The Summer Vacation Photo Contest winners have been announced by the judges! Related contest pages--Halloween-- 2010 Halloween Costume Photo Contest :: 9/08 Halloween Winners :: 10/08 Halloween Winners, pt 1 :: 10/08 Halloween Winners, pt 2 :: Christmas-- Christmas Photo Contest :: Vacation-- 2010 Vacation Photo Contest

Judging have announced winners for's----

Vacation Photo Contest, 2010!

In the slide show above, you're looking at pictures of the top winners in's 2010 Vacation Photo Contest! These beautiful pictures evoke the fun, warmth and joys of summertime in the USA.

NOTE: Regretfully, there will be NO Vacation Photo Contest held in 2011. Unfortunately, this year we do not have sufficient staff available to hold the contest due to medical reasons. We will surely miss seeing all of the wonderful photographs which would have been entered. On the rest of this page, you may view the contest entries and winners from 2010.

Who are the 2010 Vacation Contest Winners?

Here they are, beginning with the Grand Prize winner!

  • Patty Cortez from Vancouver, Washington wins the Grand Prize with a stunning shot of her little grandson at a Hawaiian beach. Staring off into the distance, he seems to be absorbed by the sights, sounds and aromas of the ocean...and completely lost in thought. The judges found this photo to be colorful, well-composed, high in human-interest, and to completely capture the essence of family summertime fun. Warm and wistful, this photo takes us, as viewers, back to a point in our own lives when we were overwhelmingly awed by the sea. Congratulations, Patty!

  • Phillip Cain of Knoxville, Tennessee wins 2nd Prize with his daughter's photo which captures the fun of summertime play at the splash park. Judges once again felt this photo portrays the essence of family vacation fun...and in this case, it's dramatized by the black & white shot punctuated by a single splash of color. Phillip tells us that he often enjoys taking his daughters to this fun community water playground, which is part of a relaxing scenic park near downtown Knoxville...right next to the Tennessee River.

  • Avery Wedder of Grand Rapids, Michigan wins 3rd place (in a tie vote) for her unique photo of "giraffe feeding time at the zoo." Avery, as a quick-thinking photographer, took advantage of the pose created at the sudden whim of her, make that her "wild" son, according to her words! Avery tells us that it didn't take long for her son to gather as many spectators as the zoo animals, a crowd of nearly 100 people gathered to watch him feed lettuce to the giraffes with his own mouth! This photo certainly made the judges laugh! This photo's terrific humor, along with its good lighting and composition, enabled it to nab the 3rd place prize!

  • Ashley Henson of Clyde, North Carolina wins 3rd place (in a tie vote) for her delicate and lovely "butterfly on flower" photo. Persistence and patience were required to sharply capture the colorful flower and butterfly. A blurred background of vegetation frames this common, yet rarely seen, act of nature. Ashley lives in an area of the USA famed for the natural beauty of its emerald green forests, and Ashley's love of nature is certainly evident in her outstanding photograph.

  • Cathleen Warren from Racine, Wisconsin takes 4th place with her amazing close-up photo of a red-crested pochard. Every fine feather on the duck's brightly-colored head appears to look like finely-combed hair in this eye-to-eye photograph...and you can distinguish the individual feathers on its wing, as well. A lone drop of water is seen falling back into the pond from the duck's bill. The scene seems so pristine and so tranquil; a perfect summer moment in the great outdoors.

  • Maressa Kolo from Long Beach, Indiana wins 5th place (in a tie vote) with her black and white photo set at California's Huntington Beach pier. A lone man stares out to sea, lost in thought while observing wave formations on the pier's south side. Our judges esteemed this photo for its timeless quality, its composition and its interesting shapes and textures. One judge remarked that the picture appears as if it's a "classic shot you can imagine finding on a vintage poster."

  • Jaimee Craig of Bakersfield, California wins 5th place (tie vote) for capturing her son's sweetness, innocence...and stunning blue a simple shot taken on a weekend picnic. As Blake calmly ate his freshly-grilled hot dog, he gazed directly into the camera's lens...creating this perfect portrait. One judge summed up this photo by stating, "For me this photo has the 'wow' factor. The boy's eyes are so amazing and everything is right about this photo's composition, clarity and sense of summertime relaxation."

