Ethics

© Mark Larson

Position Statements:

As a leader in the field of nature photography and environmental issues, NANPA occasionally issues statements describing the organization’s position on critical issues. These statements are approved by the Board of Directors and published to major media outlets and field locations. The board recognizes that an individual’s concept of ethical behavior and feelings about the environment are very personal. Consequently, NANPA may issue guidelines and suggestions in these two areas but will in no way attempt to dictate policies either to members or nonmembers.

Available Statements:

Ethics Committee:

Charge: Gather, disseminate and promote information on ethical issues involving nature photography.

The NANPA Ethics Committee is proactive in addressing possible ethical issues involving nature photography. The committee helps to promote information on ethical field practices and truth in captioning and also works with the NANPA Board to respond to ethical issues related to NANPA and nature photography.

If you are interested in joining the Ethics Committee, please contact Jennifer Leigh Warner at info@nanpa.org.

Meet the Ethics Committee:

 

Jennifer Leigh Warner – Committee Chair

“What does ethics mean to me? – As a conservation photographer I feel it is my responsibility to protect and preserve the creatures and places that I photograph. In order to do this, I practice ethical behavior when photographing wildlife. This means always putting the welfare of my subject before me and my photograph.”

Jennifer Leigh Warner is a fine art and conservation wildlife photographer living in California. Jennifer specializes in photographing animals in their natural habitat and feels strongly that the images that she captures can be used as a powerful tool to share the stories of the natural world. Jennifer hopes her images can be used to inspire those around her to protect the environment that these animals live in.

As a conservation photographer Jennifer feels it is her responsibility to protect and preserve the creatures and places that she photographs. In order to do this, she practices ethical behavior when photographing wildlife. “This means always putting the welfare of my subject before me and my photograph.”


 

Joshua Asel

“In the same way water gets mixed into dry cement to make it concrete, ethics need to be mixed into nature photography to make it metaphorically concrete. Ethics are now an essential part of the modern-day nature photographer’s toolkit. Following good standards makes us better photographers, better lovers of nature, and increases the quality of life in our photos and especially for our furry, feathered, or scaly subjects. The unyielding pressures of human expansion on wildlife is horrific enough without nature photographers making bad decisions that will directly, negatively affect the lives of wild individuals. Artists are responsible for their creations. With that being said, we need to stay up-to-date on ethical practices to show respect to a big, beautiful, magical world full of wonder to which the fate of humans is tied.”

Josh is an award-winning biodiversity and conservation photographer, large carnivore tracker, author, and speaker. He directs Wild Expectations, in addition to being a Saiga antelope ambassador, and has appeared on multiple judging panels. He is published in Defenders of Wildlife, Nat Geo Education, UC Davis, and more. Josh’s commitment to saving wildlife and ethical practices stems from the need to fulfill his duty to God and a natural love of all things wild.

He cares most about ocean life and carnivores—wild cats, wolves, sharks, and keystone species. He started teaching himself photography in mid-2012, after discovering a passionate fire burning for conserving wildlife through photography.


 

AprilBencze_HeadshotApril Bencze

“Nature is full of inextricably, beautifully tangled stories. As nature and wildlife photographers, above all we aim to tell these stories in the most authentic way possible. Ethics are not simply a factor to be considered in wildlife photography, but exist at the core of documenting living beings. Without ethics, wildlife photography is at risk of being another way we exploit nature, potentially harming the very animals and landscapes we celebrate in our images. The welfare of the animal and landscape must always come before the photograph. This principle is inextricably, beautifully ingrained in what it means to photograph wildlife.”

As a young wildlife photographer, April’s ethics have evolved from the subconscious gut feeling of what feels right or wrong into the conscious foundation of her work. April’s photography centers around exploring the importance of the relationship between humans and wilderness, both underwater and above. For the past few years she has a focused on sharing the stories of coastal wolves living on rainforest islands on the west coast of Canada, where ethics principles in wildlife photography have been a guiding light in doing so.


 

Daniel Dietrich

“The manner in which I capture my images is far more important than the images themselves. Nature photography is capturing the world as it unfolds in front of you without influence. The use of bait, lures, calls or other disruptive techniques for photographic purposes only lessens the images captured. Holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards while in the field not only strengthens our images, but protects the very subjects we love.”

Daniel Dietrich is the owner of Point Reyes Safaris, a wildlife viewing and photographic safari company operating in Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. Daniel sits on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Action Committee, an organization dedicated to protecting West Marin County’s wild lands, wildlife, and watersheds. Daniel is also on the ethics committee for NANPA.


 

Melissa Groo

Melissa served as Chair of the Ethics Committee from 2014-2018. She remains on the committee and is also on the Conservation Committee. Melissa is a wildlife photographer, writer, speaker, and educator. She’s an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers, a contributing editor to Audubon magazine, and a regular columnist on wildlife photography for Outdoor Photographer magazine. She speaks and writes extensively on issues of ethics and conservation in wildlife photography, and leads workshops in the U.S. and abroad. Melissa has received awards and honorable mentions in photography competitions including NANPA Showcase, Audubon (Grand Prize winner, 2015), Nature’s Best, Festival de L’Oiseau, and Birds as Art. Her work has been published in numerous books and magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, and Living Bird.  In 2017, she was awarded the Katie O’Brien Lifetime Achievement Award by Audubon Connecticut for demonstrating exceptional leadership and commitment to the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. That same year she received NANPA’s Vision Award given to a photographer every 2 years in recognition of early career excellence, vision and inspiration to others in nature photography, conservation and education. Melissa is represented by National Geographic Image Collection and has a long-term gallery at Audubon Greenwich in Connecticut.


