Monday, October 17, 2022 - 03:34 pm

Gov. Doug Burgum along with North Dakota Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman, North Dakota Council on the Arts Executive Director Kim Konikow and Director of North Dakota AAA Gene LaDoucer today presented the winning submissions from the 19th annual North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest at the Morton Mandan Public Library.

Launched in 2004, the Governor’s Photo Contest encourages North Dakota amateur photographers to submit photos that capture the unique things to see and do in North Dakota.

“Today we celebrate these talented photographers who captured the essence of what makes North Dakota a great place to visit, live, work and raise a family,” Burgum said. “They do a fantastic job of highlighting the wide-open spaces, world-class outdoor adventures, and diverse opportunities available in our communities.” 

Photographers submitted photos to one or more of the following categories: Recreation, Road Trips, Badlands Scenery, Beyond the Badlands Scenery and Wildlife. Winning submissions will be published in North Dakota Tourism’s promotional materials.  

“The Governor’s Photo contest winners continue to provide stunning imagery that inspires travel and encourages visitors and residents to experience our vibrant communities,” Otte Coleman said. “The road trip category ties directly to our recent marketing efforts and we look forward to using these fresh photos to inspire more trips.”

This year the contest had a total of 471 entries from 79 photographers, with a limit of 10 entries per photographer. Since 2004, the annual contest has received more than 17,600 photos. 

Prints of the winning images will be on display through the end of the year at the Morton Mandan Public Library and the Mandan Progress Organization’s office and will be viewable during the Mandan Holiday Lights on Main event.

“Photography can capture moments that lead us to be present while exploring our world, in this case North Dakota!” Konikow said. “We are happy to be a partner of this contest.”

AAA has been a proud sponsor of the Governor’s Photo contest for the past 14 years providing prizes and exposure for winning photographers.

“As AAA was built around the love of travel, this contest is a unique opportunity to support North Dakota photographers who have a unique talent for capturing images that inspire the desire for travel and adventure in others,” LaDoucer said.

2022 Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism 


Festivals and Events:
Honorable Mention:
Oakes Parade by Jacob Just, Bismarck

Category Winner:
Long Live Cowgirls by Angie Waletzko, Lisbon


Honorable Mentions:
On the Edge by Joleyn Larson, Mandan
Sunset Rider by Savannah Joy, Hazen
Family Ice Fishing Fun by Laura Gardner, Washburn

Category Winner:
Date Night by Joleyn Larson, Mandan


Honorable Mention:
Cool Waters by Mary Lizakowski, Minto

Category Winner:
Living the Dream by Laura Gardner, Washburn


Honorable Mentions:
Blooming Sunflowers at Sunset by Carmel Meier, Fargo
Aurora Midnight Train by Suanne Kallis, Carrington
Hiking to the Sheyenne River Valley by Roxanne Westman, Mapleton

Category Winner:
Ice on the Rocks by Laura Gardner, Washburn


Vibrant Communities:

Honorable Mention:
Under the Twilight Sky by Dan Francis, Fargo

Category Winner:
The Great Race Ends in Fargo by Roxanne Westman, Mapleton



Honorable Mentions:
I Have My Eye On You by Jeremy Witte, Dickinson
Sunrise Pintails by Greg Kolden, Bismarck

Category Winner:
Catch of the Day by Lisa Buchweitz, Langdon


Under 18 Honorable Mention:
Peekaboo by 12-year-old Grey Ulrickson, Minot


Best in Show:
Ice on the Rocks by Laura Gardner, Washburn


Find descriptions of all winners and honorable mentions along with the complete gallery at