Finding Community in NANPA

Sunset over water. Photo by Mark Kreider.
Photo by Mark Kreider.

Story and photos by Mark Kreider

I have been a NANPA member for a year and a half. Even in that short time, NANPA and its supportive community have influenced me in many meaningful ways. Life seems to be full of wonderful flukes, and my introduction to NANPA was one such instance. One morning in November of 2012, when I was a high school senior, I received word from a fellow photographer of a great photographic opportunity that existed for high school students. Though just three days away from the deadline of NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program application, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I quite honestly remember thinking it looked too good to be true – a chance to spend a week in the field and at the NANPA Annual Summit, all the while learning and being inspired. I wondered to myself a little incredulously, How could I not have heard of NANPA before? It looks awesome!

Continue reading

From the President: Gordon Illg

Paddling in Baja California Sur. Photo by Cathy Illg.

Paddling in Baja California Sur. Photo by Cathy Illg.

Based on their reputations alone I knew the keynote speakers at last month’s Summit in Las Vegas were going to be good, but their presentations surpassed my wildest expectations—brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. Of course, that might not be much of an endorsement. My wife, Cathy, says I’m a big crybaby at the best of times, while I maintain I’m just sensitive.

Continue reading

From the Executive Director – Susan Day

President Gordon Illg cuts into NANPA's 25th birthday cake at the close of the Summit. Photo by Frank Gallagher.

President Gordon Illg cuts into NANPA’s 25th birthday cake at the close of the Summit. Photo by Frank Gallagher.

NANPA’s 21st Summit and Trade Show ended today, and as I sit in my hotel room, I’m tired, but still feel the high of another great event.   Long days of pre-summit board meetings, short nights with little sleep, early morning coffee to prop my eyes open, seeing old friends, making new ones, and dealing with inevitable glitches that pop up, no matter how much we plan for the unexpected.  After two long years of preparation, it’s hard to believe that the whirlwind is gone.  Kaput.  Just like that. A few short days ago, we were checking people in at the registration desk, hugging friends we hadn’t seen in a few years, and picking up where we left off on conversations from our last meetings.   We were watching presentations by some of the world’s greatest photographers—Joel Sartore, James Balog, Sue Flood, Florian Schulz, John Shaw, and George Lepp.  OMG!  Where else but NANPA can you see all those people in the same room?  I hadn’t seen John Shaw since the mid-90s and he saw me first in a hall and reached out to me.  I have to admit to being a little starstruck that he would even know who I am, much less be so gracious and friendly to me, like an old friend!

Continue reading