2017 High School Photo Contest

Our 2017 High School Photo Contest kicked off on December 1, 2016 and will run through February 28, 2017. In that time high school students from around the world are encouraged to submit their images for a chance to win a boatload of prizes - and more importantly - bragging rights for an entire year! In mid-March, once our esteemed judges sift through thousands upon thousands of images, we will announce the winners. 

Submit Now!

Are you heading to the University of Montana after you graduate from high school? By completing our Summer Intensive course, you can now earn six college credits (in just six weeks!) BEFORE you even begin college. Click here to learn more!

Required File Specs

File Format: Files must be submitted in JPEG format. No size constraints.

Horizontals and Vertical images are welcome.

Images created with any kind of camera are welcome.

Contest Rules

  1. The RMSP High School Photo Contest begins on December 1, 2016 and ends at midnight on February 28, 2017. Our system will not allow you to upload any images outside of these times. No submissions will be accepted before or after these times.
  2. All submissions must be made through our website. Submissions will not be accepted via email, link sharing, file transfer service, or other similar methods.
  3. You are not allowed to upload images for anyone else (ie: friend or classmate) while logged into your account. Each submitter must submit in their own account.
  4. You must be the sole copyright owner of all images submitted, and none of your submitted images are exclusively licensed to any other person, company, agency or entity.
  5. Composite images are allowed, however you must be the legal copyright holder of each source image.
  6. You agree to hold harmless RMSP from any conflict relating to copyright of all digital images submitted.
  7. You have or can obtain a signed model or property release for any recognizable location or person depicted in your submitted images.
  8. There is no limit on the number of images you may submit.
  9. By submitting images to our contest, you agree to receive ongoing communications from us and our contest sponsors.
  10. By submitting images to our contest, you consent to RMSP and/or our contest sponsors using your images for promotion of the contest.
  11. By submitting images to our contest, you consent to RMSP using your image with photo credit on its website or social media accounts.
  12. RMSP will never make your images available to any third party (except contest sponsors) without your permission.
  13. You agree to allow RMSP to store your digital file(s) on our servers. We reserve the right to delete your images at any time.
  14. Prizes are subject to change.
  15. Judges are subject to change.





Nature Category:
Just because you are entering a photo contest sponsored by a photography school in Montana (the most beautiful state ever, anywhere), your nature images don't necessarily have to be of towering mountains, crystal clear lakes, or bald eagles. This category is where you will want to submit all of your amazing images that were taken outside. But keep in mind "nature" or "outside" doesn't necessarily mean rural areas, off-the-beaten path locations, or have to depict national-park-style beauty. 
If you captured amazing light on a corn field in Nebraska, submit it here. Got a great photo of a bird perched on a stop sign in New York City? Submit it here. Have an epic photo of an octopus riding a shark that is jumping out of the water ... to catch a flying fish ... in front of a rainbow ... with lightning in the distance? Absolutely submit that gem here!

People Category:
People are everywhere! (especially in the parking lot when I am trying to find a spot close to the door ... s
heesh!). This category is where you should submit all of your amazing studio portraits, tender moments between your grandpa and his dog, or the overly expressive fan at a football game. Male or female, young or old, silhouetted or well lit ... if the main subject of your frame is a person or group of people, submit it in this category.

Action Category:
Whether it's a surfer riding the perfect wave, a wide receiver diving to make the catch or your mom trying to ride your skateboard, capturing the pinnacle moments of people in pursuit of their physical goals takes a keen eye and a fast shutter finger! Images submitted into this category could include team sports such as college basketball or little league baseball. Or they might depict a solo runner on a trail, climber on a wall or even a pair of trapeze artists flying through the air. 

If you are unsure about whether your image fits in this category, ask yourself what the main subject of your photo is. Is the runner a tiny speck in a beautiful landscape? If so, your image might be better entered into the nature category. Is the runner pausing to pose for a portrait? That image might be better suited for the people category.


