Gov. Doug Burgum announced the winning photographs and honorable mentions of the 16th annual North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest at a recent ceremony in Memorial Hall of the North Dakota Capitol.

Zachary Hargrove's "Stormy Sunset" was chosen Best in Show and the Scenery category winner. The image also was selected as the Best of the Decade in recognition of the 10th anniversary of AAA North Dakota's co-sponsorship of the annual contest.

“Today we recognize those individuals who have captured North Dakota’s scenic beauty through the camera lens and shared it with all of us through the North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest,” Burgum said. “The chosen photos represent the best of more than 1,000 entries submitted for the annual contest.”

This year’s contest drew 1,061 submissions, bringing the total number of photos submitted to the contest to more than 14,500. The 2019 winning photos will be on display during October, November and December at the Capitol.

Photos were judged on originality, subject matter, visual appeal and ability to portray North Dakota as a legendary travel destination in the categories of adventure and recreation, places to visit, communities and events, fun with family and friends, scenery and wildlife.

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The North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest is a collaborative program between the Governor’s Office, North Dakota Tourism, North Dakota Council on the Arts and AAA North Dakota.

This was the ninth year that photographers could submit photos online through image and video hosting site Flickr. Top category photographers received a $200 cash prize for each winning photo and will have their work featured in North Dakota Tourism’s marketing materials, along with even greater exposure through contest partner AAA. The Best of Show winner received an additional $300 cash prize and a free, one-year basic membership to AAA. Honorable mention winners received $50 and may also have their images featured in the state’s tourism marketing materials.

The Governor’s Photo Contest is held annually and is open to all North Dakota amateur photographers. Next year’s contest will begin in May 2020.

2019 Governor’s Photo Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions

Best of Show

Winning Photograph: “Stormy Sunset.” Zachary Hargrove, Bismarck.

Adventure and Recreation

Winning Photograph: “Sleepy Hollow.” Mike Renner, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Shooting Star over Pretty Point Yurt.” Johnathon Campbell, Bismarck.

Communities and Events

Winning Photograph: “Dawning.” Zachary Hargrove, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Fort Seward Wagon Train.” Lisa Lang, Buchanan.

Fun with Family and Friends

Winning Photograph: “Kids in Jamestown Arts Park.” Lisa Lang, Buchanan. Honorable Mention: “Walk with Daddy.” Sandy Seefeldt, Fargo. Honorable Mention: “Wind Canyon Memories.” Jon Godfread, Bismarck.

Road Trips

Winning Photograph: “Traffic.” Rebecca Raber, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Geese in Flight.” Scott Archer, Bismarck.


Winning Photograph: “Stormy Sunset.” Zachary Hargrove, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Autumn on the Red.” Duane Strand, Wahpeton.


Winning Photograph: “Bison at Daybreak.” Mike Hanson, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Eared Grebe with Chicks at McKenzie Slough.” Kevin Hice, Washburn. Honorable Mention: “Golden Hour Rooster.” Tom Wirtz, Bismarck.

Governors Photo Contest Decade’s Best

Winning Photograph: “Stormy Sunset.” Zachary Hargrove, Bismarck. Honorable Mention: “Pintail.” Steve Silseth, Minot, 2018. Honorable Mention: “Sailing Dreams.” Josiah Kopp, Beulah, 2017.

Governor’s Photo Contest Winners can also be viewed at