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Photo Contest Guidelines

Submission Dates: June 1st–August 1st
Entries must be postmarked on or before August 1st.

Photo contest winners and finalists will be displayed at HSLDA’s headquarters in Purcellville, Virginia, for one year following the contest.

Photo Format:

Each homeschooled student between the ages of 7-19 (including graduating seniors) may enter up to 3 photos:

  • 8”x10” color or black & white print on photo paper.
  • Do NOT frame or matte photo entries.
  • 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.

Entry Fees:

Each student may enter up to 3 photos. Fill out an online Entry Form for each photo. Multiple entries may be mailed in the same envelope and multiple entry fees may be included on one check. Entry fees are per entry.

Regular Entry Fee $15.00 per entry
HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee $10.00 per entry

Please pay via check or money order made payable to "HSLDA" with a note of "Photo Contest" in the memo line.  Foreign checks not accepted.  Contact the Contest Coordinator if you have any questions regarding payment:

How to Enter:

Entering is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Fill out the Entry Form online to be issued an Entry ID number. Fill out an online Entry Form for each photo. You do not need to print this. If you are unable to fill this out online, please contact the Contest Coordinator for a hard copy of the Entry Form that you can print and mail in with your entry.

  2. On the back of each photo, write your Age Category (1, 2, or 3), Photo Title, and Entry ID number as shown below.

  3. Mail your photo and entry fee, payable to HSLDA. Remember to include an entry fee for each photo – they may be combined onto one check. Mail to:
  4. HSLDA
    Attn: Photo Contest
    PO Box 3000
    Purcellville, VA 20134


  • Judging is conducted anonymously—no student’s names are released to the judging panel until the winners have been selected.
  • Judges will select approx. fifteen 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.


Contest winners will receive a cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

Category 1 2 3
1st Place $100 $150 $200
2nd Place $75 $100 $150
3rd Place $50 $50 $100
Honorable Mentions (2) $25 $25 $50

In addition to the cash prizes above, the top five photo winners of each category will receive a coupon for a FREE canvas print of their winning photo (or another photo of their choice) courtesy of ColorInc, an online photo print business owned and operated by a homeschooling family. We appreciate ColorInc’ support of our contests and the homeschool students and families they serve!

Free canvas print sizes:

1st Place: 20” x 30”
2nd Place: 16” x 20”
3rd Place: 11” x 14”
Honorable Mentions: 8” x 10”

Where the Contest Profits Go

All contest profits go to our charitable arm, the Home School Foundation, which uses them to provide low-income homeschooling families with access to educational and legal resources to help them continue homeschooling.

To learn about the mission and funds of the Home School Foundation, visit their website at

Other Information:

  • 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.
  • Winners and finalists will be notified by email and announced on HSLDA’s website and e-lert service by mid-September.
  • All judgments are final and interpretations of the guidelines are at HSLDA’s sole discretion.