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 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.

2023 Categories

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.

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.

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.

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!

How to Apply

Step 1

First, review our contest rules and requirements sheet:

2023 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

Deadline for submission: Friday, December 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

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

2022 Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner:

Grand Prize
"Thacher Island Balancing Act" by Jason Kennedy

People’s Choice Winner:

(People's Choice) Alison Colby-Campbell - Haverhill by Night on the River
People’s Choice
"Haverhill by Night on the River" by Alison Colby-Campbell


The built environment shapes the culture of a place in powerful ways, and few regions have such a rich tapestry of architectural ingenuity as the 34 cities and towns in Essex County. Show us the architectural treasures, urban centers, downtowns, streetscapes and/or public art that helps define the unique local character of the Essex National Heritage Area.

1st Place
"Everett Mill Clock" by Francisco Urena
2nd Place
"Ice Festival Stroll" by Donna Bambury
3rd Place
"North Parish at Night" by William Putnam

New Encounters

Essex County is home to many well-known historic sites and landmarks. For this category, we want to see what sites, historic narratives, or themes you discovered in 2022! Show us the unique places, activities, and scenes of the Heritage Area that surprised you this year. These may be photos of a new site you hadn’t yet visited, creative images of exhibition spaces, or an action shot of a tour you embarked on.

1st Place
"Piping Plover Mother with Chicks Underneath" by Peter Van Demark
2nd Place
"Extreme Fishing" by Joyce Wood
3rd Place
"Resting Below a Lotus Canopy" by Deric LePard

Splash of Color

Sites around Essex County boast vibrant colors of all kinds. Murals, fields of flowers, and bountiful harvests at farmers’ markets are just a few places that showcase this diverse palette. Show us your favorite colorful scene, large or small, and share the vibrancy of this special heritage area.

1st Place
"Egret in Dawn Light" by Carin Macnamara
2nd Place
"Got My Limit" by Judy Schneider
3rd Place
"Fire and Ice" by Kathy Valido

Youth Category

For the Young Photographers! (ages 5-17): Young photographers of all skill levels are invited to submit photographs to the Photo Contest! Share pictures taken in Essex County this year. Capture photos at home or while visiting parks, beaches, downtowns, farms – wherever you find exciting shots!

1st Place
"Fireworks Comet" by Zoey Matthias
2nd Place
"The Path of Clouds" by Ashley Sheldon
3rd Place
"A Peek Down the Street" by Steven Hachey

Thank You Gold Sponsors

Thank You Silver Sponsors

Thank You Prize Sponsors