We will award prizes to the top three finishers in each of our three categories. The three first place finishers (one from each category) will be in the running to win the grand prize. Prizes are subject to change. Prizes are:

Grand Prize Winner (one of the first place winners will be chosen to receive the grand prize):

  1. Canon 6D camera body with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens


First Prize (one winner chosen in each category):

  1. Lensbaby Spark
  2. Oben AT-3565 Aluminum Tripod with BC-217T Head
  3. Ruggard Thunderhead 15 Camera Bag
  4. $100 B&H Gift Card
  5. One year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan
  6. 16x20" Mounted print of the winning image from White House Custom Color
  7. 30 minute image critique and consultation from an RMSP instructor
  8. RMSP T-shirt
  9. RMSP camera strap


Second Prize (one winner chosen in each category):

  1. Ruggard Thunderhead 15 Camera Bag
  2. 30 minute image critique and consultation from an RMSP instructor
  3. RMSP T-shirt
  4. RMSP camera strap


Third Prize (one winner chosen in each category): 

  1. 30 minute image critique and consultation from an RMSP instructor
  2. RMSP T-shirt
  3. RMSP camera strap


This photo contest wouldn't be as exceptional as it is without the support and generosity of many of our Educational Partners. Every company on this list has chipped in to help us help you, and recognizes that your success = their success. We know that we will be flooded with great images from around the world during this contest, but that only a handful of photographers will win prizes. (bummer, but true). But even if you don't win the fully equipped, 50,000 square foot studio space in Manhattan grand prize*, we encourage you to support these brands. And if you ever have a question about any of their products or services, we are happy to steer you in the right direction or spend some time on the phone with you to make sure your questions get answered.

*Just kidding. This isn't one of our prizes... yet.


Nature Category: Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for images that are punctuated by untamed, powerful landscapes. Through social media chris strives to share his vision of wild places with millions of people, and to inspire them to explore for themselves.

His visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on global, prominent campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, speak on the TED stage, design product lines, educate, and publish a growing collection of books. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his production studio and art gallery in the Central Coast of California.

At the age of 30, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influencer. He is happiest with his wife Breanne raising their two sons Jeremiah and Forrest in his hometown of Pismo Beach, California.



Action Category: Forest Woodward

Raised by Woodwards and tamed by wolves, I am haunted by the allure of point breaks and powder days, steep creeks and tall peaks; I am a hunter gatherer of natural light and candid moments. With an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home, I wander a path paved by open minds and trusting eyes, guided by willing feet...

...and a desire to bring you with me.

From my early days drinking fixer in the dark room, learning zone system and processing 4x5 negatives, to recent trips documenting surf culture in NYC, migrant farm workers in Napa, rock climbing in South Africa, or the street kids of Rio's Carnival, my pursuit of new experiences pushes me to continually evolve my vision, while reminding me of the importance of carrying my camera with humor, compassion and curiosity.

CLIENTS: Patagonia, Filson, Jcrew, CamelBak, Vasque, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, PrimaLoft, Royal Robbins, Oliberte, RAB, Bluewater Ropes, NRS , Evolv, Cascade Designs, CAMP, Petzl,

EDITORIAL: National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, Esquire, Climbing, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, Australian Geographic Outdoor, The Usual Montauk, Mountain Gazette, Elevation Outdoors, Surfer Mag, Afar, Men’s Health, the Daily Beast (CNN), ABC, Forbes, AARP, The Inertia, Gawker, Elle (Canada), The Active Times, The Guardian, Adventure Journal



People Category: David Talley

"Even the darkest of moments are followed by an explosion of light..."

David Talley believes in a necessary resolution. He is an internationally recognized photographer and educator operating out of Portland, Oregon and Sydney, NSW.  He was named as one of the top five young and talented photographers by the United Colors of Benetton in Italy in 2013. David's work exhibits the darkest moment before an explosion of light, and his imagery is marked by a story, broken but changed for the better, and the ability to transform the present problem into a prosperous future. David is the founder of the 2015 worldwide conceptual photography movement, Concept Collaboration.

In 2015, David traveled to 8 different countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Vietnam, India, and Australia, teaching hundreds of students his inspiration, motivation, and creative techniques, thus enabling them to excel as artists. David's mission as an educator is to help photographers grow in their creative techniques, and to leave his students feeling in-control of and passionate about their creative future.