Some of the most breathtaking scenery Tennessee has to offer lies within our state parks. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Tennessee State Parks system, and to celebrate this milestone, The Tennessee Magazine and the parks system are teaming up to host the first-ever State Parks Shutterbug Photography Contest.

The theme, “Celebrating 75 Years of State Parks,” will give you plenty of room to be creative. Subjects could range from scenic vistas full of wildlife to hikers enjoying the solitude of a backcountry hike. In fact, any photograph taken inside a Tennessee state park, state historic park, state archeological park or state natural area can be entered as long as you follow the rules.

Photographers shouldn’t have a shortage of subjects. No matter where you are in Tennessee, you are less than an hour from a state park. Photographs will be judged on sharpness, composition, lighting, creativity and adherence to the contest rules. Print quality will also be taken into consideration.

“I’m thrilled that Tennessee State Parks is working with The Tennessee Magazine to sponsor a state parks 75th anniversary photo contest,” says Charles Brewton, Tennessee State Parks director of marketing. “It will be fun having our visitors share their memories with us. We look forward to seeing their photo images as they explore and enjoy our state parks.”

The winning images will be published in the June 2012 issue of The Tennessee Magazine.

Note: By entering the contest, photographers automatically give The Tennessee Magazine and Tennessee State Parks permission to publish the winning images in print and digital publications and on websites.

Contest Rules

  1. The contest is open to amateur photographers only. If you earn your living as a photographer, please refrain from entering.
  2. Photographs must have been taken at one of Tennessee’s state parks. Visit for a complete list or call 1-888-867-2757 for a free brochure.
  3. A photographer can enter no more than three photographs in any category. There is no cost to enter.
  4. A completed entry form (below) must be attached to the back of every photograph entered. Omitting any of this information may result in disqualification.
  5. Extensive digital manipulation of photographs is prohibited. The use of photo-editing software should be limited. Adjusting exposure, color balance, contrast and sharpness is allowable, but highly manipulating colors and content of images is not.
  6. Employees of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Tennessee’s electric cooperatives and their immediate families are not eligible to win.
  7. Please include the name of each recognizable person in your photograph. It is the photographer’s responsibility to have the subject’s permission to enter his or her image into the contest. You must include the subject’s name and contact information with your submission. Omitting any of this information can result in disqualification.
  8. Media: Use any camera, film or digital; any film, black-and-white or color.

Parks Rules

Photographers and their subjects are expected to follow all rules and regulations posted by each state park. Noncompliance will result in disqualifications. These regulations include but are not limited to staying on marked trails, keeping dogs on leashes and wearing life jackets when required.


  1. All photographs must be entered as unmounted, 8-by-10-inch prints. Images can be color or black-and-white. Please don’t send your only print of a photo. Because of large numbers of entries, prints will not be returned.
  2. Send entries to: The Tennessee Magazine, State Parks Photo Contest, P.O. Box 100912, Nashville, TN, 37224. Entries may not be emailed or submitted via the website.


Entries must be postmarked by Friday, April 20.


  1. Shutterbugs 18 and older
  2. Junior Shutterbugs 17 and younger

Prize Packages:

Judges will select a first-, second- and third-place winner in each category. The following prizes will be awarded:

Shutterbugs win:

  • First place
    Six nights at any state park inn, plus $75 from The Tennessee Magazine
  • Second place
    Four nights at any state park inn, plus $65
  • Third place
    Three nights at any state park inn, plus $50

Junior Shutterbugs win:

  • First place
    Three nights at any state park inn, plus $75
  • Second place
    Two nights at any state park inn, plus $65
  • Third place
    One night at any state park inn, plus $50

Note: Accommodations subject to availability

Entry Form