Rules and Requirements
- To enter, a teen must be between the ages of 13 and 17 on the day of entry.
- It is free to enter.
- Teens must be residents of the United States.
- Submissions are accepted only via the NPG Teen Portrait Competition website.
- Submissions must be in .jpg, .gif, or .png. Files can be no larger than 5MB.
- Submissions must be the teen's original work alone.
- All decisions of the judges are final, and no challenges will be permitted.
- Submitted image must include the likeness of a person. It may be a traditional, representational work or it may be a more experimental portrait, but it must be based on the teen's direct contact with any living individual(s). Self-portraits will be accepted.
- Submission must be photography or digital art. See the Entry Form page to differentiate between Photography and Digital Art.
To enter, click the "Enter the Teen Portrait Competition" button, and fill out the form. Make sure you attach your entry at the bottom. The picture should be saved as yourlastname_firstinitial.
For example: "jones_b.jpeg."
You will be sent a confirmation e-mail if we successfully received your application.
Limit: one entry per person.
Who May Enter
The competition is open to all teens between the ages of 13 and 17 on the day of entry, who are legal residents of the United States or its territories with an address in the United States at the time of the competition. Employees, volunteers or interns, Regents, and members of advisory boards of the Smithsonian Institution and Pearson Foundation and their respective immediate families (children, siblings, and spouses), competition sponsors, employees or immediate families of the judges, and their respective agents are not eligible. Winners and their parent or guardian may be required to execute a publicity release and affidavit of eligibility or provide proof of eligibility as a condition of accepting the award.
The Smithsonian will award 22 prizes total: 1 grand prize and 10 honorable mentions to entrants in each of two age groups 13-15 years old; 16-17 years old.
Grand prize: The Smithsonian will print, frame, and display the grand prize winning photographs in the National Portrait Gallery during the spring of 2013 (dates to be announced) and the grand prize winners will receive a Compact System Camera (approximate retail value: $200.00).
Honorable mention prize: The Smithsonian will exhibit the honorable mention winning photographs in the online exhibition and the honorable mention winners will receive a $50 gift card to mypublisher.com.
The Smithsonian reserves the right to substitute prizes of similar value; however, teens may not request prize substitution. All taxes are the responsibility of winners.
Winners for each of the two age groups (13-15 and 16-17) will be selected by the Smithsonian based on input from a panel of judges that is comprised of ten teens; National Portrait Gallery Curator Dorothy Moss; and a guest professional photographer.
Rights, Permissions, and Releases
Ownership of all portraits submitted for the NPG Teen Portrait Competition, including copyright, will remain the property of the teen who submitted the work, but it is a condition of entry that you grant to the Smithsonian and Pearson Foundation, each, an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right to use and reproduce the submitted work(s) in the exhibition (in person or online), for the exhibition publications, archives, public programs, publicity, promotion, research, postcards, prints, posters, and other products, in all formats now known or later developed (including but not limited to electronic distribution on websites and social media accounts maintained by the Smithsonian or Pearson Foundation), made in connection with the NPG Teen Portrait Competition and related exhibitions.
By participating in this competition you represent that the materials you enter are your own original work.
Winners must secure a written model release from the subject to enable the Smithsonian to use and reproduce the portrait. Winners will be provided with a form for this purpose and given 2 weeks to return it. Failure to return an appropriate, signed model release may result in disqualification.
By participating in this competition, you agree to be bound by these rules, including all eligibility requirements. You further agree that all interpretations of the rules and decisions by the Smithsonian relating to the rules and the NPG Teen Portrait Competition are final. The Smithsonian reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any teen it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Portrait Competition or Web site or to be acting in violation of the Rules of Entry. Neither the Smithsonian and Pearson Foundation shall be responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of the Internet or any Web site, including injury or damage to those entering the competition or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in this Portrait Competition. If, for any reason, the Teen Portrait Competition is not capable of running as planned, the Smithsonian reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Teen Portrait Competition.
Portraiture is the art of creating a likeness of a person. For this competition, the photo may be a traditional, representational work or it may be a more experimental portrait, but it must be based on the artist’s direct contact with any living individual(s). Self-portraits will be accepted.
Looking for additional inspiration?
Visit the National Portrait Gallery website: npg.si.edu