It’s time for our 4th annual photo contest! What better way to prepare for the upcoming whale watching season than to vote on some of the best photos from previous years!


How to Enter

1. Submit your photos

Submit your photos via email to by SUNDAY February 28. You can enter up to one photo per category. 

  • Our 5 categories are:
    • a) breaching,
    • b) scenic view (does not have to include a whale, but can)
    • c) tail shot
    • d) feeding
    • e) non marine mammal, i.e. birds, fish, sharks.

With each photo include: 1) your name, 2) the name of the whale watch company with which you were onboard, 3) date the photo was taken, 4) type of camera used and zoom (image metadata usually has the zoom setting at time of capture. If yours does not, a zoom range of your lens, if applicable, will suffice), and 5) a brief caption of no more than 20 words. Please make sure your photo is a high enough resolution for re-posting.

2. Vote

Voting will happen on the Whale SENSE Facebook page, so make sure you “like” or “follow” us to see how your photo(s) ranks.

Voting will be done one category at a time and will begin Monday, March 8th. Each category will be open for voting until Friday at 5PM ET of its respective week. When voting opens, encourage your Facebook friends to “Like” your photo in the contest album!  Each like/reaction is a vote, and participants can vote for as many photos as they want. The photo with the most votes in each category wins! Runners-up will also be acknowledged.

We will notify the winners within 72 hours of the contest ending date. Winning photos will be featured on our Facebook page and website, and winners will receive a swag bag prize from Whale and Dolphin Conservation!


Any photo of marine mammals taken by passengers or crew members aboard a boat that participates in the Whale SENSE program (Atlantic and Alaska regions!) is eligible for submission, provided that they meet the Whale SENSE responsible advertising criteria. You will be disqualified if your photo shows any of the following:

  1. People touching, pursuing, chasing, attempting to swim with, or closely interacting with wild marine mammals or any activities that would violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act or other regulatory measures.
  2. Pictures taken from a vessel underway within close approach zones: In the Atlantic, the close approach zone is 100-300 feet from whales, or less than 3 boat lengths. In Alaska, the no wake zone is 300-600 feet.
  3. Photos should be taken while following all regional whale watching guidelines.
  4. We will not accept photos of North Atlantic right whales due to the 500 yard approach regulation. We also will not accept photos of Alaskan humpback whales that don’t comply with the 100 yard approach regulation.
  5. Photos submitted for the photo contest in previous years.

Make sure your whale watch company participates in the Whale SENSE program here.

*Note: Any photos submitted for the contest may be used in future photo contest promotions, as well as for informational purposes on the Whale SENSE website and Facebook page. If you do not wish to have your photos used for these purposes, please notify us when submitting to the contest. We will NOT use submitted photos for any other purpose without first contacting the photographer for permission. Any additional questions/concerns regarding photo use, please email  

2020 Winning Photos