Photo Contest for ORNL FCU



Calling all photographers!

Get your cameras ready—it’s time for our second annual photography contest for the ORNL FCU 2020 Monthly Calendar, benefiting Smoky Mountain Service DogsThis monthly calendar will not replace the year-at-glance calendar distributed to members annually.

Please read all rules and guidelines before submitting any images.

See below for submission instructions.



Our theme is “The Beauty of East Tennessee.” We are looking for images that are unique to our area and reflect who we are as a community. Whether it be the city vibes or the country vibes—we want to see it all! When considering what pictures to submit, we ask that you choose images that reveal what it means to be an East Tennessean or what makes our community a great place to thrive. Show us your idea of the East Tennessee lifestyle.

If you choose to include people in your submissions, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary model releases from the individuals and provide those to ORNL Federal Credit Union if requested.

Who can enter

This photo competition is open to the public. Entrants must be at least 13 years of age and live, or have lived, in the East Tennessee Region.


The submission period is August 1–23. A maximum of five (5) images can be submitted (only one image per entrant may be voted into the calendar) and all must be provided in digital format to ORNL FCU.


Please note, previously submitted photos may not be resubmitted, even if they did not make it into the calendar.

This year, ORNL FCU is using a platform called Submittable to collect submissions, manage communications, and conduct the blind judging. Registration through Submittable is required and secure. Once your profile has been created, you will not have to create a new profile every year that you decide to participate; your name and email will be stored within Submittable!


All entries must pass the following requirements:

  • Images must be a high resolution JPG or TIFF.
  • Cell phone images are not permitted as they do not meet the resolution requirements for printing.
  • NO WATERMARKS - You will be given proper photo credit inside the calendar. 
  • Minimum requirements are 2250x1750 at 200 PPI and the file size must be at least 5MB. The higher those numbers, the better!
  • Image must be in landscape format (horizontal; not vertical or square).
  • You must own the image and the copyright to the image.
  • Images containing nudity, the harassment or harm of wildlife, damage to the environment for the picture, criminal activity, or obscenity will be immediately disqualified.


All entries will be judged* and narrowed down to 40 images based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the image, must be print resolution – no cell phone images.
  • Creativity
  • Aesthetic quality/artistic merit
  • Technical execution: color, lighting, exposure, and focus
  • WOW! factor
  • Memorability

*The judging process will be blind, which means the names will be hidden from the judges to prevent any favoritism or bias.

The top 40 images will then be sorted based on season and open to online public voting, where members of the community will vote for their favorite images. The voting period will be September 9–20.

The top three (3) images for each season will be chosen and published in the 2020 Monthly Calendar. We will be selling the calendars for $5 with proceeds benefitting Smoky Mountain Service Dogs!

Please Note: You are allowed to submit up to five photos, but only one of your images can make it into the calendar. If more than one image gets the top vote in multiple seasons, we will pick the #1 top performing image to use in the calendar.


New This Year: Judge's Choice!

We have decided to include a “Judge’s Choice” where each judge will pick their favorite photo that didn’t make it into the calendar. The submitter of each Judge's Choice photo will receive a free calendar!


Each of the 12 contest winners will receive one (1) free copy of the calendar. We will include photo credit inside the calendar with the designated image. If you own a photography business, let us know if you would like credit to your personal name, or to your business. The winners will be announced on October 1, 2019.

 We will also have prizes for the Top 3 Overall Images: 

  • 1ST PLACE will receive a 16x20 framed print of their image and a $150 gift card
  • 2ND PLACE will receive an 8x10 framed print of their image and a $100 gift card
  • 3RD PLACE will receive an 8x10 framed print of their image and a $50 gift card    


You will retain all rights to the photographs you submit. You only grant ORNL Federal Credit Union rights to your photograph if you are one of the 12 winners to be featured in the calendar. We will contact you to confirm that you grant us rights to use your image for the following purposes:

  • To print in the 2020 Monthly Calendar.
  • The use of the photograph to promote future photo calendar competitions.
  • The use of the photograph on our website, mainly to promote the competition and share results.
  • The use of the photograph in our quarterly newsletter.

Your images will never be used for profit by ORNL Federal Credit Union. They will only be sold to benefit Smoky Mountain Service Dogs.