Daniel J. Cox receives the Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award in 2013 from NANPA. Pictured with Miriam Stein, Chair of the NANPA Awards Committee

Daniel J. Cox receives the Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award in 2013 from NANPA. Pictured with Miriam Stein, Chair of the NANPA Awards Committee. Photo © David Small.

What they are:

Awards fit two broad categories:

NANPA Recognition Awards – Recognize one’s accomplishments, stature or length of service to nature photography.

NANPA Service Awards – Recognize a member who has served NANPA in an extraordinary way. These awards might go to committee leaders, a newsletter editor, etc. Service Awards may be given out at different times than Recognition Awards (e.g., the Annual Business Meeting).


When they happen:

Winners are usually announced in April of each year, and presented at the following NANPA Summit. Not all awards are presented annually.


How they’re decided:

  • The NANPA Awards Committee accepts nominations for all NANPA and NANPA Foundation awards and grants.
  • The Awards Committee selects and evaluates candidates for each award and makes recommendations to the NANPA Board of Directors.
  • The Board of Directors (with possible assistance from the Advisory Council) approves recipients.


Make a nomination:

Any member can nominate a deserving candidate.

Log in to Member Services and click on “Nominate Members for Awards.”

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Learn about each award.



This award goes to an individual who has served nature photography for at least 20 years. The individual should have made significant contributions over an extended period of time. National name recognition is not as important as accomplishments. The individual need not be “of retirement age.” However, all things being equal between two potential candidates, more consideration will be given to the older of the two.

Recipients include:
Roger Tory Peterson – 1995
Phillip Hyde, David Brower, & Jane Kinne – 1996
The Muench Family – 1997
Leonard Lee Rue, III – 1998
Robert Sisson – 1999
Erwin & Peggy Bauer – 2000
Freeman Patterson – 2001
Jim Brandenburg – 2002
Galen Rowell, Bradford Washburn, Fred Breummer, & Karl Maslowski – 2003
Ann Guilfoyle & Russ Kinne – 2004
Clyde Butcher & John Sexton – 2005
Les Line & Pat O’Hara – 2006
Dewitt Jones & Yann Arthus-Bertrand – 2007
Michael & Patricia Fogden, & Bates Littlehales – 2008
George Schaller & Paul Caponigro – 2009
Sebastion Salgado – 2010
Robert Dunne – 2011
Art Wolfe – 2013
Frans Lanting – 2015
Jack Dykinga & John Nuhn- 2017


The Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award goes to an individual who has demonstrated unquestioned skill and excellence as a nature photographer through his/her past work and who has produced extraordinary recent work of significance to the industry. Judging will favor recent breakthroughs in the photographer’s work and achievements. The recipient must exemplify the principles which NANPA promotes.

Recipients include:
John Shaw – 1997
Art Wolfe – 1998
Frans Lanting – 1999
Tom Mangelson – 2000
Robert Glenn Ketchum – 2001
Michael “Nick” Nichols – 2002
Gary Braasch – 2003
Norbert Wu – 2004
Tui De Roy – 2005
Patricio Robles Gil – 2006
Kevin Schafer – 2007
James Balog – 2008
Tim Laman – 2009
Joel Sartore – 2010
Jack Dykinga – 2011
Flip Nicklin – 2012
Daniel Cox – 2013
Steve Winter – 2015
Christian Ziegler- 2017


The NANPA Fellow Award is presented to members who have made significant contributions to the professional nature photography industry over a period of at least 20 years. This would encompass photographers, editors, agents, educators and other professions related to the industry.

Recipients include:
1998 – Roger Tory Peterson (posthumously),
Freeman Patterson,
Robert Sisson,
Erwin and Peggy Bauer,
Ann Guilfoyle

1999 – Evelyn Kloepper,
DeWitt Jones,
Leonard Lee Rue, III,
Galen Rowell,
Larry West

2000 – Niki Barrie,
Gary Braasch,
Jim Brandenberg,
Karen Hollingsworth,
Bob Rozinski,
Wendy Shattil

2001 – Ralph Clevenger,
Jeff Foott,
Dan Kraseman,
Frans Lanting, David Metz,
Gary Zahm

2002 – Kathleen Norris Cook,
Gerry Ellis,
George Lepp, Joe McDonald

2003 – Natalie Fobes,
Bill Fortney,
Bill Jaynes,
Carl Sams,
Jean Stoick

2004 – Tom and Pat Leeson,
CC Lockwood,
Ray Pfortner,
Phyllis Greenberg

2005 – Connie Toops,
Tom Ulrich

2006 – Boyd Norton,
Bonnie Stutski,
Tom Till

2007 – Nancy Carrizales,
Arthur Morris,
Kennan Ward

2008 – Danita Delimont,
Kathy Moran,
Tom Vezo

2009 – Tom Blagden,
Rob Sheppard,
John Nuhn

2010 – Mary Ann McDonald,
Kevin Fitz Patrick

2011 – Rich Reid

2013 – Richard Halperin,
Nancy Rotenberg

2015 – Michele Westmorland

2017- Kathy Adams Clark,
Michael Francis,
Mark Lukes & Linda Helm,
Robert Glenn Ketchum


COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARD (formerly the Industry Recognition Award)
This award goes to a supplier of services or products to the photo industry. The award may be given to a specific individual or to a company. Since NANPA membership encompasses all elements of nature photography, including industry members, the award acknowledges their support to our field. Included in this category are manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, stock agencies, magazines and/or magazine staff, newsletters, photo service providers (labs, frame and mat, slide labeling software, etc.), galleries, etc. Criteria include length of service, importance of a product/service to nature photography, service to the nature photography world beyond what one might expect of a company, special programs or products that have revolutionized nature photography, and/or outstanding contributions to the success of NANPA.

Recipients include:
Outdoor Photographer – 1995
Eastman Kodak Company – 1997
National Geographic Society & Canon USA, Inc. – 1998
National Wildlife Federation – Publications Division – 1999
Fuji Photo Film, Inc. – 2000
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – 2001
Nikon, Inc. – 2002
Hasselblad USA, Inc. – 2003
The Nature Conservancy – 2004
Nature’s Best Photography Magazine – 2005
LightHawk – 2006
Rosamund Kidman-Cox (BBC Wildlife) – 2007
Lowepro – 2008
Blue Earth Alliance – 2009
Adobe Systems, Inc. – 2010
John Martin – 2011
Epson – 2013
Hunts Photo – 2015
Chuckie Luzier and Canon- 2017


NANPA MISSION AWARD (formerly NANPA Recognition Award)
The NANPA Mission Award recognizes outstanding efforts or accomplishment(s) by one of our members. This award exemplifies what NANPA is really all about, and the winner should epitomize NANPA’s principles in accordance with NANPA’s mission statement. Nominees may include members who have used or are using their photography to further NANPA’s mission, for example, to impede the development of a highway through a critical wetland; create a photography/nature education program for teachers in their school district; provide a large scholarship for the purpose of photo/environmental education. NANPA members are encouraged to submit nominees.

Recipients include:
Mark J. Lukes – 1997
Jerry Bowman and Francine Butler – 1998
Patricio Robles Gill – 1999
Jim Clark – 2000
Stephen Maka – 2001
George Lepp – 2002
Bill Silliker – 2003
Karen Hollingsworth – 2004
Pat Wadecki – 2005
Ray Pfortner – 2006
Tim Gallagher & Bobby Harrison – 2007
Amy Gulick – 2008
Michael Forsberg – 2009
Cristina Mittermeier – 2010
Jerry Bauer – 2011
Carlton Ward – 2013
Suzi Eszterhas and Jerry Monkman- 2017

Service Awards include any award given to a member who has served NANPA in an extraordinary way. These awards go to committee leaders, a newsletter editor, a coordinator for a regional meeting, a staff member, etc. Nominees come from the Board, staff, committee leaders, committee members, and from the membership.

Recipients include:
Connie Toops – 1997
Laura Hagar – 1998
Rick Zuegel – 1999
John Nuhn – 2000
Wendy Shattil – 2001
John Lock & Joe and Mary Ann McDonald – 2002
Bernard P. Friel & Deborah Free – 2003
Lou Nettelhorst – 2004
Rob Sheppard – 2005
Kevin Fitz Patrick – 2006
Alice Robertson – 2007
Mark Lukes – 2008
Tom Carlisle – 2009
Arthur Morris & Francine Butler – 2010
Juli Wilcox – 2011
Niki Barrie, Sharon Cohen-Powers – 2013
Eric Bowles – 2015
Cindy Miller Hopkins- 2017



This award recognizes outstanding work of an up-and-coming photographer or other person active in the nature photography community.

Recipients include:
Florian Schulz – 2008
Christian Ziegler – 2009
Ian McAllister – 2010
Jenny Ross – 2011
Sandesh Kadur – 2013
Krista Schlyer – 2015
Melissa Groo- 2017


This award honors a photographic project undertaken by an individual or a team that addresses an important and urgent regional or global environmental problem. The project should be concerned with one or more species or ecosystems and illustrate perils facing the species or ecosystems and/or sustainable management solutions to help preserve them. The project will be judged on its success in raising public awareness for the need to protect our natural world and in stimulating further study of the issue(s) addressed. The individual or team directing the project may be offered a Summit Keynote presentation position. The award is open only to NANPA members or, in the case of a team project, a team headed by a NANPA member.

Recipients include:
James Balog / Chasing Ice – 2013
Meet Your Neighbours – 2015
Platte Basin Timelapse (Michael Forsberg) and Florida Corridor (Carlton Ward)