CSSA Cover Shot Photo Contest – 2024

The 2024 Contest has concluded — stay tuned for results

Do you love taking pictures of cacti and succulents? Enter our annual photo contest to get your photo on the cover of the Journal and win a $100 gift certificate to B&H Photo!

Previous Winners

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2022 Winner – “The Artistry of Cacti and Succulents”

2023 Winner – “Patterns and Textures in Cacti and Succulents”

Our 2024 Jurors

This year’s entries will be judged by a panel of jurors with both an art background and expertise in the succulent hobby.

Nick Diomede

Nick Diomede has a degree in computer graphic design.  He founded Agave Xpressions, a design agency specializing in publications catering to the beauty industry and fine arts businesses. While maintaining ties to design, his current focus lies in providing pro bono design services for non-profit organizations. 

Sue Hakala

Sue Hakala holds two masters degrees in art and has served as the visual arts director at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ.  She has judged/juried more than 100 exhibitions and has been growing cactus and succulents for over 50 years.

Irwin Lightstone

Irwin Lightstone is a professional photographer whose work has been featured in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Haseltonia, Sansevieria, To The Point, CactusWorld, and several National Geographic publications. In addition to private workshops and numerous programs for plant societies and photography clubs throughout the country, he’s led workshops and programs sponsored by the Dallas Museum of Art, the International Photography Hall of Fame, The Huntington, the North America Association of Nature Photography, and the CSSA.

John Martinez

John Martinez lives in southern California and holds a bachelor’s degree in art from California State University Northridge where his main focus was painting and photography.  He is currently on the CSSA board of directors, is a member of several local garden clubs, and has collected and maintained xeric plants for over 50 years.

Contest Details

Submission Guidelines

  • Entries must be the original work of the entrant and they must be the sole owner of the copyright of each entry
  • Entrants may submit up to three high resolution images in a JPG format, not to exceed 20 megabytes
  • The file name for each image must be named in the following manner: the initial of your first name followed by your last name, followed by 1 for first image, 2 for the second image, and 3 for the third image (example:  DJones1.jpg)
  • All photographic processes, techniques, and editing in apps are permitted
  • No AI photos will be accepted
  • Only photos submitted through the website portal will be accepted
  • The contest will begin on March 1, 2024, noon, Pacific time, and end May 1, 2024 at 12:01am, Pacific time
  • Photographs submitted prior to or after the expiration of the contest period will not be accepted


  • The contest is open to all current CSSA members and their family members 
  • There is no entry fee 
  • CSSA board members, contest judges, employees, and their family members are not eligible


  • First place includes publication of the image on the front cover of the Journal and a $100 gift certificate from B&H Photo 
  • Second place includes publication of the image on the back cover of the Journal and a $50 gift certificate from B&H Photo 
  • Third place and Honorable Mention winners will have their images published in the Journal

The Fine Print

By participating in the contest, entrants grant the CSSA an irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual license to use the entry and his/her name, city, and state of residence in CSSA’s publications, online galleries, social media, and web pages, without compensation, notification, or permission, unless prohibited by law.  CSSA is not responsible for late, delayed, or misdirected entries or computer errors.  Entrants will be disqualified for cheating, deception, or harassing CSSA’s representatives.