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Virginia Wildlife Magazine

Virginia Wildlife Photo Showcase

The Annual Photography Showcase is offered each year as a way to recognize the rich heritage of Virginia’s wildlife and natural resources and pay tribute to the mission of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

Images will be chosen by the editorial staff from those submitted via our online link, available now! Selected images will appear in the July/August 2024 issue, although some entries may appear on our website, blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter sites to promote the mission of the agency and advertise future photography showcases. Promotional usage rights must be available to Virginia Wildlife staff and the Department’s webmaster.

NEW THIS YEAR! We’ll choose the photo to use on the cover of the 2025 Virginia Wildlife Calendar from the photos submitted to the 2024 Virginia Wildlife Photography Showcase Issue! The Virginia Wildlife Calendar has become iconic and is sold and distributed to thousands in Virginia and across the United States. We source calendar photos from professional wildlife photographers, but we wanted to give Virginia Wildlife Photography Showcase photographers the chance to be included as well.

There is no separate category for the calendar cover; DWR will select the winning image from entrants to the usual categories for the Photography Showcase Issue, and all entry rules and directions apply.

Here are some hints from DWR Art Director Lynda Richardson on what type of image will work on the calendar cover.

  • The calendar dimensions are 10.125″ x 14″, horizontal format, but I will need at least an inch all the way around the image so I can adjust it easily. For this reason, please do not crop your image too tightly. The image must have 3 to 4 inches of “clean” space at the bottom so the logo, Virginia Wildlife 2025 Calendar, is easily readable.
  • Please make sure your file is at least 300ppi and can be made into the above-mentioned size without any resulting pixelation. The image must be sharp to begin with, so please do not over-sharpen, as this will disqualify the image. Also, do not over-saturate color of the image.
  • We will be looking for fauna for our cover. Since an elk is featured on the 2024 cover, we will not have one on the 2025 cover. We are looking for colorful, eye-catching, and dynamic images, so give us your best shot! Good luck!

The Categories:

  • Virginia Fauna – Native mammals and birds (game and nongame), insects, reptiles and amphibians, underwater images of fish and aquatic life.
  • Textures & Patterns – Abstract designs, textures, and patterns found in nature. Make us guess what it is!
  • Trail-Cam Images – Images captured on trail cameras that reveal something interesting or funny about the subject.

How to Enter

  1. The showcase is open to any photographer, amateur or professional, young or young at heart, including employees of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
  2. Each photographer may enter up to three (3) images per category. Note that submissions will not be returned and prints are no longer accepted.
  3. All entries must be identified by photographer’s name, city/state of residence, and daytime phone number in order to be published. Image location is helpful but not required. Please note that the submission form must also include the brand and model of camera, brand, model, and length of lens used (not mm length shot) and aperture range of lens, ISO, shutter speed, and f/stop.
  4. All entries must have been taken in Virginia of plants and animals native to Virginia, within the past five years. We prefer that all photos of wild animals be taken in their natural habitat. We do not condone images taken of animals restrained in any manner.
  5. Images submitted must have been shot at the highest resolution and size possible to meet publication requirements (native resolution of 240/300ppi and at minimum 8″ x 10″) but no larger than 64MB per image. PLEASE do not overly sharpen, saturate, crop too tightly, or color correct. Make sure your monitor is calibrated when processing your images as we have received images that are so overly saturated that they can‘t be used.
  6. If you have trouble uploading your files, try another browser or update the one you have and restart your computer. Some browsers will not play nice with our system. Google Chrome seems to work best. Internet Explorer can pose challenges.
  7. Submissions must be uploaded by 5:00 PM on Monday, February 5, 2024. We do not let you know if your entry has made it in or not because we are hoping it will be a delightful surprise when you receive your subscription copy in the mail! If you don’t have a subscription, now is the perfect time to sign up for one!

Submit Your Photos Online

Please remember that each image must not be larger than 64 MB.

The deadline for submissions has passed.