UPDATE: This contest is closed to new entries, but check back here for the winners’ announcement and the theme for the next Viewfinder Challenge! It’s a new year and it’s time for a new challenge. While our judges deliberate on the winners of the last Viewfinder Challenge (“Real People”), it’s time to submit your entries for our first new competition of 2013. Last time, we asked you to show us the people who populate your world. This time we’re not only wondering what’s on your mind, but what’s on your plate. The theme for February is:

What’s Cooking: Local Flavors

Wherever you are in the world, we want to see what you’re eating (or choosing not to eat). From meats to sweets, and from delicacies to street food to everyday staples, show us the tastiest, strangest, or most loved foodstuffs from where you are. If you travel, even better: show us evidence of your culinary journeys around the world, your country, or even just your home town.

What foods are most loved where you live? What’s the biggest treat? Are there any specialties you crave when you’re away? Anything you can’t believe other people enjoy? Think about what gets your mouth watering, and show it to us through your camera lens, pen, or digital drawing board. If your images look good enough to eat, you’ll be in with a shot at this month’s prize!


“Colorful Macaroons” by Nejron Photo

Upload your photos, illustrations, vectors, and footage clips reflecting on these ideas and other tasty inspirations for a chance to win. Enter your images and clips into the challenge by adding the tag “viewfinderchallenge5” to any new work you submit beginning on Feburary 1.

Entries are judged based on quality, inspiration, originality, composition, and relevance to the theme, so show us your very best. (All entries must abide by the Official Shutterstock Viewfinder Challenge Terms & Conditions.)


Our team of judges will review all the entries and choose their favorites. One grand-prize winner in each category — photo, vector/illustration, and footage — will then be announced and will each receive a snazzy custom Rickshaw bag available exclusively to Viewfinder Challenge winners, plus featured coverage on our blog and social-media channels!

In addition to the three grand-prize winners, we’ll also be selecting Honorable Mentions in each category, who will all receive some serious Shutterstock swag.

Polar Bear Eating Noodles
Polar Bear Eating Noodles

“Polar Bear Eating Noodles” by Miniyama


All contributors are eligible to enter. Simply upload NEW work to the Shutterstock site as with normal submissions, and include the keyword “Viewfinderchallenge5” in your tags.

ONLY NEW WORK (work accepted on or after the official start date of February 1, 2013) IS ELIGIBLE.

Note: For any photos or videos featuring people, you must submit a signed model release from everyone included for your submission to be approved. You can download model releases here.

The contest officially begins Feburary 1 and runs through the end of the month. Make sure to submit before Midnight EST on February 28 to find out if you can go from Vision to Victory!

Want to see what a winning submission looks like? Check out the top picks from Viewfinder Challenge 3: Think Green. Good luck!

The Shutterstock Team

P.S. Here are 5 tips to get your images and clips noticed by the judges:

  • Don’t spam us with entries. Limit your submissions to your best work, and stay on theme.
  • Please only submit one image per shoot or production for the contest. Feel free to upload all images, but only tag your best with “viewfinderchallenge5.”
  • Create authentic content. We know from our customers’ requests that natural (not overly posed) photos and footage are highly desired.
  • Create original content. Be inspired by the images around you, but show us how you personally see the world.
  • Stay away from the cliché!