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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Wildlife Photography Competition

Celebrating the role photography plays in advancing wildlife conservation efforts worldwide.

What is World Photography Day?

World Photography Day, which occurs this year on Aug. 19, is an international celebration of all things photography. At the Fossey Fund, we are celebrating this special day to shine a light on how this art form is integral to the research and conservation of wildlife and the future of the planet!

How are we celebrating World Photography Day?

Photography is central to our work and conservation efforts worldwide! We use photography in many different ways to capture images of gorillas, their forest homes and neighboring biodiversity. Photography creates a pathway to do a lot of the important work that we do every single day – allowing us to gather important data for our researchers, document developments within gorilla groups and even create works of art to promote advocacy for this remarkable species.

During our World Photography Day celebration, we will be sharing several videos about how we use photography at the Fossey Fund, so get ready to dive into interesting subjects, such as photographing behavior, noseprint analysis, photogrammetry and even camera traps. Stay tuned!

For World Photography Day, we will be kicking off our first annual photography competition on July 8, 2024. Learn more below!

Things you need to know!

Who can enter?
Our World Photography Day Photography competition is open to all ages, skill levels and people from all countries. Professional, amateur and beginner photographers are encouraged to enter. Note: entrants under 18 and adult entrants have separate entry forms and competitions. Please click here to see the full photography competition rules

Deadline to enter:
Aug. 15, 2024. All submissions must be received by 12 p.m. EDT on Aug. 15, 2024.


  • By entering into the contest, the applicant indicates they have full ownership of the image.
  • Entrants may submit up to five photos per category but there is only one winning photo per category. The photo chosen will be specified when the winner is notified and announced.
  • Submission subcategories include Gorillas and Biodiversity:
    • For the Gorillas category: photos must be taken of any subspecies of wild gorilla. No photos taken in captivity will be accepted.
    • For the Biodiversity Category: photos must be taken of any fauna/animal species on the planet. Photos can be taken anywhere, as long as the species represented is wild. No photos taken in captivity will be accepted.
    • Entrants who are minors must submit to subcategories in the “Under 18” category.
    • Entrants who are adults must submit to subcategories in the “18 and older” category.
    • Entrants can enter both categories within their age category.
  • Photos may be taken with any camera: DSLR, point-and-shoot camera, camera phone, analogue/film or otherwise.
  • Entries must be submitted digitally in .jpg or .jpeg format and size of files must be fewer than 2MB.
  • Please also submit a higher-resolution or RAW file in addition to the .jpg or .jpeg. Ideally, entrants will also have a RAW version of their photo(s) available. If a RAW version is not available, a higher resolution non-RAW file will be acceptable. 
  • Photos may be in color or black & white.
  • Photos must be titled by the photographer.
  • No photos created with AI will be accepted.
  • No humans may be included in the photos.
  • Edits to photos may be made and can be impactful, but must be simple: e.g. for light, color, noise, grain or vignette are acceptable. No photos with graphics, art filters, removal of objects or multimedia will be accepted.
  • A short statement (fewer than 250 words) must be submitted with each photo about how the photographer feels that the photo relates to conservation, when the photo was taken and where the photo was taken.
  • Photos will be judged on composition, use of color or black and white, use of light and story connection to conservation.

Prizes will include:

  • Posts and promotion of the winning photo and photographer on Fossey Fund website, social media, in the Gorilla Journal, our E-News blast and featured on our Ellen Campus television screens in Rwanda. Winners can request to include a tag to their personal social media or website for when they are announced or promoted. 
  • Photographer will retain ownership of the winning photo, but by entering the photography contest, you grant the Fossey Fund to maintain use of the photo for future marketing and advertising purposes.
  • A 30-minute virtual one-on-one Q&A session with wildlife photographer and conservationist Guadalupe Laiz.
  • A Fossey Fund swag pack: including T-shirts, hats, water bottle, tote, gorilla plush and gorilla tracking bracelet.
  • The New Big 5: A Global Photography Project For Endangered Wildlife book by Graeme Greene (a $68 value).


  • Competition will go live July 8, 2024.
  • Submissions must be entered by 12 p.m. EDT on Aug. 15, 2024.
  • Winners will be notified by email by on or before the morning of Aug. 19, 2024 EDT.
  • Winners will be announced on Fossey Fund Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn on the afternoon of Aug. 19, 2024.
  • Prize package will be sent after the higher-resolution or RAW file is received. Time with Guadalupe Laiz will be scheduled per Ms. Laiz’s and the winner’s schedule.

All competition questions may be directed to Sanna Buisman at info@gorillafund.org prior to Aug. 15, 2024. Good luck!

Join the fun by tagging @savinggorillas