Tourism holding contest to source local, lifestyle photography for marketing

Published 6:55 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Washington Daily News


Photos of the sparkling waterfront, pets and their owners enjoying the sunshine and mouth-watering food from local restaurants — they all represent the relaxed living to be found in Washington.

The Washington Tourism Development Authority is holding a contest for locals and visitors to submit their lifestyle photography of Washington until July 17 at 3 p.m. As long as the pictures fit within the guidelines, the photographer has a chance at winning a cash prize, as well as participating in the effort to market the city.

“(I thought) it would be a great way for tourism to engage the community and let people show us and tell us, through photography, what they love about Washington,” said WTDA director Erin Ruyle.

When Ruyle started her position in August 2018, she noticed a lack of photography to use for marketing, particularly for social media coverage. In an effort to involve the community, while also creating a stockpile of Washington photographs for future use, she hosted the first photo contest that fall. It has since become a seasonal event.

“This is actually our third one that we’ve done,” Ruyle said. “Each time that we’ve done this, we’ve approached it from a different angle, kind of based on our photography needs, so the categories change each time we have a photo contest.”

Instead of the typical photography of the waterfront, this summer’s four categories are food and drink, people, summer fun and pets. Photographers must be 18 years old or older and can submit up to 10 recent photos.

WTDA staff and volunteers from the board of directors will judge submissions based on quality, composition, content, originality, creativity and mass appeal, and there will be one first-place winner and one second-place winner for each category. Four first-place winners will receive $200 prizes, while the four second-place winners will receive $100 prizes.

Previous winners have appeared in several marketing campaigns across the state, as well as the city’s social media accounts.

“We use them in a lot of our print and digital campaigns across the state, so with WRAL, with Our State Magazine, with Eastern Living, with ECU, the Daily News’ ‘Welcome’ guide,” Ruyle said. “Really, in any capacity that can tell a story.”

For more information about submissions, including the link to the submission form, visit Winners will be contacted and announced on July 31.