Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to


Whalebone Magazine's 2020 The Photo Issue Photography Contest for Photographers (the “Photo Contest”) is open to all professional and amateur photographers across the world. The Photo Contest is open to the public, with no purchase necessary.  The Photo Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. Board members, employees, interns, or partners of Whalebone Magazine ("Whalebone" or “Sponsor”), as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.

By submitting an entry to the Photo Contest, entrants certify that their participation in the Photo Contest is not illegal or in violation of any law, regulation, treaty or administrative act, and that the laws of their governing jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry do not prohibit or restrict the receipt of any prize under the Photo Contest.


The Photo Contest is sponsored by Whalebone, 541 East Lake Dr., Montauk, NY 11954.


The Photo Contest begins at 12am EST on April 17, 2020, and ends at 11:59pm EST on May 8, 2020 (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Photo Contest. Extended to May 11, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.


All photos must be submitted though our photo submission website: Whalebone does not accept photographs submitted through the mail, email, direct message, or any other format besides the photo submission website.  High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible.

The entry form contains required fields for photo file upload, information about the photo, category to be entered, and contact information for the entrant. All information must be completed in order for the photo to be considered.

Each entry (photo submitted) is $5.00 USD and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a predetermined non-profit organization to help support their efforts around Covid-19 relief and to the winning photographers. The fee is payable via credit card, debit card or through Paypal on the entry page.
Entrants may enter an unlimited number of photos, but entrants may not use an agency or automated system to enter. 

Entrants may be asked to supplement their submission with more explanation about the photo or to provide a higher resolution version of the photo anytime during the Entry Period.

Sponsor reserves the right to reject any additional entries or entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, each entrant indicates his or her unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding.  An entrant cannot win a prize unless the entrant complies with all requirements in these Official Rules.


A category must be selected when submitting an entry to the Photo Contest. Entries will be considered from the following categories:

  • ADVENTURE: It comes in all forms. Send your best shots of where you’ve been, or where you’d like people to see.
  • WATER: Water is wet. Your photo might not be, but should relate to the thing that makes up 70% of the earth's surface and 98% of our bodies in some way. 
  • HUMANS: Your photo could be a portrait, or it might not. It should relate to being human in some way. You tell us.
  • JOY: It’s like Ren always said to Stimpy.
  • MOTION: We ain’t talking about the backfield. Unless maybe.


Judging will be conducted by a panel of three (3) professional photographers to be selected by the Sponsor in its sole discretion (the “Panel”). Photos will be judged by the Panel on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to each category.

The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and winners will be selected within each category by the Panel as a whole.

All judging decisions are final. Please do not contact Whalebone about the status of entries or judging.


All winners will be announced on on or about June 1, 2020. Whalebone will notify the winners via the contact information provided at the time of entry.


All award winners will receive mention on Whalebone’s digital presences and may be included in our upcoming Photo Issue (July 2020). In addition, Whalebone will award the following prizes:

Five (5) Category Grand Prize finalist (one (1) per category) will receive:
  • $4,000 cash prize
  • Inclusion in Whalebone's 2020 Photo Issue 
Ten (10) Category finalists (two (2) per category) will receive:
  • $500 cash prize
  • Inclusion in Whalebone's 2020 Photo Issue 

To the maximum extent permissible by law, all winners are responsible for paying any taxes and any and all other costs and expenses associated with claiming the awards, including but not limited to customs fees, taxes, and any other administrative costs, if applicable. If the prize value equals or exceeds $600, prior to the award of any prize the winner will need to complete, sign and return an IRS W-9 form and/or any applicable tax forms for awarding the prize in the winner’s jurisdiction. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. 


Except where prohibited, a potential winner may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including liability/publicity release within 10 calendar days of request. If a potential winner fails to return these documents on time, an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.  All potential winners are subject to verification before any prize will be awarded. 


You will retain all rights to any photo submitted by you —including ownership, if applicable.

