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City Pages photo contest: Get prizes for your great amateur photography

It's as easy as point and click.

It's as easy as point and click.

In the age of Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, everyone is a photographer. The internet is awash in amateur photography. Much of it is easily passed by and forgotten. But some of us are actually pretty damn good at it, and those photos deserve recognition.

City Pages is announcing the launch of a photo contest to highlight the best photos Minnesotans are taking, be it by iPhone or the fancy new Canon you're trying out. We want to bring attention to all the great pics that you're already sharing out there. If they're good enough for your friends, they're good enough for us.

Beautiful nature scenes, candid portraits, youth sports, local music, street scenes. Whatever you got, we want it.

What's in it for you? Aside from pride and some measure of regional fame — the winning photo and select runners-up will be published on citypages.com, and shared on our Instagram feed — we're also handing out sweet prizes.

This edition's winner gets a pair of free tickets to the Cherub show at First Avenue on Friday, February 26. Future prizes will be announced at the time of the next photo contest launch. 

A few ground rules:

1.) Photos must be otherwise unpublished. This doesn't disqualify something that you've already rushed out on Twitter or Instagram. But it does mean that if your photo was already bought by National Geographic, you can't submit the same one for our contest.

2.) Photos should be recent. We know you love that photo you took of Hubert Humphrey catching a loon with his bare hands. We love it too. But you can't dig into the archives to win our game. Photos must be taken during this calendar year — 2016, if you have suffered a recent head injury — in order to quailfy.

3.) Selfies and photos of your pet, baby, or delicious-looking dinner count. But they're going to have to be mighty fine to win the grand prize. Should your pet or baby somehow take a selfie, you are allowed to submit this as your entry, though fairness dictates you should share the prize.

4.) City Pages editors will vote to determine the winner. And we won't play favorites. We have very few friends to begin with, and we're not so sure about them, anyway.

5.) Photos must be submitted by the deadline of 9 p.m. Sunday, February 21.  So go crazy this weekend and send us your best results. The winner and runners-up will be announced Monday, February 22, and we'll contact the winner directly with details on how to pick up the free concert tickets. 

That's it. Submit photos by emailing them to web editor Mike Rietmulder at [email protected] with subject line "Photo contest," or by messaging the City Pages Facebook page or @ing us at the @citypages Twitter account

Go ahead, Minnesota. Shoot us your best shots.