Story and Photos by Dawn Wilson, NANPA President
As most of you—hopefully—did as well, I read the latest NANPA handbooks, Bird Photography and Contest Secrets, this past month.
In Contest Secrets, Karen Schuenemann makes a valid point in her article “Getting from No to Yes.” Ms. Schuenemann said, “If you sit back and don’t put in the effort, you already have a NO. If you don’t try something that you dream about doing, you already have a NO. If you don’t attempt to do anything at all, you already have a NO.”
This is a twist on something I frequently say to people: “If you don’t ask for a yes, you already have a no.”
Others have also said similar phrases, such as Wayne Gretzky’s popular quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
Although Schuenemann is referring to entering photo contests and Gretzky refers to shooting hockey pucks, the phrase is so appropriate for so many things you want to do.
In this continuing strange and challenging world of 2020, we could sit back and wallow in the abundant “no’s” that have been presented to us. I’ll be honest; I have found myself there on occasion in recent months.
But there are still many opportunities to be had. Many have learned that spending time with their kids has become a renewed priority. Business owners, which many of our members are, have continued to adapt and find new opportunities to continue to grow their business, even in these challenging times. Many events and activities have switched to online occasions. Although Zoom isn’t as personal as being in-person, it certainly helps to keep us connected.
I want to encourage all of our members and other nature photographers to keep getting out there. Being in nature—whether that is just in your neighborhood or venturing to a new destination—has been proven to help stress. And photos of nature have also been reported to improve moods.
So please don’t wallow in the negative but continue to stay relevant and positive. Watch an episode of Friends or Golden Girls. You will find yourself laughing out loud even more than 25 and 35 years after the shows launched, respectively. Their relevance to common, everyday situations is what makes them relevant today.
Find that relevance in your life and continue to stay there to find what is important rather than dwelling on the things you can’t control.
We at NANPA will continue to do the same for you by focusing on strengthening the nature photography community through education, inspiration, advocacy and conservation.
We will continue to publish new handbooks with relevant topics, release new episodes of The Nature Photographer Podcast (launching in October), announce the talents of our members with the winning Showcase photos, provide more Sip and Share virtual conversations, publish lots of fun and informative blog topics, add more educational webinars, and much more. We also continue to look into options for holding the 2021 Summit in Tucson, Arizona—whether that is in-person, virtual or a combination of the two.
Have ideas for any of these platforms, topics you want to learn about or events you would like NANPA to host? Reach out to us through our contact form.
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” ~ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Let’s stay positive. We are in this together.