From the Executive Director – Susan Day – 04.02.18

NANPA Executive Director, Susan Day

Why should you go to the Nature Photography Celebration?

As the April 9 early registration deadline nears for the Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson, Wyoming, I thought I’d write about questions we’ve been answering lately in the NANPA office.

First of all, it’s a NANPA event; and anyone who has ever attended a summit or regional event knows that they’re fun, educational, inspiring, and you get to hang out with a bunch of friendly nature photographers. Summits are primarily inside at a convention center or hotel, and regional events are outdoor field trips or workshops. Celebration combines the two—indoor presentations plus our schedule allows for free time each morning to photograph and spend time with other photographers and vendors in the field. Or have coffee or drinks together after hours in some of the cool watering holes in downtown Jackson.

Let’s face it, can you think of a more beautiful location than Jackson Hole surrounded by the Grand Tetons in spring? We’ll be there during the transition from winter white to spring green. Early wildflowers will be blooming, bison and elk calving, streams and waterfalls flowing with winter runoff, and there will probably still be snow on the mountains—something you typically can’t photograph later in the season. This area is a photographer’s paradise and we’ll be there before the summer crowds hit. And those who are there will have a connection with NANPA and our Celebration. Our friends—old and new—who love being outdoors and creating beautiful imagery.

The Celebration will be all that and more.

The program follows two themes—the ecosystem of Yellowstone and the future of photography.

Yellowstone ecosystem theme: Henry Holdsworth’s keynote presentation will take you on a photographic journey through Grand Teton National Park in spring. He’ll cover animals, landscapes, and locations you might want to explore while you’re here. Mike Francis’ program, Yellowstone History through the Tourist Eye gives a glimpse of the rich history of this area and how we got where we are today. In Buffalo-People—The Path Back for Bison and Plains Tribes Dennis Jorgensen will share a community-based conservation approach that he’s been working on with the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes that supports both people and buffalo. Cheryl Opperman (Creative Vision in Yellowstone’s Unique Environment) will explain how to make photos from America’s most visited National Parks that stand out from the crowd.

The future of nature photography theme will be rich with content ranging from panel discussions with reps from Canon, Panasonic and Sigma on the State and Future of Photography– to vendor demonstrations and the ability to check out the latest equipment to try out in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Rick Sammon’s keynote presentation, Evolution of an Image, illustrates his creative process from start to finish. Dan Cox and Geoff York have spent years photographing and studying polar bears—they’ll tell their stories and research in Preserving the Future of Polar Bears. In Hope is a Thing With Little Clear Wings, bee expert and former NANPA President, Clay Bolt will share how he used his photography to create an awareness of bees and how his quest led him to Capitol Hill to get protection for the rusty-patched bumble bee.

It’s hard to make people care or feel that your subject has anything to do with them and their lives but Jenny Nichols will give examples during Communicating Conservation—The Power of Multi-Disciplinary Projects. David Akoubian chronicles how he developed his backyard to photograph more efficiently in the wild, and you’ll learn how to build spaces encouraging nature and Avoiding a Silent Spring. Conservation storyteller, Morgan Heim, explains the power of video for photographic projects. For several years, Jaymi Heimbuch has been involved in Urban Wildlife Photography and she’ll tell how images can reconnect city residents to nature.

Jennifer Leigh Warner, NANPA Ethics Committee Chair, will talk about Photography for the Ethically Minded Photographer, including discussions about NANPA’s updated Truth in Captioning document.

It’s a full, dynamic schedule with keynotes, general sessions, lightning talks, and more. I don’t have space to write about everything, but you can check them out on the NANPA website.

We’re excited to be using an event app for your cell phones for the first time at Celebration. After you register, you’ll be emailed a link to the Sched app where you’ll create a login account that you can use before and during the Celebration. The app includes the program schedule, speaker bios, program descriptions, vendors, and everything you need to know to prepare and participate in Celebration. You can use the app to connect with other attendees, and we’ll be using it onsite for announcements and more.

To top things off, we found reasonable lodging at Jackson hotels that fits all budgets. Deadlines for registration and hotel booking ends soon, so you’ll need to sign up this week to take advantage of all the discounts.

With all this in mind, I can’t think of a reason not to go to Celebration.

See you in Jackson in May!

Susan