North American Nature Photography Association

Connecting The Nature Photography Community


NANPA 2015 Board of Directors Candidate

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Gordon Illg

Gordon Illg

Adventure Photography
Lakewood, Colorado

1) Give us a brief overview of your job, photographic, educational, volunteer, organizational board/committee skills, etc.

I've been working full time at nature photography for the past 12 years, including leading photo tours and selling photos for both editorial and commercial use. I graduated with a major in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Creative Writing many years ago.

2) How long have you been an active member of NANPA?

I've been an active member of NANPA for 15 years--I think.

3) What Summits/Forums have you attended?

These are the summits I remember attending--Corpus Christi, TX; Haines City, FL; San Diego, CA; Jacksonville, FL; Charlotte, NC; Portland, OR; Denver, CO; Albuquerque, NM; Reno, NV. I also attended a NANPA Road Show in Denver (Joe McDonald & John Nuhn) and a Regional Event in Colorado's Rockies (but I helped create that one).

4) Have you served as a NANPA volunteer or worked on a committee?

I've been asked to write several articles for Currents, the 2 major ones dealt with Ethics and a rebuttal to Bill McKibben's piece calling for an end to wildlife photography. I was asked to participate as a member of a panel on ethics for a Breakout Session in Corpus Christi, and I was a member of the Communications Committee for several years. My wife and I initiated and put together a very successful Regional Event in the Colorado Rockies (I believe in 2009).

5) What particular expertise and/or qualities would you bring to the NANPA Board?

As co-owner of a successful small business that my wife and I started without any financial assistance or supplemental income, I'm no stranger to hard work, I have good organizational skills, and an ability to see what needs to be done, as well as come up with strategies to accomplish those goals. I also have considerable experience writing articles, newsletters and books.

6) NANPA is a young organization experiencing amazing growth. To help bring about a successful passage into maturity, every member of the Board is required to put in considerable time and effort. Will you be able to participate fully and actively? If you are self-employed, can you afford to take time away from your business? If you are an employee, or in some other way connected to an organization, will your job responsibilities allow you the freedom to attend to NANPA business?

I believe I will be able to spend the necessary time on NANPA business.

7) How would you use your abilities to further the NANPA mission: "to provide education, foster professionalism and ethical conduct, gather and disseminate information, and develop standards for all persons interested in the field of nature photography. NANPA further seeks to promote nature photography as an art form and a medium of communication for the sciences, nature appreciation, and environmental protection." Do not address the entire mission, but only those aspects that align with your own know-how, interests, and goals.

A hard question to answer considering I don't know what NANPA needs me to do. However, I have been pleased to see NANPA begin to emphasize nature photography as a medium of communication for the sciences, nature appreciation and environmental protection. Also, there are still too few photographers who even realize there is a NANPA. More needs to be done to reach people interested in nature photography. I think these are the aspects that most closely align with my interests and goals.

8) How do you envision NANPA's role in the future of nature photography? How would you further that role?

When I first joined NANPA, there was an emphasize on teaching people how to turn pro, and there was a good deal of interest in this. It seemed that there was a demand for subjects that would appeal to pros. And the Pro's Meeting consisted of photographers bitching about markets not paying enough and people giving away their images. Things that are not going to change. I don't think the future of NANPA is with the pros. I think its future is in environmental protection, as well as education of nature photographers and encouragement of nature appreciation everywhere. Judging from recent letters from the president, we need to establish a better relationship with the government agencies that manage our public lands. Perhaps we could look into creating partnerships with some environmental organizations. As to how I would further these roles, I don't yet know what tools are available.

9) Why do you want to serve on the NANPA Board of Directors? If elected, what would you personally like to accomplish during your term on the NANPA Board?

I believe in the things NANPA is trying to accomplish, and I'd like to be a part of that. If elected, I'd like to bring about world peace through the use of nature photography, but I don't think that's going to happen. I don't even know what the possibilities are right now, but I'd like to find out.

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