The San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) Photo Contest begins September 1, 2011 and ends October 15, 2011, at 2:00 PM Pacific Time (UTC-8:00). Winning photographs will be presented at the opening reception of the Adventures in Photography exhibit at SDMoM on November 11, 2011. 

Who may submit:

Category #1: Elementary/Middle School photographers (minimum age of 13). 

Category #2: Currently enrolled High School students, grades 9 through 12 (recent high school graduates qualify for only Category #3 of this contest).

Category #3: Anyone over the age of 18.

A contestant may enter only one category. Entries in multiple categories will disqualify the contestant. Individuals affiliated with SDMoM, including employees, volunteers, docents, emeriti, Board of Directors, interns, fellows, research associates and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses) and others living in their households are not eligible. SDMoM will determine winners’ eligibility.

What to submit:

The subject of all entries must be one of the following INTEREST AREAS

1.     World Culture in San Diego*… Our food, clothing, language, or social gatherings that demonstrate our collective cultural experiences.

2.     Historical San Diego… San Diego Missions, Old Town, and other historic sites.

3.     Public Events in San Diego… Miramar Air Show, Fleet Week, Cultural Festivals, Music Venues, Farmer’s Markets, Parades, Sporting Events, etc.

4.     Ethnic Diversity in San Diego… Family, friends, and neighbors of different ethnic backgrounds enjoying time together.

*Note: For the purpose of this contest “San Diego” is defined as the geographic limits of San Diego County, not just the city limits.

Photographs that are not in the INTEREST AREAS 1 through 4 will be judged ineligible by SDMoM. Photographs must have been taken by the contestant since January 1, 2010. Alterations to the photographs are permitted, to include cropping, color corrections, digital enhancements, or any pre or post photographic processes are allowed. No photographs will be disqualified on the basis of alterations.

A model release (click here for the form) must be secured for any recognizable person. Photographs that infringe on copyright or another’s personal rights are not eligible. Photographs that have won any prizes in any other contests are not eligible.

How to submit:

All photographs must be submitted on the SDMoM website using the on-line form.

Follow the instructions and complete a separate entry form for each photo submitted. Photographs must be in a .jpeg, or .jpg format. SDMoM will print and mount the photographs of contest winners. Note: Resizing of your photographs is not necessary since a final print resolution of at least 200 dots per inch is recommended.

All contact information will be kept private and separate from your submitted photograph.

No submissions will be accepted through the mail or through any means other than the on-line submission through SDMoM website.

By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest. All contestants grant SDMoM a fully paid up, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any educational, promotional, publicity, exhibition, archival, scholarly and all other standard SDMoM purposes (collectively “Materials”). Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. The Museum of Man will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

All contestants agree that they are not entitled to any compensation or any other thing for the SDMoM’s use or disposition of the Materials.  All contestants agree to release SDMoM from any and all liability arising from or related to the development, production, distribution, sale, license, use or other disposition of the Materials.

All contestants represent to SDMoM that any photograph submitted is their original work product and that no other third party has any claims to such photograph and hereby release and discharge SDMoM and any of its affiliates, and their respective employees, agents, licensees, successors and assigns from any and all claims, demands or causes of actions that they have or may have in the future for libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, or right of publicity, infringement of copyright or trademark, or violation of any other right arising out of or relating to any utilization of the rights granted under the contest rules.


Judging will be conducted by a panel of local photographic and artistic professionals. Winning contestants and selected finalists will be announced on the SDMoM website, and contacted via e-mail. The winning photographs will be displayed in the main rotunda of SDMoM as part of the Adventures in Photography exhibit. Please do not contact us about the status of entries. This contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. SDMoM reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. Winners are responsible for paying any taxes they may owe on a prize. Decisions of SDMoM are final.


Winners in each of the INTEREST AREAS and a Grand Prize winner will receive free annual membership to SDMoM so they can enjoy exhibits, programs, and special events all year long. Winners also will have their photographs featured in the new Adventures in Photography exhibit coming to SDMoM in November 2011.