Photography Contest

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Event Information

Deadline:  Check with your County Extension Agent. Deadlines vary by county.
County entries will be submitted by a method set by your County Extension Office.
District entries will be submitted through 4-H Connect.
Photos entered at District must qualify at the county level first! 

Display Date: Saturday, May 1, 2021 at District Roundup

Location: District 8 4-H Roundup, Riesel, Texas

The Texas 4-H Photography Contest encourages self-expression and allows youth to demonstrate skills learned in the area of photography, including the use of photographic equipment and process of photographs.


  • To develop life skills in composition, light, story line, posing, and awareness.
  • To gain knowledge about cameras, camera settings, photography dimensions and resolution.
  • To encourage 4-H members to use photography as a meaningful communication tool in their lives.
  • To provide photography project showcase opportunity for 4-H members.
  • To continue to share the message of 4-H.
  • To utilize photographs which can promote and strengthen the 4-H program.

2020 D8 Photography Contest Information:

Texas 4-H Photography Contest Website


Category Description What is NOT Allowed Examples
ANIMALS – DOMESTIC  Photos focusing on the various animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment. To be considered domesticated, the animal must have their behavior, life cycle, or physiology systemically altered as a result of being under human control for many generations.
  • Chickens
  • Cows
  • Dogs/Cats
  • Geese/Ducks (domestic use)
  • Hamsters
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Sheep/Goats
ANIMALS – WILDLIFE  Category focuses on animals not tamed or domesticated and commonly found in the wilderness or the bodies of water throughout the country and world. Photos can be of wildlife in nature, zoos, and/or petting zoos. Photos taken through glass.
  • Birds
  • Deer
  • Elephants
  • Snakes
  • Whales
CATCH-ALL Category for photos that CLEARLY DO NOT FIT into one of the other categories. Catch-all is not intended for counties to use to eliminate duplicate photos from multiple 4-H members.
  • Long exposure zoomed images
  • Painting with light
  • Polaroid image & emulsion transfers
  • Still-life
DETAILS & MACRO  Getting in close is the name of the game for this category. We welcome pictures of small details that suggest a larger story. This is also the place for macro photographs (although a macro image of a flower might equally go into the Flowers category).
  • Clocks
  • Coins
  • Ice crystals
  • Insects
  • Stamps
DOMINANT COLOR  Photos with a dominant color. The dominant element in the image must be a specific color, such as red, yellow, blue, white, black, white, green, etc. Black & White photos, duo-tones, are excluded from this category.
  • Bowl of lemons, in a yellow bowl, on top of a yellow table covering, with a bright yellow tone sun lighting on it.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN  Images use of graphic elements of design. Photos that showcase line, shape, pattern, form, texture, perspective, etc. Photo can consist of any subject matter.


Digital creations or graphic designs made in commercial programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator.
  • Line
  • Pattern
  • Perspective
  • Shape
ENHANCED  A single photo that has been technically manipulated to be an abstract, panoramic, stitched or composite image.  Other variations are allowed as well.
  • Photoshop composites and creations
  • Images greatly manipulated with a variety of filters
  • Photos with artistic borders
  • Photos stitched into a panoramic
FOOD  Category is a still life specialization of photography, aimed at producing attractive photographs of food for use in such items of advertisements, packaging, menus and/or cookbooks. Photos of alcoholic beverages.
  • Cakes/pies, Easter eggs, fruits and place settings, ingredients, sandwiches, Thanksgiving dinner, etc.
LANDSCAPE & NATURE (NON-ANIMAL)   The focus of this category includes landscapes, outdoor scenics, nature images, sunsets, urban landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and farms. Images focus on the beauty of the outdoors. Photos which primary subject is wildlife or person
  • Landscapes/Gardens
  • Scenics
  • Outdoors
MOTION / ACTION  The capture of movement within a single photo.  


  • Ferris wheel spinning
  • Horse running across field/pasture
Photos that capture objects in or against the night sky. Photos can include objects such as buildings, landscape features, people, light trails, etc. seen at night. Objects seen in the night sky such as stars and planets are also acceptable. The use of a telescope is permitted.
Sunset and sunrise photos
  • Milky Way
  • Meteor shower
  • Moon
  • Cityscape at night
PEOPLE  Photos focus from all walks of life, parenting and family, children, babies, models/fashion, sports, and couples. All individuals in the photos mush have provided consent and permission as a subject.  If requested, a release will be needed from the photographer and the subject.
  • Babies
  • Families
  • Kids
  • Models/Fashion
PLANT/FLORA  Photos of interesting, unique, and beautiful flowers and flora. Photography can occur outdoors or indoors. Photo subject should be that of a single flower, plant, bush, tree, etc. Large collections of plant/flora should be considered for entry into the Nature & Landscape category.
  • Rose
  • Upward shot of tree
A silhouette is an outline that appears dark (typically a single color) with little or no details/features against a brighter background. Recording patterns of light and shade for a desired effect or emphasis is the definition of a shadow. The silhouette or shadow must be the primary subject and focus of the image.
  • Shadows/silhouettes of:
  • People
  •  Plants
  • Animals
  • Structures
  • Architectures
  • Natural Structures
The 2019-2020 theme is “Elements”
This category must contain one of the 4 elements: Earth, Air, Water, or Fire. Photos can include a combination of one or more elements, but the element(s) itself must be the focal point of the photo.
  • Dust Devil
  • River
  • Stream
  • Snow
  • Campfire
  • Water droplets
  • Clouds







































































Judging Criteria

Each photograph will be evaluated against the following set of criteria. Based on total points awarded for each photograph, the participant will be awarded a blue, red, or white ribbon. The criteria for evaluating the photographs will be:

IMPACT  (Max Points: 15) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of the judging elements.
CREATIVITY  (Max Points:  15) Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.
TECHNICAL  (Max Points:  25) Technical is the quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing, which includes the following aspects:

  • Allowable amounts of retouching and adjustments (removal of red eye, cropping, minor straightening)
  • Sharpness and correct color balance.
  • Lighting, which includes the use and control of light. The use of lighting whether natural or man-made and its proper use to enhance the image.
  • Posing and capturing of the image
COMPOSITION  (Max Points:  20) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.
SUBJECT MATTER  (Max Points:  15) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told (i.e. category the photo is entered into) in an image. Subject matter also includes the center of interest for the photograph or where the maker wants the viewer to stop and they view the image.
STORYTELLING  (Max Points:  10) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.


Blue, red, and white ribbons will be awarded to each photograph that is not disqualified.

Champion & Reserve in each category. The photo with the highest point value in each category in each age division will be awarded as the Champion of their respective category.  The photo with the second highest point value in each category in each age division will be awarded as the Reserve Champion of their respective category.

Best of Show.  Best of Show awards will be given to one photo in each age division.  The Champion photo from each category will be considered for the Best of Show award.

Agent Information

2020 D8 4-H Photography Contest Agent Letter – MS WordPDF


You’ll be able to view all the photos online after judging!

2019 D8 Photography Results – JuniorIntermediate Senior
2018 D8 Photography Results – JuniorIntermediateSenior
2017 D8 Photography Results
2016 D8 Photography Results
2015 D8 Photography Results
2013 D8 Photography Results
2012 D8 Photography Results
2011 D8 Photography Results
2010 D8 Photography Results
2009 D8 Photography Results