Funeralwise Photo Contests

We sponsor periodic photo contests that encourage us to think about funeral or death-related events from a different angle. They also give us the chance to pay our respects to those who have gone before us and to honor both our national and everyday heroes. We encourage everyone to participate, either by entering or by voting. And once you are done, take a moment to check out our free funeral planning tools.

2016 Capturing Memorial Day Photo Contest

Memorial Day Photo Contest
Photo by Richard Crosby

$500 Grand Prize for the best cemetery image evoking the meaning of Memorial Day

About the Contest invites photographers across the U.S. to participate in its 2016 Capture Memorial Day Photo Contest. The contest will recognize and reward photographers whose images convey the meaning and emotion associated with Memorial Day in cemeteries across the United States.

A panel of judges will select at least twelve (12) finalists from the images submitted to the contest site by the June 6, 2016, entry deadline. The exact number of entries will depend on the number and quality of photos submitted. The contest will open for voting on June 11, 2016. Voting will close on June 21, 2016.

What is the Meaning of Memorial Day?

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, unofficially started during the Civil War as a day of remembrance for those who died in military service. Ladies in both Northern and Southern communities decorated soldiers’ graves, tapping into the general human need to honor our dead. Today, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May, falling this year on May 30, 2016.

In a May 2, 2000, memorandum calling for a National Moment of Remembrance, President Clinton said, “Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.”

Photo Requirements

Photos must be taken in a cemetery, although they need not be taken specifically on Memorial Day. However, keep in mind that many cemeteries have special Memorial Day ceremonies and cemetery grounds are at their best. Also, there are typically many visitors to cemeteries on Memorial Day and the preceding weekend. Nonetheless, Memorial Day decorations generally remain on cemetery grounds after the holiday and can be photographed on succeeding days. Photographers may “stage” a Memorial Day scene at a cemetery as well. We suggest checking with the cemetery in advance to get their schedule for the holiday.

All photos must be submitted on the photo contest page in digital (i.e., JPEG or JPG) format but they need not be taken with a digital camera — high-quality scans of non-digital photographs will be accepted. Both professional and amateur photographers may enter the contest. Photographers are responsible for obtaining releases from the cemetery and from any individual whose image is recognizable in the photo. Use the release forms provided for download at the bottom of this page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since photographs will be taken on cemetery grounds, care should be taken to avoid visibly capturing the names and identities that appear on grave markers. Digital distortion of the names on headstones and other grave markers will be allowed on submitted photos.

Contest Deadline

All photos must be submitted by midnight, June 6, 2016, Central Daylight Time.

How to Enter

Entries must be submitted on the Funeralwise contest page

Valid entries consist of the following:

  1. Photograph images submitted in digital files (JPEG or JPG) as email attachments. Up to 3 entries per person are permitted.
  2. Photographer’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address.
  3. Photo caption including description (if applicable), and name and location of cemetery in which the photo was taken.


Voting on the finalist photos will open on June 11, 2016, and close on June 21, 2016. Voting is limited to one vote per person per day.

Contest Rules

Check out the Official Rules for more information and detailed instructions on how to enter. You must be 18 years old to enter.

Are you a cemetery representative? Find out how your cemetery can participate in the contest.

For more information, send an email to

Rules and Release Form Downloads

Following are important documents in PDF format for download.

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