In Charleston, the tides tell the time. Dawn dances on the ocean and through the palmetto tree fronds – a glimpse into the day ahead. The past shines brightly through architecture and cobblestone streets leading to cutting-edge cocktails poured by a new friend. Some call it hospitality. We call it the endless welcome.

“Folks think of Charleston as a small town, and that’s true if you’re just looking at the numbers. But when you consider history, culture, food, and charm, this city punches like a giant. You’ve heard of the eats scene, no doubt—the city’s biggest draw these days, and one that routinely exceeds the hype. Not only can you get world-class barbecue, seafood, and regional Lowcountry classics; you can get them done extraordinarily well in both traditional and modern interpretations. And in extraordinary settings. Everywhere you look, the city has a gorgeous mansion or cobblestone street to explore—the most elegant version of Southern charm, juxtaposed with contemporary art and snappy street fashion. The city’s roots may be its rich Southern history, but Charleston stands fully in the now.” – Conde Nast Traveler



The Readers’ Choice Award winner will be announced in the October 2021 issue in our “Talk of the Town” section, and the winning photographer will receive a $200 prize.

Voting Rounds:

Round 1: August 1-August 16, 2021 – The Top 12 move on to Round 2. (Previous votes are deleted and all 12 start over at 0.)

Round 2: August 17-August 31, 2021 – The Readers’ Choice winner will be selected among the Top 12.

This contest is for amateur and professional photographers.

You may submit up to five photographs in one category. You may not submit photos in both categories.

Each category will be judged separately by a panel of publishing and photography experts, and the finalists will be featured in the August 2021 issue of Charleston magazine. The panel will select a winner in each category; each winner will receive a $400 prize, to be paid 90 days after publication of the August 2021 issue.

Additionally, Charleston magazine will host an online Readers’ Choice award at That winner will be announced on the October 2021 “Talk of the Town” page and receive a $200 prize.

All submitted photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this contest. All digital files must be 6 megabytes or smaller, in JPEG or .jpg format, and at least 1,600 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,600 pixels tall (if a vertical image). The photographers of the images selected as finalists will be asked to provide the RAW or original camera file (minimum 3,000 pixels wide).

Entrants grant to Charleston magazine the right to use and publish their name and photograph in print and online, including websites and social media for @charlestonmag and @verycharleston. The contest and all of the related pages, contents, and code are copyright of Charleston magazine. Copying or unauthorized use of any copyrighted materials, trademarks, or any other intellectual property without the express written consent of its owner is strictly prohibited.

Photographers submitting in the amateur category grant to Explore Charleston (Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau) the right to use and publish their name and photograph in print and online, including websites and social media, for up to three years with no additional consideration. Photographers waive any liability or claims against Charleston Magazine, Dez Inc. or related parties/officers/employees for entry into the Images of Charleston contest, including such photo usage by Dez Inc. or Explore Charleston.

Entrants agree to abide by the terms of these official rules and by the decisions of the contest administrators.

Check out the August 2021 “Images of Charleston” print feature here


A big congratulations to Doug Barnard, whose shot “Palmetto Holiday” is the Readers’ Choice Award winner of our 2021 Images of Charleston Photo Contest, presented by Explore Charleston!

Palmetto Holiday - Doug Barnard
Palmetto Holiday – Doug Barnard

Top 12 Finalists