Enter the Historic Landmarks Commission Photo Contest


​What local images speak to you about the history of Salem?

The Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) is sponsoring its seventh annual Historic Photo Contest in honor of Historic Preservation Month, May 2021. Enter the contest to capture your place in history.

Submit your photos online at https://bit.ly/hlcphoto2021 or on Instagram with the hashtag #salemHLC2021 by April 12. You'll be required to sign a photo release form.

The new hashtag represents a change started at the national level. The Historic Landmarks Commission has been holding a local version of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "This Place Matters" campaign since 2014. In 2020, the National Trust retired "This Place Matters" out of respect for the Black Lives Matter movement and the important message behind it. They now encourage the use of #SavingPlaces or #TellTheFullStory. The Historic Landmarks Commission wants to continue to celebrate historic sites in Salem through the annual photo contest with the new #salemHLC2021 identifyer.

The Commission is looking for photos highlighting Salem's historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places that matter to Salem residents. This contest is for amateur and professional photographers of all ages.

An age group of 18 years and younger has been established to encourage the young people of Salem to participate. These entries will be judged separately from adult entries. Youth and adult winners will be selected for each photo category.

 HLC photo contest categories:

  • Best Historic Interior
  • Best Historic Exterior
  • Best Historic Landscape/Streetscape/Feature (e.g. bridge, tree, etc.)
  • Best Selfie with a Historic Feature or building
  • Best Pet Portrait with a Historic Feature or building

Prizes will be given for the top entries and an honorable mention will be awarded in each category. In addition, the Historic Landmark Commission chair will give an award their favorite photo.

The Commission will vote on the winning submissions at its April 15, 2021, meeting. Contest winners will be recognized at the May 20, 2021, meeting.

Contest guidelines

  • Photos must be taken in Salem, Oregon.
  • You are allowed to enter one photo per category highlighting your favorite historic buildings, places, and neighborhoods.
  • Photo entries are meant to celebrate historic sites and do not need to be of places that are in danger of being lost.
  • Judging is based heavily on:
  • Originality includes the choice of subject or the approach to a standard subject
  • Story/mood is how well the submission conveys the importance of Salem's history.
  • All submissions are due by April 12, 2021.
  • To submit, fill out the entry form and attach your photo at this link: https://bit.ly/hlcphoto2021
  • To submit via Instagram:
    • Follow @cityofsalemoregon on Instagram.
    • Tag us, @cityofsalemoregon, on the photo and use the hashtag #salemHLC2021.
    • Staff will direct message participants a link to the release form. Instagram entries without a signed release form will not be considered.
  • Including the phrase "Saving Places" or "Tell the Full Story" as text on the photo is optional.
  • To mail your entries, or ask questions, please contact City of Salem Staff:

Kimberli Fitzgerald (503-540-2397) or Zachery Cardoso (503-540-2304)
Historic Photo Contest
City of Salem Planning Division
555 Liberty ST SE, RM 305
Salem OR 97301


Contact us

Kimberli FitzgeraldHistoric Preservation Officer
Follow us