North American Nature Photography Association

Connecting The Nature Photography Community


NANPA Awards and Past Winners

Each year, the NANPA Awards Committee seeks nominations for all NANPA and NANPA Foundation awards and grants. Awards and grants are usually announced in April of each year, and presented at the NANPA Annual Summit the following year. Members are encouraged to nominate deserving candidates by logging in to the Members Area and clicking on "Awards".

Following are the criteria for the NANPA Awards and lists of past winners.

NANPA Awards


The following are the criteria for determining awards to be given at the Annual Summit. Awards are to be divided into two broad categories: NANPA Recognition Awards and NANPA Service Awards.

  • NANPA Recognition Awards include any award as recognition of one's accomplishments, stature or length of service to nature photography.

  • NANPA Service Awards include any award given to 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)

The Awards Committee selects candidates for NANPA's annual awards. The committee is responsible for screening and interviewing potential award nominees submitted by members and making recommendations to the NANPA Board of Directors. The Board of Directors (with possible assistance from the Advisory Council) then selects recipients for each year's awards. Suggestions from NANPA membership are welcome. Awards need not be given annually.


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
    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
    No award - 2012
    Art Wolfe - 2013
    No award - 2014
    Frans Lanting - 2015


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
    No award - 2014
    Steve Winter - 2015


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

    2012 - No award

    2013 - Richard Halperin,
    Nancy Rotenberg

    2014 - No award

    2015 - Michele Westmorland



(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
    No award - 1996
    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
    No award - 2012
    Epson - 2013
    No award - 2014
    Hunts Photo - 2015


(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
    No award - 2012
    Carlton Ward - 2013
    No award - 2014
    No award - 2015


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
    No award - 2012
    Niki Barrie, Sharon Cohen-Powers - 2013
    No award - 2014
    Eric Bowles - 2015


This award is given to a photographer in recognition of early career excellence and serves to encourage continuation of vision and inspiration to others in nature photography, conservation, and education.
Recipients include:
    Florian Schulz - 2008
    Christian Ziegler - 2009
    Ian McAllister - 2010
    Jenny Ross - 2011
    No award - 2012
    Sandesh Kadur - 2013
    No award - 2014
    Krista Schlyer - 2015

NANPA Environmental Impact Award

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
    No award - 2014
    Meet Your Neighbours - 2015

See information on NANPA Foundation Grants

Return to Awards Overview


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