Susan Day on a foggy morning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Richard Day
June 30 is the last day for Gordon Illg’s term as NANPA’s 25th president and when the board terms for Sean Fitzgerald and Ted Moreno end.
If there was a prize for the most meetings presided over, Gordon definitely qualifies! In the last twelve months, Gordon led twelve teleconference board meetings, three teleconference executive committee meetings, two in-person multi-day board meetings, and the NANPA Business meeting held at the 2019 Summit in Las Vegas. Not to mention, he participated in almost weekly meetings with me plus dozens of committee and planning meetings in the past year. Gordon has been great to work with, and even though he travels a lot for his workshop business, he was always available to answer questions and kept in regular contact with me. Gordon will continue his board service to NANPA as Past President for another year—where he’ll still get to attend plenty of meetings (but won’t have to lead them!)
Susan Day relaxing in Rhyolite Ghost Town, NV after 2019 Las Vegas Summit. Photo by Richard Day.
As I’ve been flipping through past issues of NANPA’s first newsletters, Currents, I’m impressed with how forward-thinking our boards and management teams were as they formulated our organizational documents, Mission Statement, bylaws, and basic structure. Much of those basics are still relevant and just as important today—ethics, education, conservation, inspiration as they relate to nature photography—as they were 25 years ago.
The birding community lost a treasure on March 25 with the passing of Bill Thompson III. Bill was Co-Publisher and Editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine for years where many NANPA members licensed their photos. Not only was Bill instrumental in helping photographers and writers, he also worked tirelessly devoting his life to creating awareness of and conservation of birding worldwide. I was privileged to know Bill as a friend for nearly 30 years. He was a NANPA member in the early days and attended summits to find photographers and writers for the magazine. At the 1995 NANPA Forum in Ft Myers, Florida; Bill, Richard Day, and I were hanging out together and planned to eat together at the closing banquet. The Forum organizers were not prepared for the number of people that showed up for that historic meeting, and there weren’t enough tables or food that night. We waited a long time while the hotel set up more tables; and we finally ended up crammed in front of the room at an angle partially behind the stage –which didn’t really matter, because by that time everyone in our new group of friends had made the most of the situation and were having a great old time. While we waited for our food, which ran into the evening festivities on the stage after everyone else had finished eating, Bill entertained us by balancing a spoon on his nose and asking how many others could do it. I know I have a photo somewhere (probably on a 35mm slide buried in a box) of our entire table playing “Spoon Bill” with Bill Thompson. That’s the kind of guy he was, and those are the kinds of stories and memories that are born at NANPA meetings.
As we celebrate NANPA’s 25th Birthday #happybirthdayNANPA this year, our hope is that everyone associated with NANPA has fond memories and stories. We started off with a big birthday cake at the Las Vegas Summit; and this month, in keeping with the “25th” theme, we selected the 25th new member to join NANPA in 2019—Alyssa Kline. Alyssa’s gift for NANPA’s birthday is a print copy of 2019 Expressions, which features photos of this year’s Showcase winners. Welcome to the NANPA family, Alyssa!
It’s hard to believe, but NANPA’s 26th election of our board of directors is taking place now. You have until April 20 to vote to fill vacancies of Sean Fitzgerald and Ted Moreno, whose terms end on June 30. Five candidates are on the ballot: Ted Moreno (who is eligible for a second term), John Reed, Alice Robertson, Trent Sizemore, and Dawn Wilson. Login https://www.nanpa.org/members/members.php to the members’ area of the website, read their bios and nominations questionnaires, and cast your vote.
We’re proud to announce the completion of NANPA’s Conservation Handbook this month. This is first in a series that will be ongoing, and we are grateful to the Conservation Committee for developing, producing, and introducing this series. Check it out here. https://www.nanpa.org/members/members.php
On June 15, NANPA will observe its 14th Nature Photography Day. We’ll be holding a photo contest with some nice prizes, but Nature Photography Day is not just about contests. It’s about getting as many people outside as possible to enjoy nature through photography. We’ll be sending media releases and doing a big social media push to let everyone know. In past years, National Parks, nature centers, camera clubs, and civic groups have organized events around Nature Photography Day. Many of these festivals and celebrations use local speakers and instructors to teach attendees how to photograph nature. You can help spread the word in your area too (and maybe pick up a teaching gig!) so watch your emails for more information in the coming weeks.
As we enter a new season, I hope you’ll have many opportunities to explore and experience the rebirth of life after a long winter. As nature photographers, seeing and documenting the natural world is part of who we are. Cherish those special moments and the people you meet along the way.
Volunteer and member of the NANPA Board of Directors, Ted Moreno.
Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations. At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications. Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.
This is the second of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.
NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA Board of Directors member and long time volunteer Ted Moreno a few questions about his volunteer experiences.
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!