Photo Contest Criteria And Rules

The Texas Forest Trail Region (Forest Trail) is a nonprofit organization that exists to promote East Texas through heritage tourism, historic preservation, educational services & advertising & marketing. Photos are intended for use in the Forest Trail’s publications, advertising, and general marketing purposes.

CRITERIA & RULES – By entry the photographer accepts these criteria, rules and conditions.

1. Participation: The contest is open to all U.S. residents at least 18 years of age, except staff and board members of Forest Trail and the immediate families of such staff and board members.
2. Eligibility of Photos: All photos must be the original work of the Entrant. Use of a photo from other sources/people is not allowed and will be disqualified. Entry must be submitted by a single individual; no joint/group entries. Entries that have been previously published or have won another contest are ineligible.
3. Location of Photos: Images must be taken within the 35-county Forest Trail Region. Counties Include: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, and Wood.
4. Number of Entries: An individual Entrant may enter a total of five (5) photographs per entry.
5. Entry Fee: There are no entry fees for participating in the contest.
6. Entry Deadline: All entries must be submitted online on the dates listed. A direct link to the submission site will be posted on the Forest Trail website at
7. Content: Photos that are deemed obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violate any laws are strictly prohibited. Entries determined to be inappropriate or unsuitable by the sponsor will be disqualified.
8. Authenticity: The entry must depict the subject or location as it appears in real life; entry cannot use props or software to dramatically change the actual appearance of the image.
9. Model & Property Releases: By submitting a photograph, the Entrant acknowledges and agrees that he or she has obtained sufficient written consents from recognizable people or locations appearing in an entry. Such consent, authorizes both Entrant and the Forest Trail to publish and use the photograph. Written consent must be retained by the Entrant and may be requested by the Forest Trail.
10. Disqualification: An entry that does not follow the rules or category guidelines will automatically be disqualified.
11. Release Of Liability: The Forest Trail and/or its employees involved in the contest will not be held liable for missing, mislabeled, or non-displayed photographs.
12. Copyrights: Entrants will retain all rights and ownership to any entry and are not restricted in the future use of their images. Forest Trail and its agents may credit images with the Entrant’s name at its discretion.
13. Display & Future Rights Use Rights: By submitting an entry to the contest, the Entrant grants the Forest Trail and specific category sponsors a nonexclusive, royalty free license, in perpetuity, to display, reproduce, distribute, publish, and create derivative works of the entry, in any medium, without compensation,.
14. Photograph Evaluation: All images will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit, and support for the mission of Forest Trail. Image eligibility, submission eligibility, and winner eligibility will be determined by the Forest Trail in its absolute discretion.
15. Judges: Judges are Forest Trail staff, board or partner members, sponsors and volunteers. Judges will determine awards for “Best Overall Photograph” and “Sponsored Categories.” All decisions are final. The general public will select “Fan Favorite” by popular vote following the photo contest submission deadline.
16. Awards: Being awarded Fan Favorite Winner or a Sponsored Category Winner does not preclude an Entrant from winning the Best Overall Photo award or other honor determined by the judges. All decisions are final.
17. Announcement of Results: Winners will be posted after September 2022 on Forest Trail social media and all websites owned and operated by the Forest Trail.