    2010 Category Winners and Runners-up, part 1

    In the slide show above, you're looking at pictures of 2010 Category winners and runners up in's 2010 Vacation Photo Contest! The contest categories covered in Part 1 (above) include: Girl's winners, Boy's winners, Groups (an extra-large category that had 2 winners and 2 runners-up because it was twice the size of other categories,) Humor and Pets category winners are shown above.

    The 2010 Summer Vacation Contest had 238 entries...and only 35 winners! This means that every single one of the contest's winners has a good reason to be proud.

    Here's the list of winners whose pictures you're viewing in the slide show above:

    GIRL'S CATEGORY: Grace Ambrus of Goose Creek, South Carolina won the "Girl's Category" prize with the picture of her sweet baby wearing a floppy beach hat as she played in the sand. And, Jill Hornback from Cypress, Texas grabbed the runner-up spot with her adorable toddler's portrait in black & white.

    BOY'S CATEGORY: Danita Pappas from Seaside, Oregon won with her cute little boy's action photo...jumping from a sand pile at the beach. Kassie Stoltman of Rugby, North Dakota captured a crystal-clear closeup of her brothers expressive face to nab the runner-up position.

    GROUPS CATEGORY: This was a "double" category which was twice as large as the other contest categories. Therefore, to be fair to the entrants who submitted group pictures & give them an equal chance at winning the prizes, there are 2 Groups winners and 2 Groups-category runners-up.

    Jennifer Noel from Strafford NH won in the Groups category for an intriguing photo of her two sons diving into a natural pool. Judges were impressed by the crispness & clarity of this fast-action shot, along with the interesting angles formed as the boys plunged into the water.

    Terry Banfield from Portugal Cove-St.Philip's, Canada also won a Groups Category prize for her delightful picture of her three sons eating watermelon. She enhanced cute b/w photo by highlighting only the melon slices in color.

    Teresa Hogan of Manassas, Virginia was awarded a runner-up prize for her fun picture showing the good summertime fun her husband & child enjoyed while riding a boogie board together at the ocean. Also, Kristin Emerson from Belton, Missouri grabs the other runner-up prize with her family's very nice "portrait at the beach" shot. While on vacation in Florida, the family arranged to meet a photographer for some ocean-side shooting. He never showed up, and a relative took the shot, instead!

    HUMOR CATEGORY: Kathy Owens of El Cajon, California wins this category for a very comical problem: static electricity. We can all relate to what happens when we have this problem...but I doubt that many people have had their hair stand on end like this little child's! What caused so much static? It built up as the tot slid through plastic playground slides!

    Jennifer Nugue from Braselton, Georgia took her family to the beach, where her son promptly wiped-out on his skimboard. It caused a few family laughs...and also earns Jennifer the runner-up spot in the Humor Category!

    PETS CATEGORY: Ed Laksberger of Signal Hill, CA took a trip all the way to Ketchikan, Alaska to take the shot which won the Pets Category. As he was strolling along taking in the new sights, he spotted this pair of whimsical dogs eagerly looking for their own interesting views! And, Rita Vetch from Monticello, Minnesota takes the runner-up prize with this sweet portrait shot of the family's beloved pet, Kasper. What a soft, cuddly "best friend" he makes for this family!

    2010 Category Winners and Runners-up, part 2

    In the slide show above, you're viewing still MORE of the 2010 Summer Vacation Photo Contest's "category" winners and runners-up.

    Out of the 238 pictures entered into the contest, only 35 won prizes. If you're one of the contestants who won, you have reason to be proud! But, if you didn't win this year, there's no reason for shame. This year's contest entries were extremely good photos...and the competition was fierce!

    But the most important part of the contest is having fun. Going places & doing things. Taking your best shots. Sharing them with friends...and people you'll never even meet. Visitors to this page have commented on the wide variety and good quality of the entries. Everyone who entered may be pleased that they've been part of an impressive contest that left readers inspired, happy...and busy making travel plans of their own!

    Here are the contest winners whose photos you're viewing in the slide show above:

    ANIMALS CATEGORY: Tammy Migliore of Washington Michigan wins this category with her amazing "duck on the lake" photo. In this stunning picture, you can see the duck's image mirrored in the lake. Every ripple is so crisp and clear. It's easy to feel you're right beside Tammy at the lake! And, Wyatt Brown from Cayucos, California grabs the runner up position with his magnificent "squirrel eating cracker" shot. This photo wouldn't have been taken if it weren't for a little accident, Wyatt tells us. He was eating Goldfish crackers outside his family's vacation home, when some fell out of the bag. Out of nowhere, a squirrel rushed in, scooped up a cracker and began munching. Wyatt quickly thought to grab his camera...and the resulting photo turned out wonderfully!

    TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Jane Doe of Austin, Texas wins this category with her beautiful picture of the Grand Canyon. She did a great job of capturing the canyon's magnificent layers of color...and even a few spots of snow. I'm sure she enjoyed a road trip that she'll remember for a lifetime. And, Violet Mooney from Ware, Massachusetts takes the runner-up prize with her lovely sea nettle picture. Both she and her boyfriend have the same birthday---and they were celebrating with a visit to the Boston Aquarium. The result? A wonderful birthday...and a fantastic picture to always remember it!

    SPECIAL EVENTS AND EXPERIENCES: Kat Harris of Hixon, Tennessee wins this category with her sharp and clear picture of colorful fireworks. (They were taken at Chattanooga's 4th of July celebration!) Said one of the judges: "Fireworks are notoriously difficult to photograph. This photo has three separate fireworks and people watching from the ground...yet all are perfectly silhouetted and crisply outlined. Excellent work." And, Zoe Walker from Nanaimo, British Columbia grabs the runner-up spot with her lovely picture of a fun day snorkeling in Hawaii. Judges especially enjoyed this picture's composition and colors.

    BEACHES: Carolyn Desnoyer of Mosinee, Wisconsin wins this category with her lovely picture of "Boats at Pier 39" (in San Francisco, CA.) The weather seems to be brewing up a storm...and Carolyn caught layers of blue sky and various colors of grey clouds. The boats rest peacefully as we see them, but the suggestion of an impending squall tells us that the situation will soon change!

    Two terrific photos tied for second place in this category. Diane Hua of Irvine, California wins with her stunning photo of a sailboat heading out to see. As it heads out past the breakwater formations, we can clearly see three different layers of wave movement in this picture...from the calm of the sheltered harbor, to the rough choppiness of the open ocean. And, Lindsey MacDonald from Comox Valley, British Columbia wins for her imaginative "footprints in the sand" shot. While on vacation at a California beach, Lindsey noticed that it wasn't just the ocean which was beautiful that day. Even that sands had a picturesque quality to them. She snapped the shot...and our panel of judges agreed!

    LANDSCAPES CATEGORY: Jon Stahleker of Mosinee, Wisconsin wins this category with his photo of a scenic bridge at Glacier National Park in Montana. Although Glacier NP is most famous for its snow and ice, the scene which most impressed Jon on his visit was this lovely green valley...complemented by the beautiful blue sky and scenic, multi-hued stone bridge. Surely anyone who sees this photo must be awed by this magnificent scenery. And, Macey Carringone of Port Allen, Louisiana takes the runner-up prize with her awe-inspiring photo of Crater Lake in Oregon. The quiet, deep-blue waters seem so still and so timeless. It seems so incredible that this peaceful lake was born of violent, volcanic origins. Her crisp, clear photo lets us appreciate this scene to the fullest.

    TOWNS & CITIES CATEGORY: Laura Mitchell of Ottawa, Canada wins this category with her visually interesting picture of a colorful sky over a scenic New Hampshire building. The brilliant colors of the sunset in the lefthand side of the picture provide an intriguing contrast from the cloudy sky seen on the right. And, Arthur Verne of Las Vegas nabs the runner-up prize with his colorful photo of a beautiful new Austin, Texas skyscraper.

    SUNSETS CATEGORY: Matt Nemeth of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wins this category for his dramatic picture of a boy fishing at sunset. Donna Potter from Cary, North Carolina won a runner up position (tie vote) for her beautiful picture of two people strolling along the beach at sunset. And, Mark Wedder of Grand Rapids, Michigan was awarded the runner up spot (tie) for the stunning photograph of his wife and child silhouetted by the blazing sunset's glow.

    Here were all of the 2010 Vacation Contest Entries!

    Thanks go out to all contestants for making the 2010 Vacation Contest such a success! This year we had nearly 240 entries...more than double the number from last year.

    As you'll see below, the 2010 entries are outstanding in quality. You're sure to enjoy viewing all of the different contestant's photos in the slide shows below.

