The end of a year signals a time for reflection of the past months as well as anticipation of what’s ahead. As I review 2018 for NANPA, I’m amazed at the variety and number of events and services offered for a relatively small organization. Everything we do is coordinated by a handful of part-time contractors and around 100 volunteers.
Susan Day at NANPA board meeting, Jacksonsville, FL. Photo by David Small.
Choices and Goals
Everyday we make choices. What to eat. What to wear. What to do. Nature photographers make choices on new equipment, how to pay for it, where to use it, how to compose an image, which tweaks to make during post-processing; and for some, how to make a living. Everyone’s bucket list is unique, and we take different paths to reach them–whether you’re a big-time goal-setter with spreadsheets and planners or a seat-of-the-pants winger.
Passion, planning, and drive play big parts in whether (and when) we take those fall landscape photos in the Rockies or photograph wildlife on an African safari.
Most of my weeks are filled with board tasks, committee meetings, and writing and studying reports; but lately, I’ve been reminded of the essence of NANPA—nature photography.
I talked to a relatively new NANPA member recently who had looked at his first issue of Expressions, the annual journal of our Showcase winners. He commented on the amazing images that won the competition and how inspired he was viewing them. I’m probably not alone as a charter NANPA member who has seen and been involved with the world-class photography of our members for many years; and even though I still appreciate seeing an outstanding photo, I had forgotten about that sense of wonder of looking at hundreds of extraordinary images in one sitting. My conversation with that member made me see those images with fresh eyes. Expressions 2018http://www.nanpa.org/learning/publications/expressions/ was delivered to the Showcase winners this week, and the office received quite a few emails and comments about how much people enjoyed it and that they are proud to be a part of it.
Spring signals a time for rebirth of life, including nature photographers who spent the winter in front of computer monitors working on last year’s captures. As our black and white world switches back to color, photographers clean camera sensors, dust off backpacks from last fall’s color shoots, and pore over social media for the best bird migration activity or most glorious flowers and waterfalls. The anticipation between seasons reminds us of why we do what we do, and the world lures us outside to explore and create our newest masterpieces with pixels.
NANPA, also, is gearing up for spring. The Board of Directors held their winter meeting this month where they reviewed the past six months and discussed the future. The countdown is on for NANPA’s Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, (May 20-22) where many of us will be reconnecting with friends, meeting new ones, and photographing the splendor and wildlife of arguably the most beautiful mountain range in the United States—the Grand Tetons. Several other great events are being planned for other seasons, and we’ll announce them as soon as details are available.
The board welcomed new board member, Ted Moreno, who will serve the remaining term for Jaymi Heimbuch who recently stepped down to devote more time to her new projects. We thank Jaymi for her board service and wish her well in her new endeavors. Ted has been very active on the Membership Committee and has served as chair of the Awards Committee for several years. He is a great addition to our board.
Also during their meeting, the board approved a contract with Alisa Hines as Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Alisa started working for NANPA on March 1. She has a strong background in marketing and communications for associations and has already drafted plans for improvements for NANPA. Welcome to NANPA, Alisa!
NANPA began using a robust new communications system, Informz, in November, which offers much more flexibility for preparing messages and designs as well as improved tracking and monitoring of how we’re doing with our mailings. We’re still learning how to use all the features, but so far it’s a great improvement and timesaver over our previous system. Alisa will be fine-tuning our designs and look in the coming months. Feel free to let us know how we’re doing.
Treasurer Bruce Haley reported that NANPA’s financials for the first half of this fiscal year are on target with our budget. The board also reviewed Financial Statements from our CPA firm, and NANPA is a better place financially than we’ve ever been.
Many of our pro members have asked for general liability and workshop insurance, and we’re happy to announce that NANPA will be partnering with Rand Insurance to offer this coverage. Rand has handled our equipment insurance policies for more than 20 years, and their customer service is outstanding. We’re pleased that they’ll be able to help with the small business policies for photographers as well as equipment coverage for Canadian members. Information will be posted on the website and announced soon.
During winter meetings, the NANPA board approves officers for the following year. Gordon Illg will be NANPA’s next president and Sean Fitzgerald will serve another term as vice president. Their terms begin on July 1. Congratulations, Gordon and Sean!
As you’ll see in the coming months, NANPA’s Advocacy and Ethics Committees have been busy too. Committee members will be writing articles that will be posted on NANPA’s blog about issues that are important to all nature photographers. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so at NANPA blog.
In case you want to brush up on some photo techniques before heading outside, be sure to tune in to Clay Bolt’s Tips for Macro Mastery webinar on March 20. Or check the lineup of NANPA’s free webinars which are archived in the members area of the website.
As the world springs forward, it’s a great time to be a NANPA member and nature photographer!