2019 NANPA Fellow Award: Lou Nettelhorst

2019 NANPA Fellow Lou Nettelhorst

2019 NANPA Fellow Lou Nettelhorst

Lou Nettelhorst will receive one of NANPA’s 2019 Fellow Awards. This award is presented to members who have made significant contributions to the professional nature photography industry over a period of at least 20 years.

Nettelhorst is a widely-published nature and fine art photographer. The awards committee noted that, “for eight years, he led the NANPA’s high school scholarship committee, in essence establishing the efficient way the committee continues to work today. Lou shares his talent through community college courses, field trips, presentations and nationwide workshops and private instruction.”

As his bio puts it, “Lou Nettelhorst is, first and foremost, a photography teacher. He is also an award-winning photographer and stunning image-maker. He is a man on a mission – a mission to make photographing fun, creative and rewarding for others through his unique teaching style, the hallmark of which is Lou’s eagerness to share his professional experience and techniques, while always providing encouragement, constructive feedback, and (often groan-inducing) humor.”  He says he gets “goose-bumps” when he sees the amazing images made by his students. As one of his students recently commented, “You can be a great photographer, but not know how to teach. Lou is a phenomenal teacher and an amazing photographer!”

A student of noted photographers Freeman Patterson, Sam Abel and Bob Sisson, Lou’s images have been published in Nature’s Best PhotographyOutdoor Photographer, NANPA’s Member Showcase and Chicago Wilderness Magazine, as well as many newsletters. In 2010, he received the Kohout Outstanding Nature Photographer’s Award from the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association (CACCA).

We grabbed a recent opportunity to ask Lou a few questions.

NANPA Blog: What is something about you that most NANPA members don’t know?

Nettelhorst: I survived pancreatic cancer in 2016, and am now cancer free!

NANPA Blog: That’s great news! Looking back over your career, what has most surprised or most challenged you in the world of nature photography?

Nettelhorst: I am most surprised by the technological advancements which have made smart phones and tablets the camera of choice for so many. With such large file sizes, the image quality is absolutely amazing!

NANPA Blog: Looking forward to the future, what most excites you about nature photography?

Nettelhorst: Nature photography will continue to be an important vehicle for underscoring, to the public and politicians, the extremely critical conservation issues facing our planet!

NANPA Blog: Would you hazard a prediction for something that will happen in nature photography within the next five years?

Nettelhorst: I believe that nature photographers will primarily be using phones to capture images, because of their convenient size and software advancements which will eventually overcome challenges of low light conditions and depth of field.

NANPA Blog: What is it about NANPA that keeps you engaged and active?

Nettelhorst: The sharing network of photographers is excellent! I particularly love the continuing effort to involve high school and college students in nature photography.

Lou Nettelhorst has given a lot to NANPA, to nature photography and to his thousands of students.  Becoming a NANPA Fellow is one way to recognize the impact he’s had on nature photography and on people.

Learn more about Lou Nettelhorst and see his work at: https://nettelhorstimages.com/ .