Virtual Photography Contest

The Photography Contest is completely virtual.

Registration is now closed.

  • You must register online in order to participate.
  • Photographs must be submitted digitally in the registration form.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person.
  • Participants do not have to be a member of the photography project to participate.

Results will be shared live during the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 29. High scoring entries will also be shared on the California 4-H Facebook and Flickr accounts.

State Field Day Awards Ceremony
Sunday, May 29, 2022, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
live on the California 4-H YouTube channel

Contest Information

State Photography contest logo
The California 4-H Photography Competition provides an opportunity for 4-H members ages 9-18, as of December 31, 2021, to showcase their best photographs taken within the past 4-H year. There are no prior requirements to enter this state level competition.

Each participant is required to submit a good quality digital file of their entries during registration. Once registration closes, the photographs will be evaluated. Award winners will be posted on the California 4-H Flickr account and Facebook page. We will email your evaluation results and awards will be mailed to your county offices for distribution. Winners will be announced via email, Facebook, and Instagram.


  1. April 29 by 5:00 PM: Registration Deadline. Submit your photos when you register.
  2. Evaluations will be completed virtually by May 22.
  3. Results will be shared during the Awards Ceremony on May 29 at 6 pm - 8 pm.
  4. Winning photos will be shared on Facebook and posted in our Flickr account.
  5. Evaluation forms will be emailed by June 12 by the contest coordinator. Certificates and pins will be mailed to UCCE 4-H county offices.

Questions? Please contact

Competition Coordinator: John Trammell at 

Contest Divisions

  • Division I: Junior (age 9-10)
  • Division II: Intermediate (age 11-13)
  • Division III: Senior (ages 14-18)

Official Rules

  • All 4-H members aged 9-18 are allowed to participate.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person may be entered.
  • Pre-register to participate in the competition.
  • Photographs must be submitted digitally via the registration form.
  • Photographs must be taken by the person entering the contest.
  • Photographs must have been taken within the current 4-H year.
  • Photographs must be good to high quality. 300 dpi resolution recommended
  • Digital photograph size should be at least 4” x 6” (3:2 ratio); recommended size is 8” x 10” (5:4 ratio).
  • Digital enhancements to photographs are allowed.

Competition entries that do not follow the rules above are subject to be marked down on their score or not accepted at all.

Evaluation Criteria

Competition Entries will be evaluated in the following areas:


Adjustment of the distance setting on a lens to appropriately define the subject. Standard: Subject(s) are in focus and sharp, unless blurriness is obviously intentional (ex: to show motion).


The overall brightness and contrast in the photo. Standard: A range of light-to-dark contrast, not over or under exposed, unless it is obviously intended.


Placement of the subject in the photo demonstrating artistic ability. Standard: A pleasing balance exists among all components of the composition (ex: Rule of Thirds).


Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the photographer to convey an idea, message, or thought. Standard: The subject can be easily identified by viewers, and captured in a creative way. Photograph not over cluttered with many subjects.


The sense an individual gets when viewing a photograph for the first time.  Compelling photographs evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. Standard: The photograph displays an impact on the viewer. 

Resolution and Size (online edition only)

Resolution determines the quality of a digital image. The higher the resolution, the higher the quality. It is recommended that photographs be submitted with a 300 dpi resolution. Size of the digital image should be at least a ratio of 4” x 6” (3:2 ratio). It is recommended (but not required) for photographs to be submitted in 8” x 10” (5:4 ratio). Standard: Resolution is in good quality and at a size large enough for the evaluator to easily view the photograph on a digital device. Pixelization of an image will be marked down on points. 

Story Telling

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image. Standard: Your photograph displays a specific message or shares a story with the evaluator.


The Danish Judging System is used for the photography competition.

Everyone will compete within their age division for Gold, Blue, Red, or Green. All participants will receive a color seal and a evaluation sheet for each photograph.

Gold Winners: receive a gold pin for their hat and are considered for Best of Division and Best of Show.

Best of Division: Receives a small ribbon. Featured on the state website and 4-H social media resources.

Best of Show: Receives a rosette ribbon. Featured on the state website and 4-H social media resources.