Visitors Bureau Seeks Entries for 12th Annual Photo Contest

Cash prizes awarded for top three in four categories

LAUREL HIGHLANDS, PA., (February 16, 2016) – The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau® (LHVB) invites photographers to enter the 2016 Laurel Highlands Photo Contest. 

“The old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ still holds true,” said Anna Weltz, Director of Public Relations. “Photos can share a complex idea in a single still image, stir emotion, and invoke a memory. We are seeking photos to tell the story of Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands. The photos can range from landscapes and wildlife to families having fun at a local attraction. Our region has such a wealth of beauty and excitement to share with visitors, the possibilities are endless.”

A panel of judges, including professional photographers and a member of the LHVB staff, will select the top images, which will be published in the bureau’s 2017 Destination Guide and displayed in special exhibits at high-profile locations in the Laurel Highlands. First place in each of the four categories will receive $500; second place $200; and third place $100. Winning photos may also be featured on the bureau’s award-winning website (, billboards and more. 

Photographer Brenda Schwartz of Hidden Valley has participated in the contest for the last several years and her stunning images of the Laurel Highlands have been featured in the Destination Guide and on billboards overlooking the Pennsylvania Turnpike. 

“I entered the contest for the first time because I thought it would be cool to have a photo in a magazine,” said Schwartz. “In 2015, a photo that I took was chosen not only for the back cover of the LHVB Destination Guide, but also for an LHVB billboard. The best part was that it was a photo of one of my daughters. I will always remember how excited my daughter Samantha and I were when we drove by billboard for the first time. She told me it was one of the coolest things to ever happen to her, which of course made me feel fabulous.”

2016 Destination Guide Cover Only photos taken in the Laurel Highlands (Pennsylvania’s Fayette, Somerset, or Westmoreland counties) will be eligible. Use of watermarks on the photo is prohibited. Photo entry categories include: 

Category 1: People
Category 2: Plants and Animals (Nature)
Category 3: Places (Attractions and Landscapes)
Category 4: Altered Images (use of visual effects such as colorizing, toning, photo filters, HDR, etc.)

Photos that have been manipulated will automatically be placed in Category 4 - Altered Images. Please refrain from submitting collages, composite images, and images that have been digitally transformed with special effects in the Altered Images Category.

Deadline for submissions is Sunday, July 31, 2016. Please name files as such: "Photographer's Name, Photograph Location, Town Name" (ex: John Smith, Living Treasures Animal Park, Donegal)

Please attach one high-quality image per submission; participants may submit an unlimited number of images for the contest. Photos of private property are not eligible. Black and white photos will not be accepted, only full-color, high-quality images will be eligible. Only high-quality digital photo submissions will be accepted for the contest. 

For complete details and to upload photos for consideration, please visit or call (724) 238-5661. 

About the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau®:
The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau® is a destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania. Established in 1958, the LHVB implements year-round seasonal marketing campaigns throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to enhance awareness of the Laurel Highlands as a travel destination, which increases overnight stays, generates jobs and contributes to the economic growth and quality of life for the region. 
The visitors bureau and its partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose the Laurel Highlands through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services. Destinations within the area include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater ®, Kentuck Knob and Duncan House; Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and so much more. 
Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
To discover all that the Laurel Highlands has to offer, please call (724) 238-5661 or visit, and
Check out the 2016 Laurel Highlands Destination Guide!