March Madness Photo Showdown

In light of lots of positive feedback following last years inaugural contest, the March Madness Photo Showdown is back again in '22... with a brand new twist. This time, your votes will help me to select my submissions for this summer's Iowa State Fair.

Beginning Sunday, March 20 and running through early April I’ll be pitting thirty-two of my nature and landscape photos- including many never before shared images, head to head in an elimination style tournament. The early rounds will feature themed divisions which coincide with the four categories I plan to enter at the fair. (The final two rounds will match divisional winners to determine the best of the best.) Your votes will determine which photos advance through each round, and will once again get you entered in prize drawings along the way.

Here’s how it works-

The contest starts out with 32 photos in four divisions based on state fair categories: Iowa Places and Landscapes, U.S. Places and Landscapes, Black and White Landscape, and "The Open Road," which is this year's special themed division. The photos are unseeded this year, and the divisional pairings are random. These match-ups will be posted at the links below, to my blog, and across my social media channels, at the following schedule-

March 20: Contest Announcement

March 21-24: Round 1 (CLICK HERE TO VIEW MATCHUPS)

March 26-27: Round 2

March 29-30: Divisional Championship Round

April 1: Semi-Final Round

April 3: Championship

April 4: Overall Winner Announced

At the end of each round votes will be tallied to determine which photos move on, and we’ll continue to work through the eliminations until the divisional winners are chosen, and an overall champion is crowned.

To vote, you can sign up HERE to receive a list of pairings by email, or follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) and watch for posts through the duration of the contest. Simply select your favorite of the two competing images before the listed deadline and by the means described for each platform below, and for every vote or other qualifying action you will earn an entry in the prize drawings. One $25 gift certificate good toward anything on my website or at an in-person show will be awarded at the conclusion of each round, and one winner for a $50 gift certificate will be drawn from all entrants at the conclusion of the tournament. The more you vote (you can participate across multiple platforms) the more entries you get, and the better your chances to win!

Ways to Participate-

There is no limit to entries and the more you vote, the better your odds. As mentioned, to vote just follow my social media pages, sign up for email updates (or both) and pick your favorite in each match up. Easy as that. It’s free to anybody and all are welcome to join in. You can earn additional entries by helping me to promote the contest with likes and shares as described below. For each round, I will assign you contest entries based on your level of participation. For example, if in Round 1 you vote in three matchups on Facebook, five matchups on Instagram, and reply with an email listing your picks of all 16 matchups for that round, you will be awarded 24 total entries for that round (3 + 5 + 16.) If you do that, and also comment with your choices on two Twitter posts, plus retweet one of those posts, your entries will be 27 (24 from the actions first described, plus three more entry points for the Twitter engagements.) I will be using an app for the drawings that will assign weighted values based on your number of entries (and to avoid carpel tunnel from writing names on that many little slips of paper.)

Participation per Platform-

Facebook- To begin with, if you haven’t already please give my Josh Meier Photography Facebook page a like. Then just watch for posts in the coming weeks. I will share the matchups individually, spaced throughout the contest period, and to vote on your favorite simply leave a comment, or like whichever you prefer of the two. I will also award you an entry for every post that you share, so have at it. Just be sure to direct your friends to like my page and vote on the original post so I don’t miss anybody.

Instagram- Again, for starters please give my Instagram page a follow (you can find me at joshmeierphotography, or click HERE.) Then just watch for my posts, and comment which of the two photos shown is your favorite.

Twitter- Start off my giving me a Twitter follow @joshmeierphoto Then just leave a comment on any respective post to vote for your favorite between the images shown. You will also earn additional entry points for every post that you Retweet.

Email- To participate by email, start off my subscribing to my contest mailing list HERE. Not to worry, I won’t share your information with any third parties and the mailings will only last through the contest period. The actual entry process here is a bit old fashioned, by comparison, but I want to make sure this contest is accessible to everyone, not just social media users. So once you’ve signed up, at the beginning of each round I will send out an email with links to the various divisions and matchups as we work our way through the tournament. The link will direct you to my website, where you’ll land on a blog post showing the current pairings. Get a pen and paper, note the title of which photo you prefer in each matchup, then send me an email with your selections. Like I say, you can participate on all platforms- so even if you are active on social media you can definitely still take part through email too. In fact, I’d encourage it, as it’s probably the best way to avoid missing any of the action. Social media algorithms are not our friends when there's no money in it for them. (Please note- if you have signed up but don’t receive emails beginning March 20, or in line with any of the other scheduled dates, please check your junk or other preference folders to see if the messages have been filtered there.)

And of course, you will earn entry points for all of the selections that you make, regardless of if that choice is the one to actually advance. You do not have to correctly guess which photo will win. I'm only interested in which you like better.


At the conclusion of each of the first four rounds, one name will randomly been drawn from all of that rounds entries for a $25 Josh Meier Photography gift certificate. At the conclusion of the contest (after the fifth and final round of voting) one name will be drawn from all contest entries, and that person awarded a $50 gift card. $25 round winners are still eligible for subsequent drawings- so keep voting!

Iowa State Fair-

This may come as a surprise to some, but the annual Iowa State Fair photography salon is actually a pretty high caliber contest. Photographers are allowed up to four entries each year. Thousands of entries are submitted from all over the nation, but less than 25% are accepted for display. It's an honor just to have a single photo chosen for exhibition, and the very small number (usually just a few) of photographers to get all four of their entries displayed in a given year receive special recognition. I've never received that award, but it's one of my longstanding photography goals.

The photos in this contest are all options that I'm considering for entry this year, and I'm eager for input and to let your votes help me decide which to submit. I will use the divisional winners from this contest, with only a few caveats. First is print quality. Translating a digital image to print can be challenging at times, and in some cases an image that looks stunning backlit on a computer just doesn't come out well on paper. I always try my best to match this output, and will here too... but if by chance I'm just unable to get a winning image to come out right, I'll defer to another that received high votes. Additionally, the state fair submission deadline is in June, so there's a good chance I will come up with new material for consideration between now and then.If I photograph something this spring that I believe to be far superior to one of the divisional contest winner, I may choose to enter that instead. Otherwise, hopefully state fair goers will see some of these images on display in Des Moines next August!

I think that covers everything. Just be watching for those posts and emails… thanks for taking part, and GOOD LUCK!!!