KICK OFF: New contest seeks amateurs’ best sunset photos

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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NATCHEZ – Amateurs can win $500 in a new monthly photo contest celebrating the beauty of Natchez’s river bluff sunsets.

The contest, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said, is not just for Natchez residents but people from all over the region and the world who visit the city, “known for our sunsets.”

“Right behind our historic bandstand is where quite possibly more sunset photographs have been taken than anywhere else in the south,” Gibson said at the announcement of this contest on Thursday morning on the bluff. “Right here, in the oldest city on the highest bluff on the mighty Mississippi River, the sunsets don’t get any better.”

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Gibson said Natchez physician Dr. Randy Tillman offered to pay the monthly winner of the photo competition $500, beginning May 2024 to April 30, 2025.

To host this contest, the City of Natchez in partnership with Visit Natchez and ArtsNatchez curated a website for locals and tourists alike to submit their best shots of Natchez’s breathtaking river view sunsets.

From the shimmering waters of the Mississippi River to the historic architecture that graces the city skyline, Natchez provides endless opportunities for photographers to capture stunning images.

“We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Natchez’s stunning nightly spectacle through our monthly ‘Sunset Capital of The South’ photo contest,” Gibson said. “Natchez sunsets are truly a sight to behold, and we look forward to seeing the creativity and talent of our community on display.”

Participants are encouraged to submit photos showcasing various aspects of Natchez at the Magic Sunset Hour, including the river, bridge, bandstand, Under the Hill, people, pets, events, aerial views, and more.

Gibson said with each entry, those submitting the photo must check a box that would allow the city to share their photos and publicize them on the web. However, the photographer will retain the rights to their photo.

“We are not going to sell it,” Gibson said. All submissions will be publicized, allowing photographers to share their work with a broader audience and contribute to promoting Natchez as a premier destination.

Graciously, Gibson said Natchez Coffee Co. has offered half off of a coffee or beverage to anyone who enters the contest.

Each month, a winner will be selected by a panel of judges chosen by Arts Natchez, a local arts organization dedicated to promoting creativity and cultural enrichment in the community. While professional photographers are welcome to submit to the showcase, they are not eligible for cash prizes.

“Through this contest, we aim to highlight Natchez’s greatest asset – its stunning sunsets – and showcase the talent and creativity of our residents,” said Leon Hollis of Arts Natchez, representing Arts Natchez. “The Bluff is not just a great spot for a photo op — it’s the evening gathering to reflect, stroll, and chat with old and new friends.”

To enter the contest and for more information on submission guidelines, please visit or contact Leon Hollis, Arts Natchez at (601) 334-0987.