 

Mark Hendricks

“There’s a lot of pressure on wildlife and wild lands and everyone with a smart phone is suddenly a photographer. Unfortunately the technological zeitgeist has become one where the photograph is more paramount than the subject in the photograph. As I tell my students, the beauty of acting ethically in nature is that it is actually quite easy to do! Learn about your subject, care about your subject, do not damage plants or harass animals, and do not break the law. By being an ethical nature photographer you will become a much better photographer and a greater steward of the environment. You’ll also become a much more emphatic person (and cooler to hang out with!).”

Mark Hendricks is a freelance conservation photographer, writer, and author working on environmental issues. A former marine mammal biologist, aquarist, and marine animal rescuer, he turned to using his camera as a storytelling tool for conservation purposes. Much of his current work focuses on the diverse habitats of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. His images and articles have been featured numerous publications and books including: Nature Photographer, Outdoor Life, Audubon, Earth Island Journal, and Africa Geographic. His photographs have graced the walls of numerous exhibitions including the famed G2 Gallery of Venice, California. His first book, Natural Wonders of Assateague Island, was released in June 2017. Mark is a adjunct faculty member at Towson University where he teaches courses in ethology and research methodology.


 

johnemarriott5John E. Marriott

John E. Marriott is one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife and nature photographers, with images published worldwide by National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, McLean’s, and Reader’s Digest. He is a contributing editor in Outdoor Photography Canada magazine and the host of the popular web series EXPOSED with John E. Marriott.

John has produced five coffee table books and one guidebook, including three Canadian bestsellers: Banff and Lake Louise: Images of Banff National Park (2007), Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies: A Glimpse at Life on the Wild Side (2008), and The Canadian Rockies: Banff, Jasper, and Beyond (2009). He just recently released The Pipestones: The Rise and Fall of a Wolf Family.

John is the owner/operator of Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours, featuring wildlife photo adventures, workshops, and expeditions to out-of-the-way Canadian locales.

John prides himself on being a conservation photographer known for photographing wilderness scenes and wild, free-roaming animals in their natural habitats.


 

Mike Milicia Portraits Great Meadows - 18Nov13Michael Milicia

Mike is a Massachusetts-based wildlife photographer, instructor, and workshop leader. He began his professional photography career in 2005 after working 27 years as a Software Engineer and quickly gravitated toward birds as his main subject.  He strives to create images that include an artistic element and have an aesthetic appeal that transcends their role as natural history documentation.

Mike’s work has been featured in numerous juried art fairs and exhibits throughout New England and has garnered awards from the North American Nature Photography Association, National Audubon Society, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Birdphotographers.net, and Naturescapes.net.  His images are represented by Birdimagency and publication credits include National Geographic Magazine, Audubon, Nature’s Best, National Wildlife Federation, Science et Vie Junior, Palm Press, and Woodmansterne Publications.

Mike is passionate about the welfare of his subjects and prefers to work with wild birds in their natural habitat with as little disruption to their normal routine as possible.  He is equally passionate about teaching photography and helping clients take their imagery to the next level.  His engineering background makes him especially adept at communicating complex subjects in a well organized, step by step manner that proves to be very effective for beginners and more experienced photographers alike.


 

Roberta Olenick _6BC1562Roberta Olenick

Roberta Olenick is a freelance wildlife photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her images have appeared in a variety of publications including BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, and Canadian Geographic. She has a Master’s degree in Zoology (Animal Ecology) and has worked as a park interpreter, a natural history writer, and an environmental activist for a variety of organizations including Earth Island Institute and Ecojustice Canada.

As a photographer, she is constantly learning how best to further minimize her impact on the creatures who give themselves to her camera. Her ultimate goal is to never spook the animals.


 

IngridTaylarProfileIngrid Taylar

“I was fortunate to embrace nature photography in conjunction with my volunteer work at a wildlife hospital. It brought me into an ethical framework that demanded a high level of respect and care for individual animals. That ethical paradigm transfers directly to how we as photographers treat wild animals in the field. At its most fundamental, ethical wildlife photography holds the welfare of the animal above any photographic capture. At its most expansive, it promotes increased consideration and compassion for wild animals through practice, education, conversation and advocacy … and, of course, through the imagery itself. In between lie all of the pragmatic steps that we as individual photographers take to reduce our impact, to understand the natural history of our subjects, and to make choices about when to proceed and when to back away. The values we assign to those choices are critical. They form the collective ethos of our community as photographers and, in an even larger context, they determine our relationship to other species and the future of their survival and conservation.”

Ingrid Taylar is a freelance writer and photographer with a background in publishing research. Her research credits include sixteen best-selling books and four books series. Her passion for wildlife photography evolved from hands-on work in a wildlife hospital, where she also completed Hazwoper training for oil spill response, and was certified in Wildlife Emergency Response training for field rescue. Her photographs appear in a variety of publications and educational installations. In 2014, Ingrid co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Pass Project, a grassroots effort to implement a new birding/photography pass for our National Wildlife Refuge system.