keep-iowa-beautiful-photoThe state’s shutterbugs have until the end of next week before the deadline to enter the annual Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest.

Gerry Schnepf, the agency’s executive director, says the competition is open to amateur and experienced photographers for an opportunity to tell Iowa’s story in an engaging visual medium.

“The award winners receive cash prizes,” Schnepf says. “It’s just a way to share what you think is important about the state and what is the most beautiful, attractive area and what trips your trigger about the beauty of Iowa.”

Winners of the contest in recent years have focused on rural and agricultural scenes, the wildlife and the architecture of our cities and Main Streets, but Schnepf says the state’s stunning beauty is up to the objectivity of the photographer.

“We get a lot of sunsets and a lot of sunrises but there’s other places of beauty and they can be very intimate,” Schnepf says. “They do not need to be spectacular views. They can be of an insect on a leaf or a cow in a pasture. It’s just a range of topics people feel strongly about.” In addition to the cash prizes, the top finishers in the contest will get plenty of visibility.

“We put them onto Facebook, onto our webpage and we also use them in our newsletter which goes out to a large number of people,” Schnepf says. “It’s a great way to get recognition and to see your pictures again and again.”

The deadline to enter is December 23rd. See full contest details and all of last year’s winners at: