In 1988, Scenic Tennessee began inviting Tennessee school kids to engage with the beauty of their state by taking photos on a theme and submitting them for a friendly annual judging. In 2004, we reduced the frequency of the contests but added adult categories, hosted winners’ receptions and mounted photos in exhibits that traveled to libraries and other public spaces. We also expanded the contests’ educational impact by partnering with sister organizations, such as the Tennessee Historical Society (cohost for Viewing History in 2006-2007), The Land Trust for Tennessee (Lands Worth Preserving, 2008-2009), and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area (Living Legacies, 2011-2012).
Scenic Tennessee’s photo contests are transitioning again. Details should be finalized by mid-2022, but for now, here are key changes:
Scenic Tennessee’s new photo contest structure
- Scenic Tennessee’s photo contest will now be known as Tennessee Scenics.
- Judging will be held annually, but images will be accepted continually.
- Submissions will be made on a new online submission platform.
- Submissions may be used to promote Tennessee Vistas, Scenic Tennessee’s new scenic viewshed register.
- Tennessee Scenics will have eight permanent submission categories:
- Cities & Towns (CT)
- Farms & Open Spaces (FO)
- Highways & Byways (HB)
- Vistas & History (HI)
- Mountains & Valleys (MV)
- Rivers & Lakes (RL)
- Rocks & Waterfalls (RW)
- Scenic Trees (TR)
- Submissions must represent views and vistas in Tennessee; closeups and interior shots will not be considered.
- Photos must be taken from a viewpoint that is publicly accessible.
- Photos may include people or wildlife, but these should be incidental to the natural or manmade elements of the view.
- One Best in Show winner will be named, along with one winner in each of the eight permanent categories. There will also be honorable mentions.
- Winning images will be displayed online and on social media, and will be announced to newspapers across the state.