The site design that we have right now has been in place for the past 5 or 6 years. It is a bit dated, and needs a serious makeover.
The new design must be fully functional and scalable on mobile devices. With this I mean that the images and page elements should be able to auto-resize and adjust based on the viewable area on the visitor's device. Although this requirement may sound like a coding requirement, I believe that it all starts with the design and the coder just makes the magic happen. So when you are creating your design ideas, pay attention to how they would look on mobile devices in addition to how they will look on full-screen monitors.
There are many new design techniques and trends that have emerged since our existing site was designed six years ago, and we are hoping to get multiple entries that utilize some of the newer trends and design best practices. Feel free to play around with flat designs, parallax scrolling designs, simple textures, responsive typography, etc. We are open to most ideas right now.
Every year we hold a photography contest for our photographers, and the winning images are incorporated into the main website for a certain period of time. We would like to continue that tradition, and the new design should contain places for the winning entries from that contest. These can be built right into the site design. They should not stand-out from the rest of the site, but they should be used instead as a part of the overall design.
Since we are dealing primarily with professional photographers (who think very much like passionate designers), we need the site to *pop* with clean design elements and images. Custom drawn graphics, clever use of imagery, etc. will get you bonus points in this contest.