Cornell University

Health Promoting Campus

Cornell University's commitment: People. Places. Planet.

Summer Wellbeing Adventure

Summer Wellbeing Adventure and photo contest

July 15 – August 5 
A three-week journey and photo contest for all

Cornell staff, faculty, students, and retirees are all invited to join the Cornell Summer Wellbeing Adventure. Enjoy all that summer has to offer and enter the health promoting campus photo contest that celebrates the themes of people, places, and planet. Sign me up!

See what's happening!

Jump to or scroll down to view our weekly slideshows highlighting submitted photos from the Cornell community taken on their Summer Wellbeing Adventures.

photo banner sample


Receive a weekly email with on and off-campus activities, events, ideas, recipes, and more, for you to participate in. Design an adventure that works for you, regardless of your work/home location or your availability. All Cornell staff, faculty, students, and retirees are invited to join. Explore on your own or consider recruiting fellow colleagues and students to join you! Submit photos every week to be entered into weekly prize drawings, and to be featured on this page along with your peer participants.

Photo Contest

Submit photos of you enjoying your summertime adventures and/or wellbeing-related work activities. Photo entries that represent the health-promoting campus themes of people, places, and planet will be reviewed by a committee. Uploaded photos from all participants will be featured weekly on this page. As well, a diverse array of winning photos will be turned into banners that hang from select Ithaca campus light posts across campus this Fall. 

Photos must be submitted by Monday, August 5, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. to be considered for the contest. See guidelines and submission process below.

Photo Contest Guidelines and Submission Process

Eligibility, Banner Content, Wilbur, Reporting, and Prizes! 


Current Cornell faculty, staff, students, and retirees.


What are we seeking? 

You are an important part of helping to foster a health-promoting culture at Cornell. 

We are seeking a diverse array of photos that show you - Cornell’s amazing faculty, staff, students, and retirees - engaging in wellbeing personally and/or professionally.

This engagement may occur outside of school/work (enjoying natural areas on/off campus, volunteering, exploring, etc.) and/or within school/work (research lab, food preparation, animal care, etc.).


Weekly Participation Prizes

To be eligible for a weekly prize (value of $75*), participants must submit a photo (via Qualtrics) that aligns to the below health-promoting campus and summer adventure themes by the following deadlines. 

  • Places (July 15-21) - Deadline of Monday, July 22, 5pm

  • Planet (July 22-28) - Deadline of Monday, July 29, 5pm

  • People (July 29-Aug. 4) - Deadline of Monday, Aug. 5, 5pm

Submissions (via Qualtrics) must include:

  • Name and email address of Cornell-affiliated photographer 

  • Where and when the photo was taken

  • A brief description of the photo’s connection to wellbeing (150 word maximum)

  • Upload of photo (PNG or JPG only)

  • Consent to use photograph

All participants who submit photos will be entered into a random prize drawing each week. 

An album of all submitted photos will be posted at this website and promoted on other university platforms throughout this campaign and after.


Campus Light Post Banner Contest 

At the conclusion of the adventure, all submitted photos will be reviewed using additional criteria for their potential to become printed banners that are displayed from select Ithaca campus light posts. Up to twenty winning photos will be selected. 

  1. Photo must be displayed vertically or have the ability to be cropped vertically without compromising the spirit of the photo. Given the narrow size of the banners (24”x53”), selected photos will likely be cropped by a Cornell graphic designer regardless. 

  2. People in the photo must be Cornell affiliated and provide consent for photo use. For individuals under the age of 18, the Cornell-affiliated guardian of the child must consent. 

  3. Photos taken on and off campus will both be considered, with an emphasis on how the location connects to the university and/or the student/employee experience. 

  4. No photo collages will be accepted.

  5. Photos with Wilbur, our Adventure Mascot, are unfortunately not eligible for the banner contest. 

  6. No cash value prizes will be distributed. 


  • Take photos using the highest resolution possible.

  • Limit the number of individuals in the photo to one or two.

Where's Wilbur? 

Wilbur is our official Summer Adventure Mascot!  Print and accessorize Wilbur, then take and submit photos of your adventures! While Wilbur cannot be included in light post banner contest, we will share your Wilbur pics and have a special category just for them. 