    Kids Photos; pictures of 1 boy or 1 girl

    There are 2 kid's categories this year: Girls and Boys. Unlike last year, there weren't enough baby pictures to make up a separate category for them. So, in the slides above, both the Girls Category and the Boys Category contain pictures of all ages from tots to teens.

    There will be both Girls Category and Boys category winners, with one runner up in each category.

    Group photos; pictures of 2 or more friends or family members

    Our contestants have had lots of fun this year...quite obviously! In the slide show above, you'll see pictures of friends and family members enjoying the summer together.

    The "Groups" category is an extra-big category; there will be 2 category winners and 2 runners-up. Most categories have between 17 & 22 photos. Since the "Groups" category is twice this size, then there will be twice the number of winners for this category only.

    Animals and Pets

    2 contest categories feature our furry & feathered friends: Pets and Animals in Nature. In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of BOTH these categories.

    There will be both Pets Category and Animals Category winners, and one runner up in each category. All photos from these categories are also eligible for any of the top prizes, as well (such as Grand Prize, which can come from ANY category of entry.)

    Tourist attractions; special events & experiences

    Photos from the "Tourist Attractions" and "Special Events & Experiences" categories are shown in the slide show above.

    There will be a Tourist Attractions category winner & runner up, plus a Special Events & Experiences category winner & runner up. All pictures are eligible for one of the top prizes, such as Grand Prize.

    Landscapes; Sunsets

    2 different categories are pictured in the slide show above: Landscapes and Sunsets. Can you imagine that enough pictures of Sunsets were entered this year that they made up an entire category?!

    Landscape photos include scenic mountains, lakes & rivers, deserts, flowers & foliage, etc.

    There will be both "Landscape" and "Sunset" category winners along with a runner-up in each of these 2 categories.


    So many beach pictures were entered this year that they filled up an entire category all by themselves! That's quite a change from last year, when we had to combine all of the scenic photos into one "Country & Shore" category!

    There will be 1 Beach category winner and one runner up. All photos are also eligible to win one of the top prizes (eg. Grand Prize) as well.

    Towns & Cities

    The new "Towns and Cities" category replaces last year's "Cityscapes" category. That's because this year there were a number of entries from smaller towns, the word CITYscape didn't quite fit! There will be 1 "Towns & Cities" winner and 1 runner up. All photos are eligible to win one of the top prizes, as well.


    This year, there were enough "funny" pictures to make a new category---Humor. These pictures are sure to make your face burst into a grin!

    Note to contestants: All pictures are now assigned to categories and posted on this page in one of the slide shows above. If you do not see your picture, a problem has occurred, and you should contact the contest mailbox as soon as possible.

    Vacation Photo Contest Rules for 2010

    1.) Who was eligible to enter the contest?

    The submission period for the 2010 Summer Vacation Photo Contest has now ended. If you missed signing up for the contest, you may wish to review the that you may enter NEXT summer for the 2011 contest!

    1.) Residence requirements: Residents of the 50 US states and Canada may enter this contest (unless it's restricted or prohibited in your locality.)

    2.) Age requirements: You must be 14 years of age or older to enter the contest. Photos taken by children and young people under this age should have their entries submitted by a parent.

    3.) Must be your own photo: If you took the photo yourself, then you have the legal right to enter that picture. If someone else took the photo (eg. you found it on the internet...or a professional photographer took the shot) then you do not hold the copyright to that picture and it should not be entered.

    Please don't submit photos that have already been submitted to other contests or posted on other websites. In the "fine print" of many contests, you give away your copyright to the photo when you enter the picture...which could cause problems in the future for winner's photos posted on this site.

    2.) Contest dates for the 2010 Vacation Photo Contest

    June 1, 2010 was the 1st day of this year's contest registration period.

    August 3, 2010 was the last day to register. Contestants will have through August 5th to send in their photos.

    Judging will begin on August 6th. A decision will be reached as soon as possible. The judging process will take between 2 to 3 weeks. You may check back on this page between August 20th and 27th to view the list of winners. (Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to check both your in-box and your spam box regularly during August.) If you don't receive a winning email, be sure to check the winner's list...just in case. After every contest at, there are always one or two winners who can't be contacted for one reason or another (such as a change of email address, an in-box that's too full, or contestants who simply don't check the email address that they used when they entered the contest.)

    Don't be hesitant to enter early! If you take a better picture later, you may submit it later (and drop one of the pictures you don't like as well.) It's better to submit your photo when you're thinking about it. If you forget about the contest later on, you'll be missing your chance to win!

