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Capture the Heart of Highland Park

November 1, 2023 -- Highland Park is known throughout the North Shore for its spirit, leadership, and passion. Annually, the City seeks to illustrate the character of the community and capture the vibrancy of Highland Park through a Community Photo Contest. The contest is open to all residents of Highland Park (professional and hobbyist). Entries will be accepted from November 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023. 

Photos will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Arts & Architecture: Public art/sculpture, urban design, cityscapes & landmarks.
  2. Environmental: Sustainable practices, open spaces, parks & wildlife.
  3. Daily Life: Working/learning from home, new hobbies, or projects.

Photographers may submit up to 3 photographs per category. Photographs should have been taken over the past year (since October 2022.) Photographs that have been previously submitted to the contest are ineligible. As the photography contest is a celebration of what makes our community so vibrant, photographs should feature places in Highland Park. 

All submissions will be posted to the City’s website, and the community at large will have an opportunity to vote in an interactive poll to choose the "Community Favorite."

Participants may submit multiple photos and will be prompted to select a particular category for submission. Photographers must submit a photo release and waiver form. Photographs should be entered through the submission form.

The Cultural Arts Advisory Group will consider submissions in each category and select the winners. Winning photos in each category will be announced in spring 2024, and winners will be honored at the Highland Park Awards Ceremony. Winning photos may be featured in the Highlander, on the City website, and on the City’s social media.

For more information, please contact the City at 847.926.1000 or

May 5, 2023 -- Congratulations to the winners of the Capture the Heart of Highland Park photography contest! The Cultural Arts Advisory Group reviewed nearly one hundred submissions across three categories in selecting the winners and honorable mentions. The Community Favorite was selected by a popular vote open to all community members earlier this year. Winners will be recognized at an upcoming City Council meeting, and the Cultural Arts Advisory Group is planning to host displays of the winning photographs throughout the City - more information to come.

Many thanks to all the photographers who shared their work with us this year!

Winning Photographs

Arts & Architecture:
Downtown Train Station Crossing by Marla Schachtel
Downtown Train Station Crossing (1)

Daily Life: West Ridge Winter Scene by Eric Freibrun
West Ridge Park Winter Scene (1)

Environmental: Rise with Teeth by Lynn West
Rise with Teeth

Community Favorite: Peak Foliage at the Preserve by Julie Jacobson
Peak Foliage at the Preserve

Honorable Mentions

The Cultural Arts Advisory Group also selected honorable mentions in the three major categories. Please note that the honorable mentions in the Arts and Daily Life categories include imagery of the Highland Park shooting. The Arts honorable mention is a photograph of the memorial art installation located at the intersection of St. Johns and Central; the Daily Life honorable mention is a photograph depicting two small children looking west on Central Ave. from the train crossing. Personal belongings left along the far eastern side of the route and police tape are visible.

Depictions of the Highland Park shooting may be a reminder of trauma for survivors. Free and confidential multilingual assistance is available from trained navigators who can connect you with local available resources to manage trauma 24/7 via 211 Lake County (United Way of Lake County). Visit, call 211, or text your zip code to 898211.

Art & Architecture: HP Strong by Monroe Pfeffer
pfeffer_HPstrong - mo

Daily LifeJuly 5th by Anna Wenger
July 5th_Wenger - Anna Wenger - Copy

EnvironmentalGreat Blue Heron by Robert Limoges
Great Blue Heron at Retention Pond - Copy - Copy