Get Stories Straight to Your Inbox

 Stay up-to-date with what's happening in New Mexico through our weekly newsletter. 

 Stay up-to-date with what's happening in New Mexico through our weekly newsletter. 

Sign-up now
Enter New Mexico Magazine's
24th Annual Photo Awards


For the past 23 years, New Mexico Magazine’s annual photo awards has highlighted the state’s natural beauty, culture, people, diversity, and unique charm. Last year, amateur photographers from all over the country participated and submitted more than 2,400 entries for our consideration.

The 2025 photo awards submissions begin July 1, 2024, and end September 15, 2024. The winners will be revealed in the January/February 2025 issue of the magazine. Subscribe today so you don’t miss out!


• PEOPLE: The characters that make the state.
• LANDSCAPES: Our epic land and sky, framed beautifully.
• ANIMALS: All creatures found in nature, excluding pets, 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.
• NEW MEXICO'S ROUTE 66: Showcasing the neon signs, roadside motels, businesses, travelers, and people that make New Mexico’s portion of the Mother Road an enduring part of our culture.

One grand prize winner will be chosen for the photograph that captures the true essence of New Mexico. Four winners will be chosen from each category and all photo awards submissions will be entered for a random drawing. 

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Muench Workshops, New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, World Balloon, Bosque Brewing Co., Restoration Pizza, Wayne Suggs Photography, Heritage Resorts & Hotels, and The Camera Shop of Santa Fe/Visions Photo Lab.


• John McCauley, Art and Photography Director, New Mexico Magazine
• Steve Gleydura, Editor in Chief, New Mexico Magazine
• Warren Malkerson, owner, Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography
• Gabriella Marks, freelance photographer, Treasurer, National Board, American Society of Media Photographer
• Wayne Suggs, freelance photographer, past photo awards winner
• Bryce Turner, graphic designer, New Mexico Tourism Department
• Pam Dorner, wildlife and landscape photographer, 2024 photo awards winner

All prizes are subject to the terms and conditions issued by the providing organization. New Mexico Magazine reserves the right to alter prizes and prize categories as needed.


    1. If you have previously used the SmarterEntry portal, please log in. If not, click the "START HERE" button to create a username, password, and profile.

    2. Once you've set up your account, select the New Mexico Magazine Photography Awards from the available list.

    IMPORTANT STEP: You need to select the same number of submissions to match your order. Please remember to upload only the number of images that you have paid to submit. If the promo code does not appear automatically, please use the one from your submission payment receipt and then hit apply. Make sure to read the agreement and check the eligibility box before continuing.

    3. Next, you will receive a receipt screen. Use the tan bar to go back to your account page for submitting your entries.

    4. Click on the blue "SUBMIT NEW ENTRIES" link to upload your photos.

    5. If you wish to purchase additional entries, please revisit New Mexico Magazine's online store and place another order, as the Buy Additional Entries link in the portal may not function properly.

  • The New Mexico Magazine Photo Awards Submission (“Photo Submmission”) 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 Awards submission portal, entrants certify that their participation in the Photo Awards 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 Award Submission.

    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 photo awards as intended or the consideration or awarding of any prize would impose additional administrative, tax, operational, or legal burdens on NMM/NMTD. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

  • The Photo Award Submission begins at 8 a.m. on July 1, 2024, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on September 15, 2024, Mountain Standard Time (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Upload one (1) photo for $15, up to five (5) photos for $40, and up to 10 photos for $75.

  • 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 photo awards entry process:

    Title of the photo
    Caption: Describe what we see, where it was taken, and any other information that might be important for the judges.
    • Select a category: New Mexico Route 66 (sponsored by New Mexico Department of Transportation), People, Landscapes, Animals/Wildlife (sponsored by New Mexico Game and Fish Department), New Mexico Experience, Mobile, or Nightscapes.
    • Where photo was taken
    • Was the image taken with a mobile device?
    • Instagram username (optional)

    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 6, 2024.

    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.

    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.     

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

    The following submissions are ineligible:

    • Images with watermarks. These disrupt the judging process and won't be considered.
    • 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 entry portal. 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 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 photo awards submission 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. Note: A photographer may place only once in a single category and will receive the highest award for which they are recognized. However, a photographer may place in more than one category.  

    Up to two 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 & WILDLIFE: All creatures within nature, not pets, 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.
    NEW MEXICO'S ROUTE 66: Showcasing the neon signs, roadside motels, businesses, travelers, and people that make New Mexico’s portion of the Mother Road an enduring part of our culture.

    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.

  • Entrants retain all rights to their work. But by submitting your photos, you grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to NMM/NMTD and the award sponsors to reproduce, distribute, display, as well as create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the awards and promotion of the award submission, in any media, for no compensation, including, but not limited to: publication in New Mexico Magazine or the True Adventure Guide; on posters; in newsletters; in calendars; as notecards; and as downloadable wallpaper for users of NMM/NMTD websites and digital products.

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

    • Use the photograph on the Internet and in Social Media in support of the magazine’s mission.
    • Allow third parties to share the photograph on social media.
    • 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 , 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 Awards is impaired in any way, NMM/NMTD may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Award Submissions to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Award Submissions; 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 Awards, 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 Awards is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

  • By entering the Photo Awards, you agree to sign up to receive newsletters and special offers from NMM/NMTD and Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  • Any information you submit as part of the Photo Awards 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, 2024.

    NMM/NMTD will partner with the Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography in Carrizozo to present a show featuring photo awards 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 photo awards submission rules can be emailed to the New Mexico Magazine’s art director John McCauley at


FY25 Photo Awards Sponsors

Past Winners