Jake Werth's The Secret Tree was the Grand Prize Winner of last year's contest. Photograph by Jake Werth.

Enter Here!

The New Mexico Magazine Photo Contest (“Photo Contest”) is open to amateur photographers who derive less than 50 percent of their annual income from photography. Employees, interns, or partners of New Mexico Magazine (NMM) and the New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD), as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.

By submitting an entry to the Photo Contest, entrants certify that their participation in this Photo Contest is not illegal or in violation of any law, regulation, treaty or administrative act, and that the laws of their governing jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry do not prohibit or restrict the receipt of any Prize under this Photo Contest.

NMM/NMTD reserves the right to reject any entry if, in NMM/NMTD’s sole discretion, the laws of an applicable jurisdiction, including but not limited to the entrant’s jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry, would prohibit or limit NMM/NMTD from proceeding with the Contest as intended or the consideration or awarding of any Prize would impose additional administrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on NMM/NMTDVOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

The Photo Contest begins at 11:59 p.m. on July 1, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on October 22, 2021, Mountain Standard Time (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible.


We have a ton of great prizes this year!

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Bosque BrewingEl Patron Restaurant and Cantina, NewMexicoCatalog.comNew Mexico State Parks, New Mexico UnitedTaos Air, Wayne Suggs Photography.

Images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. With the exception of the Mobile Category, photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping, spotting for dust, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

If possible, please embed the photographer name and caption information in the photo’s metadata.

Entrants will be asked to provide the following information in the contest entry process:

  • Title of the photo
  • Caption: Describe what we see and where it was taken.
  • Select a category: People, Landscapes, Animals, Nightscapes, New Mexico Experience, Mobile, or Enchanted Adventures.
  • Where photo was taken.
  • Was the image taken with a mobile device?

If you choose to include people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted and must provide copies of those releases to NMM/NMTD. Likewise, if your images include private property (and this includes dogs, cats, mountains, and sculptures, among other subjects), you are responsible for obtaining the necessary release from the property owner and you must provide copies of these releases to NMM/NMTD upon request. All releases are due no later than November 5, 2021.

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY HAS CHANGED the way in which images are made. With that in mind, we’re okay with darkening, lightening, or adjusting color in photographs. You can change contrast, burn and dodge your images, and convert them to black and white. Don’t overdo it in processing your photos, and as always, our judges will show a preference for a good eye over the use of the saturation slider. Also, if you’re shooting with your phone or other mobile device, your photos will be much easier to choose (and work with) if you’re shooting at the highest resolution.

PLEASE NOTE: We’re also okay with blended images, but composites will be disqualified. Modern cameras will allow you to take multiple photos at one time for the purpose of exposure bracketing and focus stacking; that’s acceptable. Panoramas consisting of multiple photos that are stitched together will also be accepted. For nightscape images, all foregrounds must be taken at night, within moments of the sky photograph. 

The definition of a blended image: The tripod must never move, and the photos must be taken within a reasonably short period of time—a few moments between exposures.    

The definition of a composite image: Two photos taken at different times or different locations that are Photoshopped into one image that does not represent what the naked eye could see during a moment in time, such as replacing a sky or adding any other subject to the scene that wasn’t there originally. A composite will not be accepted and will be disqualified.    

If your photograph is chosen, you may be required to provide the RAW digital file or files. 

The following submissions are ineligible:

  • Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright and photographs of persons without the necessary consent required by law in your jurisdiction. 
    • NOTE: Entrant is responsible for obtaining a legally enforceable waiver from any photographed subject.
  • Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
  • Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, or damage to the environment by the photographer.
  • Images that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.
  • NMM/NMTD shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.


All images must be submitted through our photo submission website. The entry forms contain required fields for information about the photo, category to be entered, and contact information for the entrant, including an email address.

You can select an image directly from your computer or your mobile device’s photo library. Digital images that are sent via mail or email will not be accepted.

You may enter an unlimited number of photos, but you may not use an agency or automated system to enter. NMM/NMTD reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and judges’ decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission with more explanation about the photo or to provide a higher resolution version of the photo anytime during the contest period.

