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Failed Wildlife Photography Contest To Honor The Best Of The Worst

For immediate release

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Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) changed its name to Re:wild in 2021

Panel of Distinguished Nature Photographers Set to Judge Global Wildlife Conservation’s Unique Photo Contest

collage of wildlife Photos (clockwise from top): Puma by Nick Hawkins, frog by Robin Moore, ocelot by Jim Sanderson.

For immediate release

August 30, 2017

Wildlife photography can be tough. Hours, days and weeks spent in preparation become moot when wildlife has different plans, or technology fails at exactly the wrong moment. In a new contest from Global Wildlife Conservation, a panel of nature photographers–including those from National Geographic and the International League of Conservation Photographer–will select the most impressive #WildlifePhotoFail. The winner will receive a Fujifilm X-T20 camera and lens, and the chance to win the wilderness adventure of a lifetime* (a great opportunity to improve wildlife photography skills!).

“Social media has become an incredible source of inspiration for wildlife photographers, but also a vehicle for self-doubt as we scroll through the highlight reels of our favorite photographers,” said GWC Communications Director Robin Moore, a wildlife photographer represented by National Geographic Creative. “We hope these awards will bring together photographers whose subject or equipment have gotten the better of them to produce surprising or comical results. Sometimes it just feels good to enjoy the humor in our blunders, and to appreciate that it is as much about the journey of discovery as it is about the polished Instagram-worthy result.”

Entrants should simply share their photo on Instagram with the hashtag #WildlifePhotoFail. All entries must be posted by Saturday, Sept. 30 to be eligible to win. Only one winner will be selected, but entrants may submit an unlimited number of photos. Track entries on GWC’s website.

The panel of judges will be looking for particularly unusual or humorous moments or viewpoints that are the result of chance, rather than meticulous planning. They will also be paying attention to the photo’s back story and context–and especially to those images that seemingly aimed to convey a conservation message.

The Wildlife Photo Fail Awards judge panel includes the following wildlife photographers: Karine Aigner, Clay Bolt, Ronan Donovan, Morgan Heim, Jaymi Heimbuch, Sergio Izquierdo, Arnelle Lozada, Jenny Nichols, Krista Schlyer and Joris van Alphen.

“Some of our best stories and lessons come from our photography fails,” said photographer and contest judge Morgan Heim. “The fact that you can put weeks or months into a dream photo, only to be ‘outsmarted’ by your subject keeps you humble. Once I painstakingly worked to set up a camera trap to photograph a coyote in San Francisco, only to learn that the coyote had been sitting behind me watching the whole time. Coyote: 1, photographer: 0.”

Thanks to Fujifilm for generously sponsoring GWC’s Wildlife Photo Fail Awards.

*In addition to the Fujifilm X-T20 camera, contest winner will receive four entries into GWC’s wilderness adventure drawingwhere the winner selects a dream trip to his or her choice of the Galápagos, Costa Rica or South Africa. Individuals may also directly enter the drawing.

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 Photos (clockwise from top): Puma by Nick Hawkins, frog by Robin Moore, ocelot by Jim Sanderson.

Download examples of #WildlifePhotoFail candidates

Global Wildlife Conservation

Austin-based Global Wildlife Conservation envisions a thriving Earth where all life flourishes. GWC conserves the diversity of life on Earth by preserving wildlands, restoring wildlife and engaging with global guardians. Driven by science, GWC maximizes its impact through conservation solutions in research and exploration, land purchase and protected area establishment, protected area management, poaching prevention, and capacity building. Learn more at


Lindsay Renick Mayer

Global Wildlife Conservation


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