    3.) How many photos may be entered?

    You may send only 1 photo of each scene.

    You may send up to 3 different scenes.

    However, you may only win one prize. If more than one of your vacation photos is being considered by the judges for a prize, then the photo with the highest prize will win, and the secondary photo will be dropped from the judging process.

    4.) What can cause photos to be disqualified?

    Picture: Sea gulls at Carpinteria State Beach in Southern California

    1.) Quality restrictions: Your photo may be disqualified from the contest if it's blurry, too dark, too small to be seen clearly, etc. You will be notified and asked to send a clearer copy of your picture.

    2.) Family-friendly restrictions: This is a family website and it's important that readers are not offended by your snapshot. Please do not send photos which are sexually suggestive or explicit. Please do not send pictures which promote gangs, dangerous stunts, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, weapons, hatred nor other harmful activities.

    3.) Picture must be taken in the USA: The world is full of wonderful places...but this website is here to promote vacations in the USA! Pictures taken in other countries, although beautiful, will be disqualified from the contest.

    5.) What are this year's prizes?

    If you win first place, you'll be awarded a $125 check! The 2nd place winner will receive $100. Third place will win $75. And rounding off the top spots, this year's 4th and 5th place prize winners will each receive $50. Winners of the top 5 prizes may be chosen from any category of entry.

    Category winners: Each contest category will have a winner and runner up. The 2010 Vacation Photo Contest category winners will each receive a check for $35, and the runners-up will get $25.

    Last year's categories were: Family fun, Babies, Boys, Girls, Dogs, Other animals, Cityscapes, Country & Shore; and Tourist Attractions. This year's categories will probably be very similar...but since it's impossible to tell in advance what types of photos our readers will send, the exact categories won't be announced at this time. When in doubt, SEND your picture. We'll make sure it fits into one of our categories!

    6.) Meet the 2010 Vacation Contest's Panel of Judges!

    The Vacation Photo Contest will be decided by a panel of judges. Here are4 the members of our panel for the 2010 summer contest:

    1.) Lesley Pinkett, from Maybe you've already captured the perfect shot to enter into the Vacation Photo Contest; but, maybe you're looking for a few tips to help you create your special digital picture. can help! Packed with tips spanning a wide range of photography topics (from choosing your camera to taking different types of specialized shots,) you'll find answers to your questions here. Lesley's long-time interest in photography can give you ideas to help you shoot the perfect photo for the contest!

    2.) Hilary Burt, from Pet photos make up one of the largest submission categories in the Summer Vacation Photo Contest. Hilary knows from experience just how much dog-owners love their pets---her website runs a popular monthly dog contest! You can check out the handsome, prize-winning canines on her site...and while you're there, you may read inspiring dog stories, get tips on a variety of pet topics and learn good ways to travel with your own "best friend" this summer!

    3.) Hillel Mintz, from Shots of scenery are another important submissions category for the Summer Vacation Photo Contest...and Hillel is quite familiar with great pictures of scenery. Whether taking his own photos or choosing from shots others have taken, the unique and beautiful photos on his website make every destination appear to be fascinating and "must see" locations. Whether or not you plan on traveling to Israel, you'll certainly love viewing the many colorful photos within the pages of You just may get some new ideas for taking your own shots, as well!

    2009 contest judges: Our thanks go out once again to Sue Koranki (from and Carol Leather (from for their help in judging the 2009 Summer Vacation Photo Contest. Carol loves pursuing another special interest...needlework. In fact, she even creates designs professionally. If this is one of your interests, you'll want to discover her website,

    7.) How are the prizes awarded?

    After the judging period is over, the winners will be announced on this page.

    Please bookmark this page so that you will remember what website it was where you entered the contest! Then, return in mid-August to check the winner's list.

    Winners will be notified by email, so if you're not contacted it probably means you didn't win. However, there are times when people don't respond to their email notification because they don't check their in-box (or their email is too full for the winner's notice to be delivered.) In that case, it's your responsibility to make sure you aren't one of the winners!

    After winners respond to their winning emails they will verify their addresses and then their checks will be mailed to them. Winners should have their money in time for back-to-school shopping...or to help with the cost of a Labor Day outing!

    8.) How do contestants enter the contest?

    Between June 1st and August 3, 2010 (at midnight) there was a contest entry form in the space just below this paragraph. The entry form has now been removed.

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