The Everyday Heroes Photo Contest is a national competition for people to submit one image on approved paper that best represented themselves or others in a heroic action. The winner will fly to San Francisco and represent their school at the Zeitgeist Gallery on October 11. Contestants aged 18 and under will need to have a parent permission form included with their submission. Mark Jefferson told his photography class about the contest on September 23, as mentioned in Max's diary[note 1], and wanted everyone to enter. It's first mentioned in Jefferson's class right at the beginning of the game when Max Caulfield is troubled about entering her own photo. Jefferson seems to be especially keen on Max entering a photo for the contest, possibly to have an easier way to drug her and take her to his Dark Room.
The everyday hero theme is a recurring and central motif throughout the game:
- Max feels like an "Everyday Hero" if she defends Kate Marsh when she is being harassed by David Madsen at the beginning of "Chrysalis".
- If Max tells Kate not to call the police, she guilt-trips herself in her diary saying, "Hello, 'Everyday Hero'!"
- After helping Kate down the rooftop, Max writes in her diary that she doesn't feel that "everyday heroic".
- After breaking into Nathan Prescott's dorm room, Max expresses concern at having internalized spying and stealing so casually over the week, and calls herself ironically an "Everyday Hero."
- After being captured by Jefferson, Max writes in her diary in "Polarized" that she thought she was a real "everyday superhero", but at the end she is just Max Caulfield.
- After informing David of Jefferson's deeds and helping him in busting Jefferson, Nathan and the Dark Room, Max writes in her diary that David had become a real everyday hero.
In the original timeline, at the end of "Dark Room", Victoria Chase has been chosen as the contest winner by Mark Jefferson. In an alternative timeline where Max has entered her photo, she has won the contest as shown in a timestream photo montage during "Polarized".
On January 14, 2016, Square Enix started a week-long online anti-bullying campaign inspired by the Everyday Heroes Photo Contest, reflective of the game's theme of bullying, which wanted people to share inspirational stories of how they "overcame adversity, stood up for what's right, or helped a friend in need" with the hashtag #EverydayHeroes. For every story send, Square Enix donated to Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights's (PACER) "National Bullying Prevention Center" to help their cause for bullying prevention. A video about the event was narrated by Chloe Price's voice actress, Ashly Burch. On May 5, 2016, the winners were announced and a total donation amount of $25,000.
Square Enix Photo Contest
On January 26, 2016, Square Enix initiated a real Everyday Heroes photo contest where fans could submit their own photos of "ordinary people doing extraordinary things" and had the chance to secure a $10,000 scholarship fund. Finalists would have their photo printed, framed, and signed by the DONTNOD staff as well as featured on Square Enix social channels. There was a section were where people could submit their entries on the official website.
- The last episode, "Polarized", was released on 20th October 2015, exactly 2 years after the date of the original winner of the Everyday Heroes Photo Contest departing for San Francisco.
- The Everyday Heroes Photo Contest exhibition was originally advertised to be hosted at the DeYoung Museum of Art on October 20, the deadline scheduled to be October 15, 2013. As explained in the Director's Commentary, the developers later realized that an exhibition of this nature would rather be hosted at an art gallery than a museum and so changed it after the release of "Chrysalis".
- With the release of the Limited Edition, the submissions of Victoria Chase and Daniel DaCosta were swapped, it was most likely to be a fix for error: in earlier versions, both of the two photos were unfitting Max's comments and not showing the submitters' photography skills accordingly.
- An entry rule of the photo contest was to "submit an image that best represents yourself or others in heroic action". Max's entry, at first glance, does not appear to show her participating in any heroic action other than looking at a wall of photographs she has taken. However, the focus in the photo does not lie on Max, but on the pictures she has taken. This could imply that the subjects of those photos are everyday heroes to Max, because they enable her to carry out her greatest passion; photography.
- An unused subtitle line indicates that Evan had submitted a photo at some point in development. "Act_E3_2A_Corridor_EverydayHeroPhoto4_Look01_Max_010="How can my sad selfies compete with this? Evan has a lens for an eye...""
- Daniel DaCosta's entry for the Everyday Heroes photo contest is actually of Gary Jamroz-Palma working at a desk inside DONTNOD's studio. This finding was confirmed] by Writer Michel Koch on Twitter. Artist Edouard Caplain has been known to draw sketches of people at the office including himself.
- "Speaking of pictures, Mr. Jefferson told us about the national 'Everyday Heroes' photo contest he wants us all to enter. The winner gets a trip to San Francisco and lots of publicity. He wants just one photograph from each student. This is exactly why I wanted to come to Blackwell and of course I'm scared shitless to enter. At least I have a couple weeks before the deadline in October. So I have plenty of time to stress and procrastinate. Sigh." (Max on September 23, 2013)
- Life Is Strange: Square Enix launches #EverydayHeroes anti-bullying campaign (January 14, 2016)
- Life is Strange’s #EveryDayHeroes Anti-Bullying Movement Has Become a Real Hashtag Campaign (January 14, 2016)
- Official Tumblr post, "Life is Strange — It’s time to reveal the winners of the Everyday..."
- Official Twitter post
- Life is Strange sponsors actual Everyday Heroes photo contest (January 26, 2016)
- Twitter post by Michel Koch