*Prize Reporting 

Students and retirees who win a gift card of any amount must complete the Cornell Gift Card Reporting Form prior to receiving the card. Faculty and staff who win will receive points through the Appreciation Portal and do not need to complete this form. Appreciation Portal points can be used at the Cornell Store,, Cornell MealChoice, and/or donated to the Emergency CARE Fund.

Connect With Others 

To connect with fellow participants and share adventures, you’ll be invited to join the Summer Wellbeing Adventure Microsoft Teams Viva Engage Group.

People Leaders (Managers) 

As a leader of others, you play an instrumental role in fostering a culture of wellbeing. Please consider ways of supporting your employee’s participation in the adventure and their overall wellbeing long after. 

Smartphone Photography Tips

Getting Started

  • Clean your lens: Fingerprints or smudges can distort the image quality.
  • Find good lighting: Take photos in natural light or well-lit environments. Avoid using the flash. Adjust the lighting conditions (e.g. turn off lights to prioritize window light, or brighten/dim house lights).
  • Use gridlines: Enable the gridlines feature on your camera settings. Compose your shots using the rule of thirds, resulting in more balanced and visually appealing photos. 
  • Capture candid moments: The best event photos capture genuine emotions and interactions.
  • Respect privacy: Always be mindful of people's privacy when taking photos at events. Avoid capturing individuals in compromising situations without their consent.

Getting Technical

  • Disable the flash: Flash can often create harsh shadows and unnatural colors.

  • Optimize exposure: Tap on the focal point of your image on the screen and slide your finger up or down to ensures your subject is properly lit, especially in challenging lighting conditions (e.g. if something is backlit by a window).

  • Use burst mode: For fast-paced events or action shots, use burst mode by holding down the shutter button. This takes a rapid series of photos, increasing your chances of getting the perfect shot.

  • Utilize portrait mode: Portrait mode allows you to create beautiful depth-of-field effects, blurring the background to make your subject stand out.

  • Shoot in RAW: RAW files contain more image data and allow for greater control over exposure and color correction. 

Getting Mindful and Creative

  • Tell a story: Think about the story you want to convey through your photos. Capture a variety of shots that document the progression of the event or the personality of your subject in environmental portraits.
  • Mind your composition: Examine surroundings for potential distractions. Adjust to eliminate or reposition any obstructions. 
  • Experiment with angles: Try shooting from different perspectives – high, low, or even from the side – to add variety and interest. Take photos from both sides of a room.
  • Experiment with depth: Include elements in the foreground, midground, and background, adding dimension and visual interest to your images. Only use the “zoom” function at 2x or 3x when needed.

Improving your Photography Skills Even More!

  • iPhone Photography School on YouTube: Varied videos and tutorials related to iPhone photography can be found on this YouTube channel. From choosing the perfect camera settings to taking stunning people portraits to finding the best poses, this channel has something for every skill level.
  • LinkedIn Learning: Cornell students, staff and faculty have free, unlimited access to this platform’s online learning library. Search with relevant keywords like “iPhone photography” to hone your learning.

Questions? Contact

Guest star, Wilbur Wellbear (Touchdown's cousin) is excited to join in the adventure again this year.

Print Wilbur and cut him out. Share your adventures with Wilbur to be eligible for certain and specific prize drawings!

See what's happening!

View ongoing adventures the Cornell community is submitting week-to-week below in our weekly slideshows.


A Sampling of Week 1 Photos!

1 / 12
Provided by: Sienna Torbit
2 / 12
Provided by: Erin Sember-Chase
3 / 12
Provided by: Nicki Moore
4 / 12
Provided by: Dinesh Ghimire
5 / 12
Provided by: Gaveal Fan
6 / 12
Provided by: James Strait
7 / 12
Provided by: Emily Zipprich
8 / 12
Provided by: Aria Hourigan
9 / 12
Provided by: Sydney Bourque
10 / 12
Provided by: Sage Gerling
11 / 12
Provided by: Andrew Juan
12 / 12
Provided by Lori Raddcliff-Woods

Provided by: Sienna Torbit
Provided by: Erin Sember-Chase
Provided by: Nicki Moore
Provided by: Dinesh Ghimire
Provided by: Gaveal Fan
Provided by: James Strait
Provided by: Emily Zipprich
Provided by: Aria Hourigan
Provided by: Sydney Bourque
Provided by: Sage Gerling
Provided by: Andrew Juan
Provided by Lori Raddcliff-Woods