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Photos such as this one, a moment during Rails to Trails, the kinds of photos the city is looking for in the contest.(Photo submitted by Shane Fineran)

If you’re looking to show off your photography skills, Watertown is looking to expand their collection through a photo contest. The contest will feature scenes and moments from around Watertown and the hope is to be able to hang them around city spaces to show residents and visitors the beauty of the town.

“We wanted to update our library of pictures in the community, and we thought this was a good way for residents to sort of share their stories of the community,” said Shane Fineran, city administrator for Watertown. “We’ll hopefully be able to use these photos for our website, social media, publications, and pictures help share a community story so we’re hoping this will help with that.”

This is the first year the contest will be happening for residents in Watertown, put on by the City Council. Because the contest is to show off Watertown, really the only limit is the photo must be within Watertown itself. The categories for the contest include People/Family/Pets, Community Gatherings, City Landmarks, Outdoor Life and Landscapes, and the Youth Category for ages 15 and younger.

The contest actually started back in June, and the deadline for turning in photos is September 30. So far, the contest has been well-received, according to Fineran, though the city has only had seven photos submitted so far. But the hope is that number will climb before deadline comes.

The rules of the contest are pretty simple. There aren’t any restrictions on cameras, for one. So long as the image is at least 300 dpi (dots per inch, or pixels per inch if the photo is digital), 2 megabytes in size, and submitted as a JPEG, it’s eligible. All photos must be color photos as well, so no black-and-white photos will be accepted. Photographers can submit to multiple categories, but only photo per category, so be sure to pick your absolute best of the bunch.

“We also ask that they not be altered other than minor cropping or minor enhancements,” Fineran added.

And this isn’t only for residents, either. So long as the photograph is from within Watertown, the photo is able to be submitted. This means Mayer and NYA residents may also get involved if they so choose, and of course residents from the townships are also welcome. After all, the more submissions, the better.

“We’re hoping to see as many as possible,” Fineran said. “It’d be great to see what everybody has got out there.”

Winners will be voted on by community after deadline, and each winner will receive $50 cash. There will be one winner per category, so that’s a total of five prizes to give out.

Submissions should be done via email to info@ci.watertown.mn.us, and there’s a submittal form to go along with the photo which can be found at https://www.ci.watertown.mn.us/hidden-pages/windows-into-watertown-photo-contest. All they ask for is your name, address, which category, and where the photo was taken along with the title. Submissions must be turned in by September 30 at 4:30pm, so there is still plenty of time for photographers in and around Watertown to submit their photos for the contest.

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