The Essex Heritage Photo Contest encourages community members of all ages to head outdoors and capture the living landscapes, unique places, and iconic vistas located in their backyard. Each year, photographers of all levels submit stunning images of the Essex National Heritage Area for a chance to win prizes including cash, as well as gift cards and complimentary memberships which are generously donated by local businesses and organizations.

2024 Categories

Go Coastal! 

From resources to recreation, Essex County’s rocky coast and harbors help define the character of this region. Show us the dramatic ocean views, historic seaports, sandy beaches, and maritime features that make the North Shore so unique.

The Great Outdoors

With hundreds of miles of trails through diverse landscapes, there is no shortage of green spaces to explore in the Essex National Heritage Area. Show us your adventures in the fields, forests, wetlands, and waterways that not only offer beautiful scenery but are crucial habitats for local wildlife.

Picture Perfect Places

Built environments shape the culture of a place in powerful ways, and few regions have such a wide variety of culturally significant places to discover as Essex County. Show us the quaint little towns, centuries old farms, vibrant cityscapes, public art, and historic structures that tell the story of the Essex National Heritage Area.

Youth Category (Ages 5-17)

Young photographers of all skill levels are invited to submit photographs to the Essex Heritage Photo Contest! The theme for this year is Capture the Moment. Youth contestants should submit photos that capture the essence your very favorite places or experiences in Essex County.

How to Apply

Step 1

First, review our contest rules and requirements sheet:

2024 Photo Contest Rules & Requirements

Step 2

Next, fill out an entry form, you may do this online or you can download the form and submit it to

If your submission requires a model release, you can download the model release form below and submit it to

The submission deadline for the 2024 Essex Heritage Photo Contest is Friday, December 13th at 11:59pm.

Step 3

To finish up, click here to pay the $10 entry fee electronically. *Note: If you prefer to submit any materials or payments via snail mail, no problem!

Entry is free for the youth category (ages 17 and under).

Address them to:
Attn: Heather Goss
10 Federal Street
Suite 12
Salem MA, 01970

2023 Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner:

Grand Prize
"Precious Plovers" by Kathy Diamontopoulos

People’s Choice Winner:

People’s Choice
“All is Calm” by Alison Colby-Campbell

Buildings, Blocks, and Neighborhoods

With 34 towns and cities, the built and lived-in environments of the Essex National Heritage Area offer ample opportunity to capture the beauty that exists all around us. Show us the architecture, city centers, downtowns, neighborhoods, streetscapes, and public art that helps define the unique and diverse character of Essex County where we live, work, and play.

1st Place
"Man at the Wheel" by Jason Kennedy
2nd Place
"Pink House, Half Moon" by Catherine Grassello
3rd Place
"Lollipop Trees" by Karen Hosking

Celebrating Our Communities

There is never a dull moment in the Essex National Heritage Area. The people who live in this special place find every reason to get together to celebrate our vibrant communities – and have a lot of fun doing it! Show us your favorite shots from various kinds of events and activities such as festivals, markets, performances, art demonstrations, concerts, dances, sailboat races, fireworks, and more.

1st Place
"Ice Breaker" by Francisco Urena
2nd Place
"Jackson Cup" by Mark Katz
3rd Place
"Enjoying the Show” by Rick Matthias

Four Seasons

The Essex National Heritage Area is fortunate enough to experience the variety of all four seasons. Even if the weather isn’t easy to predict, the change it brings gives us something new to enjoy all year round, from warm sunshine-y days by the ocean, to peaceful snowy walks through quiet streets. Show us the wonders of winter, spring, summer, and fall in Essex County.

1st Place
"Springtime Eaglet - It’s Your Turn to Feed” by Carin Macnamara
2nd Place
"Cygnets Amidst Fall Hues" by Deric LePard
3rd Place
"River Snowfall" by Brian Searles

Youth Category

Young photographers of all skill levels are invited to submit photographs to the Photo Contest! The theme for this year is Love Where You Live. Send in your best photos of your favorite places in Essex County. These could be local parks, beaches, neighborhoods, farms, historic sites, downtowns, scenic views, and more. Show us what you love most where you live!

1st Place
"Merrimack River in Lawrence" by Dante Cutietta
2nd Place
"Grasshopper" by Georgana Cauthers
3rd Place
"Mushroom Meadow" by Jameson Dick

Thank You Gold Sponsors

Thank You Silver Sponsors

Thank You Prize Sponsors