Skip to main content

2023 Photo Gala

Saturday, February 11, 2023 at the Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua, Wisconsin

Photo Submissions Are Closed

We have exceeded the number of photos we had room to display, so have had to close registration a little early.

If you submitted a late entry, do not worry. We will find room for it.

If you had a photo you really wanted in the contest, give us a call and we will see if we can squeeze it in.

The Northwoods Wildlife Center's 2023 Photo Gala is back as a live, in-person event! 
The Gala will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at the Campanile Center for the Arts in Minocqua, Wisconsin. The doors open at 5PM, and the public is invited to view and vote on hundreds of amazing photos! There will also be live music, delicious hors d'oeuvres, deserts, and basket raffles.

All proceeds go toward wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and education.
Entries are due by midnight on Sunday, February 5, 2023.

Categories & Prizes

North American Wildlife - $200 first prize and "Photograph of the Year" designation.
Any wildlife species native to North America, including all wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc. Captive animals do not qualify.

Naturescapes - $50 first prize.
Showcase the beauty of natural landscapes, such as lakes, sunsets, sunrises, forests, or mountain scenes, etc.

Bugs and Blooms - $50 first prize
Close-up shots involving insects, flowers, plants, or any combination.

People in Nature - $50 first prize
Photos involving people enjoying the great outdoors.

Pets - $50 first prize
Any domestic pet species is allowed - cats, dogs, birds, horses, chickens, snakes, etc.

The contest has always been for amateur photographers, but professional photographers are invited to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center by submitting their best work.

Contest Changes
After hearing back from our contestants, as well as professional photographers who are interested in the contest, we will be adding a new category, "Professional Photographers." There are a lot of professional photographers out there that want to be able to support the Northwoods Wildlife Center by participating. But the vast majority of our entries are from amateur, and enthusiast photographers who felt like it was unfair to be competing with the professionals. We hope that the new professional category will provide a fair way for everyone to participate. We will also be reviewing participants to determine whether or not they are amateurs or professionals just to try and make sure everyone is in the right category. If we notice an entry that we suspect of being in the wrong category, we will reach out to the photographer to make sure the entry gets handled properly.



  • This is primarily an amateur contest and only amateurs are eligible to win prizes.
  • Photographers that receive greater than 25% of their annual income should enter the "Professional" category.
  • Watermarks on the photos are prohibited.
  • Northwoods Wildlife Center retains the right to remove entries that are in violation of contest rules.

Ethical Photography

The following situations are unethical and will be ineligible, and, if submitted, will be disqualified at NWC's sole discretion:

  • Wildlife appears to be stressed or harassed by the photographer.
  • Nocturnal wildlife photographed with a flash at night.
  • Wildlife photographed by, or with, drones. 
  • Wildlife lured with bait for the sake of a photo.

Photo Quality

Your photos will be printed out at 300dpi on 8" x 10" or 10" x 8" photo paper. So please submit photos you know will look good. The Northwoods Wildlife Center will be reviewing each submission, and if your photo is too low of resolution and/or quality, we may send it back and ask you to provide one of better quality.

Voting & Judging

Public voting will take place at the Campanile Center for the Arts on February 11, 2023.

The top 3 finishers in each category will be e-mailed a certificate of accomplishment following the close of the People's choice voting. A panel of judges will make the Photograph of the Year selection based on criteria such as creativity, technical skill, composition, and photo quality. 

Photographer's Release

You retain the rights to your images. By submitting a photograph, you acknowledge that you are the sole owner of the photograph. You permit Northwoods Wildlife Center to use your photograph in the Center's publications, website, press releases, social media, advertising, displays, educational materials, and other marketing and fundraisers. You also verify that the photography you submit is your own and has not been stolen or plagiarized. The Northwoods Wildlife Center retains the right to disqualify any entry deemed inappropriate, too poor of quality, or outside the scope of this contest.


Entry Information

The cost to enter is $20 per photo, and payment can be made online after uploading your photos.

All proceeds benefit wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and education.

Entries are due by midnight on Sunday, February 5, 2023.