7th Annual July 4th Telluride Hot Shot Contest

7th Annual July 4th Telluride Hot Shot Contest

“Cameras don’t take great pictures. Artists take great pictures. And no two artists see the same things the same way,” photographer and social critic Nan Goldin.

Win $1,000 in a snap by entering your best shot in the 7th annual Telluride Hot Shot July 4th Photo Contest.

Hot Shot Poster for 2016

Twinned with July Fourth in Telluride and the 7th Annual Hot Shot Photo Contest is the name “Formby.”

The idea for the Hot Shot July 4th Photo Contest dates back seven years. That is when co-event founder Katrine Formby was chilling at Rancho La Puerta, Mexico. She and husband Bill happened to be at the spa during “Photography Week,” when the resort held a daily one-hour session on the medium. Synapses fired like, well, firecrackers and a new community-building event was born. In an Us and Them world, the Formbys are defiant, always looking for new and creative ways to buck the trend and bring people together to make lasting memories. (The creative couple is also responsible for bringing TED talks to Telluride.)

Look up the words “hot shot” and up pops a number of disparate definitions.

A private hauler, usually with a 1-ton pickup and a double or triple-axle trailer, who will haul anything anywhere for a premium price.

A high-priority freight train.

A liquid of high alcoholic proof which, when ingested repeatedly, transforms the drinker into a self-perceived “hottie” (also works in reverse, creating the perception that all members of the opposite gender are hotties).

An individual, commonly of the male sex, who sees himself as a person everyone loves.

Or a hot shot is a photograph so cool it’s hot.

And based on the growing number of participants, the Formby’s Hot Shot July 4th Photo Contest, hit an optic nerve in Telluride’s extended community.

Daniel Tucker founded Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts in 1991 based on the idea that we are all creative. All it takes is the right place, the right time, and the right circumstances for a person to channel his inner Picasso – or Ansel Adams.

Right place: San Miguel County.

Right time: All day on the Fourth of July.

Right circumstances: The upcoming “Hot Shot Photo Contest.”

Now the Formbys and Ah Haa, along with the Nugget Building, the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department, and Telluride Inside… and Out, are event sponsors, inviting you all to take your best shot and then enter it into the contest, which everyone understands is really a surrogate for recording the human comedy and capturing the emotional rhythms of the Big Day in real time. The result? Building community one person, one image, at a time.

Cash prizes as follows:

1st Prize:  $1,000

2nd Prize:    $300

3rd Prize:     $100

10 Honorable Mention Winners:  $50 each

Rules for the Hot Shot July 4th Photo Contest are as follows:

• Photos must be taken on July 4, 2016

• Photos must be taken in San Miguel County.

• Participants submit ONE original photo to www.TellurideHotShotPhotoContest.com by noon on July 5, 2016.

• All entries must include name, address, phone number, and e-mail address of the photographer, as well as the title of the photograph. Any photos received after the deadline will not be eligible for prizes.

• Winners will be announced on July 6th at www.tellurideinside.com. 

 “We are looking for the most memorable photo that captures the spirit of July 4th in San Miguel County, Colorado,” says Ah Haa director, Judy Kohin. “We invite visitors, residents, amateur photographers, hobby photographers, professional photographers, and children to submit one photo taken on July 4, 2016 anywhere in San Miguel County.”

Hot Shot also gives out an an Audience Favorite Award, so even if you don’t want to enter a photo, go online and vote.

For a complete list of contest rules and to vote for your favorite image, go to www.TellurideHotShotPhotoContest.com.

Questions? Contact the Ah Haa School for the Arts at 970-728-3886 or Katrine Formby at formby87@aol.com.

Among the 2015 winners:

“High Fives” by Rye Clifton

“High Fives” by Rye Clifton


“Fireworks Over Telluride” by Neno Zhekov

“Fireworks Over Telluride” by Neno Zhekov


“Gettin’ Roudy on the Fourth” by Melissa Plantz

“Gettin’ Roudy on the Fourth” by Melissa Plantz


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