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Missions photo contest: Enter and win!

See the Missions Photo Contest entries here.   I saw this photograph by Natalie Montgomery and was so taken by it. It captures a soul, a moment, a place and a ministry. There in Nsoko, mud-flekked orphans run by. Their clothes are ragged and their bellies empty. But in the distance…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

See the Missions Photo Contest entries here.

I saw this photograph by Natalie Montgomery and was so taken by it. It captures a soul, a moment, a place and a ministry. There in Nsoko, mud-flekked orphans run by. Their clothes are ragged and their bellies empty. But in the distance you can see love and hope and connection. Maybe, just maybe, a better day is coming.
The photo is like visual poetry. And as I continued to stare at it, this thought came to me: “We have so many good photographers taking amazing photos on our World Race team, we need to showcase their talent.”
But then I thought, “Why limit it to just our racers?” So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to start a contest – open to anyone who wants to enter. The theme is: “Thy kingdom come.”
Prize money: $3000 for first place, $1000 for second, $500 for third, $250 for 4th and 5th.
Assuming we get enough high quality photos, my objective will be to put the top photos in a coffee table book that will help those photographers engaged in missions around the globe show the world as Jesus sees it. I think it will help cast a vision for what God is doing.
If you’re interested check out the contest rules below. We just put together a special web site for your entries.
To guarantee that your photos will be considered, please follow these instructions:
How to Submit Photos
Send your high-resolution photos to: [email protected]

1. Please send them one at a time!
2. In the subject line, put your name, and the location that the photo was taken. 
For example: Seth Barnes, Swaziland.  If you are submitting more than one from a location, then number them (Seth Barnes, Swaziland1)
3. In the email body,
put the following, and the following only:  when it was taken, where it
was taken, a short description of what is taking place in the photo,
and your email address.
For example: March 2009, AIM Base in Swaziland, orphans lining up for food, [email protected]
1. Submit as many pictures that meet the criteria as you’d like up to 20. They must capture ministry in action to be considered. All it takes is one good photo to move to the next level.
2. Photos need to be Jpeg images with sufficient resolution to be reproduced (generally in excess of a megabyte).
3. By submitting the photos, you are stating that you have the full
rights to the photo, but that you are giving us permission for their full use
and publication.
4. Criteria we’ll use to judge photos: It should capture a soul, a moment, a place and a ministry.

5. We will have three rounds: Round 1: June 15, 2: June 31, and 3: July 31. If you qualify for the second round, you will then compete against the others who have made the cut.  Those selected can continue to submit photos in the second and third round. At that point we’ll judge each photographer on the overall quality of their portfolio. We will post a blog naming the
winners of each round .
6. Our panel of judges will make a preliminary evaluation on June 15.  If you make
it to the next phase, we will notify you and post the photo to a separate
list of final images.

The judges will review and confer, and the winners will be announced via email, facebook, and at this blog.

6. To qualify, you must submit something by June 15. Winners will be announced after all submissions and results have been tabulated.

You can see all the entries at this Flickr site.
Here’s the first entry — it arrived in my inbox from from Alex Canfield before 8 a.m.
Alex says, “God has been saving lives through a little church in Manila.”
Ashley McCleery sends in this one from her Africa trip.
Jen Petersen just submitted this one:
Caitlin Woodward sent this in — a carnival day in Managua:
April Edwards “praying with my dear friend Esther before we said goodbye the last day we were in that area in Kenya.”
Gabe Landes took this in Swaziland. “A small lake had formed next to the road from the heavy rains, and the Swazi children who were walking house to house with us ran off the road, threw off their shirts, and jumped in!” 
Brianna Poster Ithemba took this shot of Polina in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. 
Sara Choe took this one after she, Dennis Ho and Neil Bruinsma climbed some hills to pray.  After they finished praying, they talked to this grandma farmer and helped uproot a tree in her plot of land.
Caroline Westman snapped this one in high in the Andes (Huaras, Peru) after a Sunday School lesson.

Comments (29)

  • Friend of Jesus…hopefully i could also interest you in a copy of the photography book that we are publishing shortly after the race-web page soon to come-
    yay for photography, God is going to use this contest to stir things up!!!!!

  • I’ll be the first to pledge 10% of the total prize money right now ($500), and buy 50 copies of the book to distribute to local churches / coffee shops, etc.

  • Mark – We’re setting up a Picassa site to submit to. Let’s say three entries per person. If they are all accepted for consideration, you can submit another three. Mark, your pics are great – I’d expect them all to be accepted.

  • What about the opportunity to buy individual prints for framing and the funds go to the ministry represented?

  • Brett – great idea – we’ll do that!

    Chelsea – Write me by posting a comment to the comment section above and I’ll write you back with the link (don’t want to put my email out there on the web).

  • Angi Francesco (Oct ’08)

    Hey Seth, I have a few pictures to add, shoot me the link when it is set up! Thanks. -A

  • Seth,
    I have some pics, too, but don’t know how to submit them. Can I get a link or an e-mail address?

  • seth! i’m consistently amazed at the ideas you generate .. and the ideas of others that you’ve inspired! so cool.

    i’d love the link – if nothing else than to see all the beautiful pictures. i’m still waiting for someone to set up a photography site so i can purchase WR pictures Ryan, Tim, Jen Crane, Natalie, Mark … so many others!


  • Hey! I was also wondering if I could get the link of the place to send the pictures to.
    This is an awesome idea. Can’t wait to see what will come out of it!

  • Copyright Question: By giving you rights to use and publish the photos would I be giving up my rights to use them? I have a number of photos I would submit but I need to retain the right to use them. Thanks.

  • Great idea! I’d love to participate and have the link as well! Good luck to everyone 🙂

  • Jennifer Mitchell

    I absolutely LOVE this idea!! it is my desire to do missions photography and use the pictures I take on the field to fund projects to help the villages they come from. This idea is awesome! I am really excited about it. What is the link that I can send the pictures to?

  • I cant wait to see all the photos that have been submitted.. I just submitted 3 photos.. 🙂

  • I love this idea and will be gathering some pictures to submit. God has been laying on my heart recently to take my photography more seriously. I love to take pictures on mission trips and my dream would be to go on the field full time as a missions photogapher. Do you know of any agencies that people can align with that promote this type of missions?

  • I tried to view the pictures using both the site listed above and through the link to the flicker site and it says teh site is private and I don’t have permission to view it. Is there another way to see the pictures that have been submitted?

  • Renee,

    You should be able to look at the link above – it’s public.

    We’re in touch w/ a group of photographers and are trying to help develop a market for missions photography. Stay tuned…

  • can you please send me the address to where we can enter pics that would be awesome! Thanks for this awesome contest!

Comments are closed.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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