First-ever Aspen Photo Challenge kicks off Monday |

First-ever Aspen Photo Challenge kicks off Monday

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association is partnering with Outside Magazine to launch its first-ever Aspen Photo Challenge.
Red Mountain Productions/Courtesy photo |

It’s 6 a.m. at the Maroon Bells — one of the most photographed peaks in North America — and about 50 photographers fiddle with their tripods as they brave the chilly air on a recent morning.

Photographers travel from all over the world to capture Aspen’s beauty from behind their lenses, and with its electric gold leaves and lush green life amid snow-capped peaks, the fall season is no exception.

But perhaps no one better knows where to get the best shot than the local photographers who live, play and work in the Elk Mountains.

As a tribute to the talented pool of local photographers, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association is partnering with Outside Magazine to launch its first-ever Aspen Photo Challenge.

The goal of the challenge is to portray the town through the lenses of local photographers, said Greg Fitzsimmons of Promo Communications, the Aspen-based public relations firm that represents the chamber.

Ten local photographers will compete in the 51/2-day challenge, which requires them to capture and submit photos across three designated categories:

On the trail: Hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, floating, stand-up paddleboarding, etc.

Around town: Dining, nightlife, families, parks, arts and culture, etc.

Nature: No people, just scenery — wildflowers, rivers, peaks, yellow aspen leaves, etc.

As part of the challenge requirements, the photos can only be taken between the official start Monday and the deadline of noon Saturday, said Promo Communications account executive Melissa Wisenbaker.

Furthermore, all photographers must submit five to 10 photos per each category.

“From photographers who have graced the covers and pages of big-time magazines like National Geographic and Skiing Magazine to Instagram photogs with amazing images to burgeoning photographers, … I’m blown away by the breadth of photographic talent in Aspen,” said Fitzsimmons, who served as the brainchild behind the inaugural photo challenge.

“What sets Aspen apart from other mountain resorts is the year-round community of locals who have planted roots here,” said Wisenbaker, adding that the photo challenge offers them another platform to share their content.

An awards ceremony at Belly Up will cap off the Aspen Photo Challenge from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The community is invited to attend the party, which will include a slideshow of all the photo submissions and an announcement of the winners (with the exception of the “Crowd Favorite” winner, which people may vote on through mid-November).

The official event hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is #AspenPhotoChallenge.

For more information or to view submissions to the Aspen Photo Challenge, visit

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