Thank you for entering our contest. Please follow social-distancing guidelines and Covid-19 restrictions while participating.







This Cover Search 2020 (“Photo Contest”) is sponsored by New Jersey Monthly, 55 Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07963, and by Unique Photo, 123 US-46, Fairfield, NJ 07004 (“Sponsors”). The Photo Contest is intended to support and encourage the use and enjoyment of photography in New Jersey. The Sponsors encourage those who enter the contest to exhibit both photographic skill and unique, compelling, unusual and/or beautiful images of life in New Jersey. The photograph selected for the Grand Prize will be published on the front cover of the December 2020 issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine.


The Photo Contest is open to any amateur or professional photographer who is a New Jersey resident. Employees or interns of New Jersey Monthly or Unique Photo, including their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of such employees, are not eligible to enter. Members of the judging panel, and immediate family members of judges, are not eligible to enter.

By submitting an entry to the Photo Contest, entrants represent that their participation in this Photo Contest and receipt of any Prize under this Photo Contest does not violate any applicable law.

Sponsors reserve the right to change these rules if necessary to comply with any applicable law.


Sponsors will donate a portion of entry fees to Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey.


The Photo Contest begins at Noon EDT on March 23, 2020 and ends at Noon EDT on September 30, 2020 (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible.

  2. Imagessubmitted for the Photo Contest must have been taken by the entrant within the State of New Jersey, preferably on or after January 1, 2019. The image must be the original taken by the entrant/photographer. The entrant represents that the image submitted has not been previously published or previously authorized for publication, except for posting on entrant’s personal electronic accounts. Entrant further represents that the image was not produced by the use of deceptive or surreptitious means without the knowledge or consent of the persons depicted in the picture or in violation of the privacy rights of the owner of the premises depicted in the picture.

All photographs must accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified. Exception: Photos entered in the “Special” category, as described below in paragraph 11.

Entries may originate in any format — including, but not limited to digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically in a .jpg format. Multiple exposures that have been combined to produce a single "High Dynamic Range" image are acceptable. Entries should include metadata if at all possible.

To be eligible for the grand prize and to be published on the cover of New Jersey Monthly magazine, all photo files must be vertical in orientation and delivered in .jpg format. The entry form will accept images up to 10MG. If you are chosen as a finalist, you must be able to provide the image at no less than 300dpi at 8.5 x 11 inches.

  1. Caption Information. Each photo submission must include the following caption information:
  1. Name and/or city of location (example: Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken,)
  2. Telephone number and e-mail address of entrant
  3. Submission category: See section 11
  4. Date that image was taken
  5. Information about camera or device used to create the image
  6. Proposed caption of subject matter
  7. Age and grade level of photographer entering in the Student category. (Based on age and grade of photographer at the time entry is submitted.)
  1. Required Consent Forms.If any photographs submitted for entry depict any identifiable person or child, or any identifiable exterior or interior of privately-owned premises, entrant must obtain Consent Forms and provide them to Sponsors upon request.

Acceptable Consent Forms are available to download here:

  1. Form of written publication authorization (Attachment I) signed by each person depicted in the image, or by the parent of any child under the age of 18 depicted in the image.
  2. Form of written publication authorization (Attachment II) signed by the owner of identifiable exterior or the interior of privately-owned premises. 

  1. Ineligible Images. The following image submissions are ineligible:
  1. Photos that violate or infringe upon another person's privacy rights or copyrights.
  2. Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, or violent content, or other offensive or inappropriate content for a regional magazine cover.
  3. Images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, or damage to the environment by the photographer.
  4. Images that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.

Applicability of the above eligibility standard shall be determined in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsors. 


All images must be submitted via the official Cover Search 2020 web site, and must be accompanied by all required fields, including name, email and other information about your photo submission. Digital images that are sent via U.S. Mail or courier delivery service or email will not be accepted.

Each image application must be accompanied by a $15, non-refundable entry fee, paid by credit card at the time of the entry. Entry fees are not tax deductible.

Photographers may enter as many times as they like. Each photograph entered must meet all requirements and must be accompanied by the entry fee as described above.

Sponsors reserve the right to reject entries that do not comply with these Official Rules. By entering, you indicate your unconditional agreement to, and acceptance of, these Official Rules and Sponsors decisions, which are final and binding. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements in these Official Rules.

If selected as a winning entry, entrants may be asked to supplement their submission (such as with a paragraph about their photo or the highest resolution version of their photo).


Entering of photographs constitutes consent for New Jersey Monthly and Unique Photo to publish and reproduce the photographer’s name, bio and photo in New Jersey Monthly magazine or on the New Jersey Monthly or Unique Photo websites or social media pages or in promotional uses relating to the Photo Contest and/or New Jersey Monthly or Unique Photo.

By submitting an entry, winners agree to allow use of his or her name, and/or photograph, for promoting this contest without compensation, unless prohibited by law. All photographs remain the property of the photographer and may not be used by New Jersey Monthly or Unique Photo except as described in these rules.

By submitting a photograph to enter the Photo Contest, the entrant grants Sponsors a royalty-free, nonexclusive right to:

  1. Display the photograph on any and all Sponsors’ web sites and digital publications.
  2. Allow third parties to share the photograph on social media.
  3. Use the photograph on the Internet and in social media to promote the contest and Sponsor businesses.
  4. Use the photograph in Sponsors’ internal and external communications materials including but not limited to web sites and web publications and printed materials and periodicals.
  5. Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, videos, and the like.
  6. Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name, city and state in promotions and other publications.

Sponsors will endeavor to credit all photographs with the caption "Person's Name" when the full name is available.


