Submissions open for second Dowagiac photography contest

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Last summer, city officials asked locals and visitors of the Grand Old City to submit pictures that captured the natural beauty of Dowagiac.

Starting Friday, people can again share their images taken in the city — only this time, the city is looking for photos that capture the man-made exquisiteness of the community.

The city is now accepting submissions for its second Focus on Dowagiac online photography contest. For this second rendition, both residents and nonresidents alike can submit photos they have taken of Dowagiac’s architectural elements, such pictures of local buildings, fencing or other structures, said contest organizer Bobbie Jo Hartline.

“It can be a picture of an entire building or just one brick…whatever you find beautiful or eye catching,” Hartline said. “Whatever you find to be an appealing design, we encourage you to take a picture of it.”

Like the previous photo contest, the city will be selecting the 11 best photos submitted to the online contest, located on the city’s Facebook page. These pictures will be selected based on a public vote via visitors to the Facebook page as well as input from a panel of judges, comprised of city officials, Hartline said.

The top entries will be printed out, enlarged, matted and framed for display outside the city council chamber located on the second floor of city hall, with each picture featuring the name of the person who took it. The top photo will also be featured in a yearlong photo gallery, joining the top placers in the city’s other three photo contests, Hartline said.

This is the second of four photography contests the city plans on sponsoring this year. The first, which took place last summer, featured photos of local parks — the next two contests lined up for the remainder of the year will look for pictures depicting city landmarks and public sculptures, respectively.

From Dowagiac’s Victorian-inspired downtown structures to the pair of old brick mansions located at opposite ends of town, the city officials responsible for the contest figured having a category based on architecture would not only highlight the beauty of the city, but also its rich history, Hartline said.

“It seems like a good fit for one of the characteristics that makes Dowagiac so unique,” she said.

People who choose to submit a photo for the contest can do so now through March 31 by visiting the city Facebook page,, and clicking on the “Focus on Dowagiac — Architecture” tab located below the cover photo near the top of page. People can submit up to three pictures for the contest, uploading the images directly to the page.

Photos uploaded to the page can be from anytime or season of the year, so long as they relate to the theme. While there are no formal image requirements, organizers ask that people submit high-resolution photos, if possible, Hartline said.

People who do not have digital versions of their photos or lack access to the Internet can contact city hall, where organizers can arrange to post the pictures themselves.

Public voting on the submissions will begin April 4, and run through April 15. The winners will be announced April 18.