Winter Photo Contest Rules

The Photo Contest winner in each category receives a 1-year Garden Plus (Household) membership.



Chicago Botanic Garden’s Winter Digital Photo Contest (“the Contest”) begins December 15, and ends February 1.


To be eligible, a participant must be at least thirteen (13) years of age or older as of the date of entry. A participant’s entry in to the contest will be deemed to be a representation that the participant is 18 years of age or older or between the ages of 13 and 18 and entering this contest with the permission of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these rules. If you are a parent or legal guardian agreeing to these rules for the benefit of a minor between the ages of 13 and 18, you are fully responsible for his or her entry in the contest, including without limitation any legal liability that he or she may incur.

Individuals affiliated with the Chicago Botanic Garden (“the Garden”), Facebook, and Twitter, including employees, trustees, interns, volunteers, fellows, research associates and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses), and others living in their households are not eligible for any prize. The Garden will determine winners’ eligibility in its sole discretion.

All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply to these sweepstakes, contests/promotions. By entering the Contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and to waive any right to claim any ambiguity or error in these Official Rules or the Contest itself. You also agree to be bound by all decisions of the Garden or its designees, whose decisions are final and binding.
 By entering the contest, you agree to release the Garden, Facebook, and Twitter from all responsibility or liability for damages, losses or injuries of any kind resulting from participation in the Contest or any prize-related activities, if any, or any awarding, possession, use and/or misuse of prize(s), if any, awarded herein. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, or Twitter. You are providing your information to the Chicago Botanic Garden and not to Facebook or Twitter.


We are looking for striking digital images highlighting two categories: winter landscapes at the Garden and winter landscapes at home/neighborhood.

Send an email with your name, age, subject matter and date shot. The images need to be current, shot this year. Files submitted may not be larger than 10 MB.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared, however, photos may be digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.), and multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single high dynamic range (HDR) image are acceptable. Images with text watermarks exhibiting the photographer's name may be entered, but will not be considered for judging.

For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian and provide it to the Garden upon request. A sample release is available at

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. Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by the Garden in its sole discretion, are ineligible for all categories of this contest. Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be judged at the judging panel's sole discretion.


To enter the Contest, a participant must:

a) Submit a photograph from the winter and requested information online at Click here to show mail address

High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible. Photographs must be in a .jpeg, .jpg or .gif format. Files submitted may not be larger than 10 MB.

The Garden may collect a photograph’s metadata upon entry. A gallery of current entries will be viewable online at Click here to show mail address.

You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant the Garden (and those authorized by the Garden) a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any Chicago Botanic Garden purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion of the Garden and its website, exhibitions, and commercial products, including but not limited to Garden publications. The Garden will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.


The contest begins on December 15 and concludes on February 1, 2021.


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. The Garden will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry; the Garden may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.


One Grand Prize of a one-year Garden Plus (Household) Membership will be awarded. There is no cash alternative to the prize. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.


All entrants hold the Garden and their respective regents, directors, officers, employees, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the contest and acceptance or use of a prize. The Indemnified Parties are not liable for any costs, damages, injuries, or other claims incurred as a result of entrants’ participation in the contest or winner’s acceptance and usage of a prize. The Indemnified Parties are not responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries, technical or network malfunctions or failures, or causes beyond their control. Entrants are solely responsible for their entries. Entrants may not submit materials that introduce any software viruses, worms or other programs designed to damage software, hardware or telecommunications equipment or are off-topic, partisan-political, contain advertising, nudity, personal attacks or expletives, or is otherwise abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, false, sexually explicit, or that infringes on the rights of any third party.

The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. The Garden reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winner, the Garden reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. The Garden reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules or other applicable law or regulation; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Decisions of the Garden are final and binding.

If, for any reason, the photo competition is not capable of completion as planned, 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.