Judging will be conducted by a panel of judges and NMM/NMTD staff to be selected by NMM/NMTD at its sole discretion (the “Panel”).

Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to New Mexico.

The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and make selections into a group of top favorites. From this group of images, awards will be given as follows:

One (1) Grand Prize overall winner (the photo that receives the most votes overall). For each category, one (1) First Place winner, one (1) Second Place winner, and one (1) Third Place winner will be awarded.

Up to three photographs in each of the following categories will be honored with an Honorable Mention:


  • People: The characters that make the state.
  • Landscapes: Our epic land and sky, framed beautifully.
  • Animals: All creatures with fins, feathers, scales, or fur.
  • New Mexico Experience: A focus on the unique elements of New Mexico life.
  • Mobile: If you're capturing the magic of New Mexico through mobile phone photography, this category is for you. Note: Photographs taken with your phone or other mobile device are eligible for entry in all categories.
  • Nightscapes:  Showing off the enchantment of New Mexico at night.
  • Enchanted Adventures: From Navajo Lake to Bluewater Lake, from Oasis to Pancho Villa, New Mexico State Parks offer a unique experience and stunning opportunities for intrepid photographers to capture such outdoor adventures as camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and everything in-between. 

All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

NMM/NMTD will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry.

Except where prohibited, a potential winner may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including proof of age, and liability/publicity release within 10 calendar days. A potential winner may also be required to provide additional information regarding the photo as well as a high-resolution version. If a potential winner fails to return these documents, images or information on time, an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.

Entry Fee
The entry fee is $25 and includes the submission of five images. Each additional image entry is $5. Photographs must be in digital format, and without watermark. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted.

Entrants retain all rights to their work. But by entering the contest, you grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to NMM/NMTD and the contest sponsors to reproduce, distribute, display, as well as create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the contest and promotion of the contest, in any media, for no compensation, including, but not limited to: publication in New Mexico Magazine; on posters; in newsletters; in calendars, and as downloadable wallpaper for users of NMM/NMTD websites and digital products. Please note also that should you submit images to the Enchanted Adventures category, you additionally grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to New Mexico State Parks and New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to reproduce, distribute, display, as well as create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the contest, in any media, for no compensation.

In addition, by entering the contest, entrants allow NMM/NMTD to:

  • Allow third parties to share the photograph on social media.
  • Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of the magazine’s mission.
  • Use the photograph in NMM/NMTD’s internal and external communications materials including but not limited to web sites and web publications, fact sheets, multimedia, presentations, and reports.
  • Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.

NMM/NMTD endeavors to credit all photographs with the credit “Person’s Name” when the full name is available.


All entrants hold NMM/NMTD, its sponsors and their respective agents (“Indemnified Parties”) harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the competition 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 competition 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.

The competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law. NMM/NMTD reserves the right to cancel the competition or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, NMM/NMTD reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion.


In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, NMM/NMTD may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. NMM/NMTD reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. Failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.


By entering the Photo Contest, you agree to sign up to receive newsletters and special offers from NMM/NMTD, Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography, and New Mexico State Parks. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time. Void where prohibited by law.


Any information you submit as part of the Photo Contest will be used in accordance with NMM/NMTD’s Privacy Policy. The information you provide when you enter is provided to NMM/NMTD. Except where prohibited, you consent to the use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and/or for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


Finalists will be contacted via email and asked to provide high-resolution files (at least 300 dpi) for publication within 10 calendar days of initial contact. Failure to respond by deadline will result in forfeiture, and a new finalist will be selected.

To request a winners list by mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Requests must be received by November 30, 2021.

NMM/NMTD will partner with the Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography in Carrizozo to present a show featuring contest winners.

Participation in that show is strictly voluntary, with all details, including the pricing and proceeds from sales, to be arranged between the photographer and the gallery. NMM/NMTD does not share in the proceeds of any activity with the gallery.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to the New Mexico Magazine's art director John McCauley at artdirector@nmmagazine.com.