The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), a non-profit that manages numerous programs supporting, preserving, and enhancing Essex County’s historic, natural, and cultural places, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Essex Heritage Photo Contest. The annual photo contest encourages photographers of all levels to “capture” the living landscapes, unique places, and vibrant communities of Essex County, Massachusetts.

From rocky coasts and rural farms to historic downtowns and parks, photographers vividly captured a variety of special places in Essex County for this year’s contest. All photographs were taken within the Essex National Heritage Area in 2023 and fell into the categories of “Buildings, Blocks, and Neighborhoods,” “Celebrating Our Communities,” “Four Season,” and a themed youth category which asked young people to show us why they love where they live.

2023 Essex Heritage Photo Contest Winners:

Grand Prize Winner

“Precious Plovers,” by Kathy Diamontopoulos taken in Ipswich

Category: Buildings, Blocks, and Neighborhoods

  • 1st Place – “Man at the Wheel,” by Jason Kennedy taken in Gloucester
  • 2nd Place – “Pink House, Half Moon,” by Catherine Grassello taken in Newbury
  • 3rd Place – “Lollipop Trees,” by Karen Hosking taken in Manchester-by-the-Sea

Category: Celebrating Our Communities

  • 1st Place – “Ice Breaker,” by Francisco Urena taken in Boxford
  • 2nd Place – “Jackson Cup,” by Mark Katz taken in Marblehead
  • 3rd Place – “Enjoying the Show,” by Rick Matthias taken in Salem

Category: Four Seasons

  • 1st Place – “Springtime Eaglet – It’s Your Turn to Feed,” by Carin Macnamara
  • 2nd Place – “Cygnets Amidst Fall Hues,” by Deric LePard taken in Andover
  • 3rd Place – “River Snowfall,” by Brian Searles taken in Topsfield

Youth Category

  • 1st Place – Merrimack River in Lawrence,” by Dante A. Cutietta taken in Lawrence
  • 2nd Place – “Grasshopper,” by Georgana Cauthers taken in Gloucester
  • 3rd Place – “Mushroom Meadow,” by Jameson Dick taken in Topsfield

People’s Choice Award Winner

“All is Calm,” by Alison Colby-Campbell taken in Haverhill

Photo Contest Reception and Exhibit

The public is invited to attend an in-person Essex Heritage Photo Contest Reception on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:00 pm at the Salem Armory Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA). The reception is free, open to the public, and light refreshments will be available. The 14 winning images will be on exhibition at the Salem Armory Visitor Center from February 21st through the end of March 2024. You may register for this event by visiting our website:

See winning photographs on the Essex Heritage Facebook page.

The contest is presented by Essex Heritage in partnership with North Shore Bank, DeIulis Brothers Construction, Geller MicroAnalytical Labs, Groom Construction, and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. Prize sponsorships were awarded by Hunt’s Photo & Video, Ipswich River Watershed Association, REI, SEE Shore Photography, The Trustees, Mass Audubon, Harbor Sweets, Rockafellas Restaurant, and Atomic Café.