chicago Botanic Garden. Images must be taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden, during the current period the contest is running. Entrants must not submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the Garden by the photographer, or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable. Images with text watermarks exhibiting the photographer's name may be refused. Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be judged at the judging panel's sole discretion.

All images must be titled with the applicant's/photographer's first and last name. Images not titled in this format will not be accepted.

All photographs will be credited with the caption "© Person's Name." The Chicago Botanic Garden has final approval of any language that appears on its website with any of the photos and will not promote or endorse third-party products or services.

If you include people in your submission, you must obtain proper releases from those individuals, and you must be able to provide the Garden with originals of those releases at any time that the Garden requests.


Each photo must be submitted electronically, by only one method: via the online form accessible from

Photos e-mailed from an e-mail address different than the one used on our online submission form cannot be attributed to the photographer properly, and therefore will not be considered eligible for the contest.

The Chicago Botanic Garden reserves the right to upload photos submitted through this process to its photo gallery website.


To ensure eligibility for the contest, entries must be in digital format and have a resolution of at least 2 million pixels (2 megapixels). Photo must be in RGB, JPG format. No print submissions will be accepted. Images with text watermarks exhibiting the photographer's name may be refused. Images that do not meet this standard may or may not be judged at the judging panel's sole discretion.

Entries may originate in any format—including, but not limited to, digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints—so long as they are submitted electronically. You may only submit one photo to the contest. In the event multiple photos are submitted, only the first submission will be entered into the contest.

Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license (see "Your Rights" and "What to Enter" above). You must be able to disclose when and where the photo appeared previously to the Chicago Botanic Garden upon request.

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit. The judges are a panel of Chicago Botanic Garden staff members and/or guest judges, familiar with photography and responsible for selecting images for various Chicago Botanic Garden printed and online marketing and membership materials.

The Garden shall determine winner eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions made by the judges are final.


Deadline for submitting entries to the contest is 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, May 22, 2015. Online entries can be uploaded starting 9 a.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, April 3, 2015.

Winners will be announced at noon on Friday, May 29, 2015.

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


The judging panel will select photos to be the contest's Finalists. The panel will select two Grand Prize winners to receive a free garden membership.

Winning images may be used in both online and print communications from the Garden and otherwise used in accordance with these Contest Rules. No monetary or in-kind awards will be given.


By entering this contest, you agree to the terms of these Contest Rules.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can directed to .

By entering the Digital Photo Contest, participants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Chicago Botanic Garden, its subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives, from any and all third-party liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the competition (collectively, "Losses"), including without limitation any third-party claim for copyright infringement or a violation of an individual's right to privacy and/or publicity right. The Contest is void where prohibited by law.

You agree that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved with the Garden, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, before a court of competent jurisdiction located in Illinois, which court shall apply the laws of the of Illinois without regard for rules of conflicts of law. IN ANY SUCH DISPUTE, YOU SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS' FEES, OR ANY DAMAGES OTHER THAN YOUR ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES (IF ANY) ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR INCREASED. The Contest and the Chicago Botanic Garden's website are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

The Garden is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the photo competition, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the photo competition, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. The Garden assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. The Garden is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer online systems, software, or failure of e-mail due to or related to technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participant's or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the photo contest.

If, for any reason, the photo competition is not capable of completion as planned, including but not limited to, any reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of the Garden that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the photo competition, the Garden reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the photo competition.

Your submission indicates that you have read and agree to all of the rules and regulations. If participant is 18 years old or younger, the signature of the participant’s parent is required and indicates that the parent fully authorizes and agrees to these rules and regulations on behalf of his or her child.