Photo Contest

2014 HSLDA Photography Contest Guidelines

Benefiting the Special Needs Children’s Fund, administered by the Home School Foundation

Submission Dates: June 1st through August 1st 2014

Entry Form

Photo Contest

Click image above to download (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Photo Contest Archives
2013   2012
2011   2010
2009   2008
2007   2006


Each student may submit up to three (3) photo entries based on the following prompts:

Category 1 (ages 7–10*): Interesting
Category 2 (ages 11–14*): Memorable
Category 3 (ages 15–19*): Ordinary

We try to choose themes that leave plenty of room for imagination and interpretation. We invite you to be creative and have fun! Our judges are looking for a fresh perspective on a familiar subject. At Hear it from the judges, check out judges’ comments from previous contests to get a better sense of what to look for or avoid when taking pictures. Also, look at the winning photos from previous years to get an idea of what the judges are looking for!

Prizes for Each Category

Prizes Cat. I Cat. II Cat. III
 1st place $100 $150 $200
 2nd place $75 $100 $150
 3rd place $50 $50 $100
 Mention (2)
$25 $25 $50


Ages as of July 1, 2014

Category I: Homeschoolers* ages 7 to 10.
Category II: Homeschoolers* ages 11 to 14.
Category III: Homeschoolers* ages 15 to 19.

* For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have been home educated in the past year and be receiving the majority of his or her current education at home. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA and all related entities (PRO, HSF, GenJ) are not eligible to participate in contests sponsored by HSLDA.


  • 8”x10” color or black & white print on photo paper.
  • Prints should NOT be framed or matted.
  • Original photographs only!! No digital manipulation or touchup is allowed, except for cropping and adjustments to contrast, hue, saturation, tone, and sharpness. These techniques must be applied to the image as a whole, not to only certain areas. In other words, we are more interested in the student's photography skill than in his or her ability to digitally manipulate an image.
  • Traditional techniques during film development and printing are allowed.

Great! My photos are ready. How do I enter?

Simple! Mail us three things:

  1. Your photo(s).
  2. A completed and signed Photography Contest Entry Form for each photo.
  3. Your Entry Fee in the form of a check or money order:
    • Regular Entry Fee  $15.00 per photo
    • HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee  $10.00 per photo
    Multiple entry fees may be paid on one check for students or families submitting multiple entries.


Mail photograph(s), entry form(s), and entry fee(s) to:

Attn: Photography Contest
PO Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134

  • Entries must be postmarked on or before August 1st.
  • Winners and finalists will be notified by email and announced on HSLDA’s website and e-lert service by mid-September.

Submitting Multiple Entries:

Students or families submitting multiple entries may include the multiple entry fees in one check but should complete a separate entry form for each photo.


  • Judging is conducted anonymously—no student’s names are released to the judging panel until the winners have been selected.
  • Judges will select 12 to 20 finalists per category. Of the finalists, three winners and two honorable mentions in each category will be selected. The decision of the judges is final.
  • All of the finalists’ photographs will be displayed at the HSLDA office. Judging will be made based on subject, creativity, and composition. For details, check out Hear It from the Judges.

Other Information:

  • Profits from the contest go to the Home School Foundation’s Special Needs Children Fund.
  • Photographs become the property of HSLDA and will not be returned. Entry in the contest constitutes permission for HSLDA to use the prints for publication at its discretion, with credit to the photographer.
  • All judgments are final and interpretations of the guidelines are at HSLDA's sole discretion.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org. We love your feedback!