Nature Photography Day: We need it now more than ever

Backlit baby bird at dawn. Nature Photography Day: Reconnecting with nature near home. 2019 second place image: "First Sunset"  © Teri Franzen.
Nature Photography Day: Reconnecting with nature near home. 2019 second place image: “First Sunset” © Teri Franzen.

NANPA has been celebrating Nature Photography Day on June 15 every year for 15 years, to promote the enjoyment of nature photography and increase awareness of the role images play in promoting conservation and protecting plants, wildlife, and landscapes. Enthusiasm for Nature Photography Day continues to grow worldwide.

At a time of pandemic restrictions and mass protests, it’s possible that the world needs Nature Photography Day in 2020 more than ever before:

  • Spending time in nature has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression and increase physical well-being.
  • Looking at images of nature has been noted to produce similar benefits.
  • Continuing effects of climate change, overdevelopment, pollution, and other human impact threaten wildlife, plants, and habitats across the globe.

In 2020 we’re specifically asking the world to celebrate the nature closest to home. Look closely at the natural world right outside your door. What can you find within walking distance of home? Maybe you know it better than anyone else. Or maybe you haven’t noticed it at all before. Explore. Discover. Learn. And Share. That’s what Nature Photography Day is all about.

Nature Photography Day 2020 (30 sec) from NANPA Video on Vimeo.

Ways to Celebrate Nature Photography Day Near Home

There are many ways to observe and celebrate Nature Photography Day. Here are a few ideas to help you get started—and help you get others started:

  • Identify local trees and wildflowers. What’s blooming in your area now?
  • Look for wildlife. How many mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other wildlife can you spot? What do they eat? Where do they live? How do they benefit the ecosystem?
  • Watch for birds. How many species can you identify? What are their traits, their habits, their songs?
  • Consider landscapes. Meadows, forests, mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, creeks,…take photos now and compare them to historical images of the area. What has changed? What remains the same?
  • Notice details. Changes in light and moisture produce interesting variety in images.
  • Use apps such as Seek (plants and animals), Merlin Bird ID, or iNaturalist to identify species you’ve photographed but not yet identified. Then share an image and some facts that you learned about its subject.
  • Use your photos to tell important stories about nature. Find something that detracts from the natural world, show how human beings sometimes adversely affect the environment.
  • Search for “conservation photography” online to see what some of today’s conservation photographers are doing to improve the natural world.
  • Lift up the images and accomplishments of nature photographers you admire. Introduce your followers to nature photographers who have influenced you, nature photographers who you’ve helped mentor, or new-to-you nature photographers that you’ve recently discovered and are excited to follow.
  • Ask yourself how your images and stories can help bring positive changes to your community and our world.

Get more ideas at NaturePhotographyDay.com.

Grizzly Bear sub-adult photographed during a spring snowfall.
2019 First Place winning image by Barb Jividen. Grizzly Bear sub-adult photographed during a spring snowfall on June 8, 2019.

Enter the Nature Photography Day Photo Contest

In conjunction with Nature Photography Day, NANPA is hosting a nature photography contest on Facebook. Make and enter your own images between June 5-15 for a chance to win one of three prize packages or four honorable mention awards with a combined retail value of more than $3,200. Get complete details here.

Nature Photography Day prizes come from these great companies!
Nature Photography Day prizes come from these great companies!

Tell Others about Nature Photography Day

In years past, thousands of media outlets, public libraries, schools, community centers, coffee shops, and others have helped promote Nature Photography Day by displaying signs, sharing Public Service Announcements, and posting information on websites and social media. Some of our usual partners remain closed to the public, or open with limited capacity, so this year, we need you more than ever to help spread awareness of Nature Photography Day. Let’s tell the world

  • Post your own nature pics using the hashtag #NaturePhotoDay.
  • Remind colleagues about Nature Photography Day and how images have been used to protect the natural world. Share a story of how your images have helped conservation efforts.
  • Use your own website, blog, social media profiles, or email newsletter to spread the news and share what you’re doing to observe Nature Photography Day.
  • Share our videos and social media posts widely on the web, including the hashtag #NaturePhotoDay.

How will you celebrate Nature Photography Day? Let us know: info@nanpa.org or tag us #NaturePhotoDay or #NANPAtogether on your favorite social media platform.