Photos will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to life in New Jersey. To be considered as the overall winner, suitability for the cover of New Jersey Monthly also will be considered by the judges. Judging for Category Winners will be at the sole discretion of Sponsors. Judging for the Cover Search 2020 winner will be conducted by a panel to be selected by the Sponsors at their sole discretion (the “Panel”). Entries may be placed or moved into appropriate categories at the sole discretion of the judges. All valid entries will be considered, and winners will be selected in the following categories:

  1. Overall (1 winner and 1 runner-up).
  2. Categories (1 winner and 1 runner-up in each category):
  1. Architecture (including cityscapes, interiors, industrial, transportation, infrastructure, and lighthouses)
  2. Landscape & Nature (including bayfronts, lakes, rivers, sunrises, sunsets, and plant life, but not Wildlife or Jersey Shore photos)
  3. Wildlife (including wild birds, fish, aquatic mammals and animals living wild, but not pets or other domestic or farm animals, which should be entered in the Lifestyle category)
  4. Down the Shore (including all photos taken at Jersey Shore locations)
  5. Lifestyle (including sports, culture, portraits, children, pets and farm animals)
  6. Special (abstract, conceptual, aerial photography, drone photography, night photography, long exposure, digitally manipulated, multiple exposure, multiple images)
  7. Student (7th through 12th grades). Student photos will be judged without regard to category. (Students under the age of 18 must have permission of parents to enter.)
  1. Top Picks – Throughout the contest period, photographs may be selected to appear on as a “Top Pick.” Being a “Top Pick” does not guarantee winning any overall or category prize, or any other prize. No photographer will be chosen as a finalist in more than one (1) category. Photographers may have multiple “Top Picks” selections.

All judging decisions are final. Sponsors will not respond to inquiries about the status of entries or judging.

Sponsors will contact potential winners by email, certified mail or overnight courier to confirm eligibility for winner selection and the prize. If a potential winner is unreachable after seven (7) days, or if the winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment, an alternative winner will be selected. If Sponsors cannot readily find and contact an eligible winner for the prize, that prize will not be awarded.

Potential winner shall be required to obtain and submit CONSENT TO PUBLICATION OF IMAGE OF PERSON signed by each person depicted in the image or the parent of any child under the age of 18 depicted in the image. Potential winner shall be required to obtain and submit CONSENT TO PUBLICATION OF IMAGE OF PRIVATE PREMISES signed by the owner of identifiable exterior or interior of privately-owned premise. Potential winner may also be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility, including proof of age, residency and publication authorization. An entrant will be disqualified as a potential winner if the foregoing documents are not delivered to the Sponsors within 14 days of the potential winner notification, in which case an alternate potential winner may be selected in his/her place.


One (1) Overall GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive:

  • Placement on the Front Cover of the December 2020 issue of New Jersey Monthly or a front cover of an alternate issue.
  • Photographic Equipment Package – Includes Canon DSLR with 24-105mm lens, Manfrotto Tripod and Peak Design Camera Bag
  • Retail Value: $4,500

One (1) Overall RUNNER UP will receive:

  • Sony A7 III with 28-70 mm lens
  • Retail Value: $2,000

Six (7) CATEGORY WINNERS will receive:

  • Architecture: Nikon Z50 with 16-50mm lens (retail value $1,000).
  • Landscape & Nature: Fujifilm X100V (retail value $1,400).
  • Wildlife: Nikon D3500 with 18-55mm lens (retail value $400).
  • Down the Shore: Panasonic GX85 with 23-43mm and 14-150mm lenses (retail value $600).
  • Lifestyle: Olympus PEN E-PL10 Black with 14-42mm lens (retail value $700).
  • Special: Sony RX100 VA (retail value $850).
  • Student: DJI Osmo Mobile 3 (retail value $140) and GoPro Hero 8 (retail value $200).

All Category winners and runners up, plus any other entries at sole discretion of Sponsors, may be considered for inclusion in an article about the Photo Contest in New Jersey Monthly magazine.

Six (7) CATEGORY RUNNERS UP will receive:

  • Gift Cards from Unique Photo.
  • Retail value: $100.

Entrant will retain all rights to any photograph submitted.


Winners may be subject to taxes on the value of prizes; taxes are the sole responsibility of the winners. All information supplied by entrants must be truthful and entries may be disqualified if found to be in violation of this provision. Winners will be required to present proof of identity in order to claim prizes.

In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Photo Contest is impaired or breached in any way, Sponsors may, in their sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Photo Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Photo Contest; or (b) award the prize(s) from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Photo Contest, violates these Official Rules, or acts in a disruptive, deceptive or dishonest manner. Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsors by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsors. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an online entry, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter will be deemed to be the owner. The Photo Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.


By entering, entrant agrees to release Sponsors, and their respective parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of Entrant’s participation in the Photo Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Photo Contest; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) late or undelivered mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Photo Contest; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property. Entrant waives the right to claim any attorneys’ fees and any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.


When entrant enters the Photo Contest, entrant may opt-in to receive emails from Sponsors and their affiliates and partners or clients. This includes special event invitations, digital messages, text and e-newsletters. Entrant may cancel and unsubscribe at any time.


Any information entrant submits as part of the Photo Contest will be used in accordance with Sponsors’ Privacy Policies. Except where prohibited, entrant consents to Sponsors’ use of entrant’s name in any list of winners (if applicable) and for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration.


Entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Photo Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in New Jersey. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Sponsor in connection with the Photo Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of New Jersey, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than New Jersey.


Questions and inquiries about contest rules can be emailed to [email protected]. To request a list of winners, send an email with “Winners List” in the subject line to [email protected] after October 1, 2020, and no later than December 31, 2020.