If you submit a photo to the Photo Contest, you grant Whalebone and its related entities (such as affiliates and subsidiaries) a royalty-free, non-exclusive right in perpetuity to:

  • Display the photo on Whalebone and the Photo Contest submission websites: 
  • Use and/or share the photo on the Internet, via email, and in Social Media (including but not limited to @whalebonemagazine) for any purpose.
  • Use and/or share the photo in internal and external communications materials including but not limited to websites and web publications, newsletters, and magazines.
  • Images will not be used in any other commercial capacity without written approval by photographer.
  • Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications.
  • Allow Whalebone’s third-party sponsors to share the photo on social media, websites and email.
  • Whalebone will endeavor to credit all photos with the credit "Person's Name" when the full name is available.


To be eligible for any category, a photograph must have been shot by the entrant and entered into the category of choice. The entrant certifies that he/she is the sole creator and copyright owner of the submitted photograph(s).

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (cropping, spotting for dust, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. The addition and subtraction of objects is not permitted. If the Panel (as such term is defined below) and/or Sponsor determine that an entrant has altered his or her photo, the Panel and/or Sponsor reserve the right to disqualify the photo in their sole discretion.

If not provided, high resolution-original files may be requested should an entry make it into the final round to be considered for an award or prize of merit.

Entries may originate in any format—including but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints—so long as they are submitted electronically in a .JPEG .jpg, or .png format.  HDR images are acceptable.

Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as the entrant maintains the right to grant us a license (see "Your Rights" below). The entrant must disclose when and where the photo previously appeared to Whalebone.

For a photo in which a person is recognizable, the entrant must provide a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian, to Whalebone upon request if the photo is selected as a winner. A SAMPLE MODEL RELEASE IS AVAILABLE HERE.

Entrants whose photo(s) depict(s) other people’s work (such as sculptures, statues, paintings, and other copyrightable works) must provide a release from the rights holder to Whalebone upon request if the photo is selected as a winner.  A SAMPLE ART RELEASE IS AVAILABLE HERE.  To qualify for consideration in the Photo Contest, any photo of the work of others must be depicted as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person's creation. 

If the entrant is unable to provide all required releases, Whalebone, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify the submission, seek to secure the required releases, or permit the submission to remain in the Photo Contest.

Any photo that violates or infringes upon another person's rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

Any photo that contains very sexually explicit, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by Whalebone in its sole discretion, are ineligible for all categories of the Photo Contest.

Whalebone shall determine entry eligibility in its sole and absolute discretion.


In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired in any way, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsor shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.


By participating in the Photo Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, third-party sponsors, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any liability, claims, causes of action, damages, or losses of any kind arising, in whole or in part, out of the Photo Contest, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; (f) injury or damage to persons or property; (g) acceptance, possession, misuse, or use of any prize; (h) entry or participation in the Photo Contest or in any promotion related activity; (i) use or misuse of any photo, including claims based on copyright, publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy; (j) access to and use of any website associated with the Photo Contest or the downloading from and/or printing of material downloaded from any such site. The Released Parties are not responsible if any prize cannot be awarded due to cancellations, delays, or interruptions due to acts of god, acts of war, natural disasters, weather, or terrorism. 
Entrants waive the right to claim any attorneys’ fees and any damages or losses whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, incidental, direct, or indirect damages.  


When you enter, you will automatically become an e-supporter of Whalebone. This includes special event invitations and eNewsletters. You may cancel and unsubscribe at any time.


Any information you submit as part of the Photo Contest is provided to Sponsor and will be used in accordance with Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.  Except where prohibited, you consent to Sponsor’s use of your name in any list of winners (if applicable) and/or for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the State of New York. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than New York.


Photo Contest GURU – Photography Competitions Directory – Online List of Photo Contests

All About Photo – Photo Contests, Competitions and Awards


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to

Whalebone Project, LLC