Photography Rules and Guidelines

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.

23-24 Texas 4H Photography Rules and Guidelines

Images must be sent as an attachment and not as an embedded file to ensure proper size and format requirements
Only ONE picture per category for each division may be submitted
PLEASE NOTE: Changes have been made to the rules and guidelines this year (noted in the pdf).
For more information on category descriptions, rules and guidelines, please visit



Please use the following link to upload your images for the County Photography contest. You can also email photographs by the deadline included below to

You can also save the digital images on a flash drive and bring to the Extension Office. Photos must be submitted electronically. Please be sure to read all the guidelines for submission on the entry form. Please make note that there are changes to rules, guidelines and categories. 


Clover Kids / Junior / Intermediate Divisions
Registration Form and Photo Deadline: January 12, 2023

Senior Division
Registration Form and Photo Deadline: March 1, 2024




County – Clover Kids, Junior , Intermediate and Senior Divisions

District – 1st place Junior and Intermediate County photos from each category will advance to the District 11 Photography contest.

State – The State Contest is for senior 4-H members only. Wharton County can send one photograph in each category.

Please read carefully over the 23-24 Texas 4H Photography Rules and Guidelines as there have been several changes this year. It is extremely important that you review the descriptions of each category very carefully. Do not enter photographs into categories that are duplicates from other categories or ones that do not clearly meet the category description. Photographs that do not meet the description of the category will be disqualified. 


Photography Categories


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.

Examples: Chickens, cows, dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, etc. All waterfowl (ducks and geese) should be entered in Animals – Wildlife.


Category focuses on animals not typically tamed or domesticated and commonly found in the wilderness or bodies of water throughout the country and world. Photos can be of wildlife in nature, zoos, and/or petting zoos.

Examples: Birds, deer, elephants, snakes, whales, etc.


Photos that do not fit into one of the other categories.
Not allowed: A duplicate photo also entered in another category.

Details & Macro

Getting in close is the name of the game for this category. The goal is to zoom in close on an object to see its finer details or to make small objects appear life-sized or larger that we do not normally get to see with the naked eye.

Examples: Insect eyes, veins on a leaf, a reflection in a water droplet, etc.

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.

Examples: Line, pattern, perspective, shape, etc.
Not allowed: Digital creations or graphic designs made in software such as Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator.


A single photo that has been technically manipulated to be an abstract, panoramic, stitched or composite image. Others variations are allowed as well.

Examples: Software edited composites and creations, images greatly manipulated with a variety of filters, photos with artistic borders, photos stitched into a panoramic, etc.


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.

Examples: Cakes/pies, Easter eggs, fruits and place settings, ingredients, sandwiches, Thanksgiving dinner, etc.
Not allowed: A photo of alcohol beverages.

Landscape and 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.

Examples: Gardens/landscapes, outdoors, scenics, etc.
Not allowed: Primary subject is a person or wildlife.

Leading Line

This image composition technique features lines that draw the viewer’s eye from point A to point B, which is the primary subject.

Example: A river that begins in the foreground and draws your attention to a photogenic bridge in the background.

Long Exposure

Also known as time-exposure or slow-shutter, this technique involves using a long-duration shutter speed. It can be used to sharply capture stationary elements of an image while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. It is also used in low-light conditions.

Examples: fireworks, moving water, light trails, Milky Way, light painting, night or low-light conditions, etc.


The capture of movement within a single photo. The subject appears stopped or “frozen”.

Examples: Ferris wheel spinning, sporting events, horse running across a field, etc.


Photos focus from all walks of life, parenting and family, children, babies, models/fashion, sports, and couples. All individuals in the photos must have provided consent and permission as a subject. If requested, a release will be needed from the photographer and subject.

Examples: Babies, families, kids, portraits, models/fashion, etc.


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 Landscape & Nature category.

Examples: A rose, an upward shot of a tree, etc.


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.

Examples: shadows/silhouettes of people, plants, animals, structures, architectures, or natural structures.
Not allowed: reflections

Theme – Abandoned

The 2023-2024 theme is “Abandoned”. Photographs capturing the essence of forgotten or neglected places, things, or structures; emphasizing its worn and forsaken nature.

Please take all necessary safety precautions around abandoned buildings/structures.



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