41st LEAF Festival – Press Photo Contest

In honor of our recent Celebration of the Spirit of New Orleans, YOU are cordially invited to participate in the 41st LEAF Festival Press Photo Contest.  Attendees came to Lake Eden over October 15-18, 2015 from over 15 states, 4 countries and beyond for our Fall event.  In order to extend the experience beyond the moments in the past, we are seeking the (3) most striking, memorable images in these categories: COMMUNITY; STAGE; and COSTUME.

Do you have what it takes to capture a prize-winning shot?  Enter LEAF Press Photo Contest today (scroll to bottom for entry form)!


Photo Contest Rules

41st LEAF Festival Press Photo Contest begins Thursday, October 22, 2015, and ends Sunday, November 22, 2015, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest and states that he or she is 18 years old or older.

Who May Enter:
Contest is open to photographers who are 18 years old or older. Prize(s) for selected winner in each category is ONE Weekend Pass for the following LEAF Festival and/or strategic ad placement with a media partner or media sponsor.

Sponsors:  LEAF Festival c/o LEAF Community Arts

What To Enter:
The following three contest categories are drawn from subjects of special interest to LEAF:

1.     Community: Individuals from all walks of life; convey a sense of place and unity.

2.     Stage: Overall stage photos of headlining acts; roaming performing artists and backstage shots facing crowd.

3.    Costume: Costumes, celebratory gear, humor, super fly, indigenous attire.

To be eligible for any category, a photograph must have been shot by the entrant since October 15, 2015.

Cropped photos are eligible in all categories. We do not accept digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered photos. Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast and slight color adjustment or the digital equivalents, are acceptable for all categories. If the judges determine that a photographer has altered his or her photo, they reserve the right to disqualify it.

For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian and provide it to LEAF upon request. A sample release is available at: LEAF 2015 PHOTO RELEASE.

Similarly, entrants whose photos depict other people’s work (such as sculptures, statues, paintings, and other copyrightable works) may be need to obtain a release from the rights holder and provide it to LEAF upon request.  When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person’s creation. 

Photographs that have won any other contests are not eligible. We define winning as having won a grand prize or 1st, 2nd or 3rd place overall. Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by LEAF in its sole discretion, are ineligible for all categories of this contest.

How to enter:

Please submit photographs and requested information online through the entry form below. Complete a separate form for each photo submitted. Photographs must be in a .jpeg, .jpg or .gif format.

Files submitted may not be larger than 10 MB. The 30 finalists will be asked to submit a high-resolution file or an original negative, print or slide. Original negatives, prints or slides will be returned to finalists.We do not accept photographs submitted through the mail.  Submit no more than fifteen (5) photographs per category. We do not accept more than one contestant per e-mail address. Photographs submitted to the contest must be high resolution so that they can be displayed in our online gallery without being stretched or distorted.  High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible.

You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant LEAF (and those authorized by LEAF) a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any LEAF purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion of magazine, website, exhibition, commercial products, including but not limited to LEAF promotional materials. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. LEAF will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

Entry deadline:
The contest begins on Thursday, October 22, 2015. All entries must be received through the LEAF website by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, November 22, 2015.


Photo entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, originality, responsiveness to the prompt, and overall impact, except that (i) image used in ad campaign will be determined based on which of the finalists receives the most votes.

Judging will be conducted by a LEAF committee and theLEAF.org.  The Smithsonian will select 10 finalists per category, a winner for each category, and a Grand Prize winner from the 30 finalists.  Winning photographs will be announced on theLEAF.org in Winter 2015.

The 30 finalists will be notified of their status by December 6, 2015 and will appear on our website in Winter 2015. At that time, the public can vote on our website from the 30 finalists. Winners will be announced by January 31, 2016.

LEAF will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry; LEAF may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days.  Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

Prizes: Three prizes will be awarded, as follows:

Grand Prize: (1) Weekend Pass for LEAF Festival per winner – Community; Stage; and Costume.

Conditions of Entry:

All entrants hold the Sponsors and their respective regents, directors, officers, employees, emeriti, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the contest and acceptance or use of a prize. The Indemnified Parties are not liable for any costs, damages, injuries, or other claims incurred as a result of entrants’ participation in the contest or winner’s acceptance and usage of a prize.  The Indemnified Parties are not responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries, technical or network malfunctions or failures, or causes beyond their control. Entrants are solely responsible for their entries. Entrants may not submit materials that introduce any software viruses, worms or other programs designed to damage software, hardware or telecommunications equipment or are off-topic, partisan-political, contain advertising, nudity, personal attacks or expletives, or is otherwise abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, false, sexually explicit, or that infringes on the rights of any third party.

The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. The Smithsonian reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, the Smithsonian reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. The Smithsonian reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules or other applicable law or regulation; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Decisions of LEAF are final and binding.

*Entry Form Note — Please include media, DropBox or Google Drive link to your photo entr(ies) in message box.*

Updated: October 21, 2015

Press Photo Contest - Entry Form

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Press Requests, Interviews & Media

Have an interview request, press opportunity or want to get involved as a LEAF Photographer or Videographer?  Please be in touch with the LEAF Communications Director, Cortina Jenelle Caldwell for more info.  Contact: 

828.68-MUSIC [686-8742] | cortina@theLEAF.org