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.
Are you a full-time professional photographer or do you have a different “day job”?
I’m recently retired from corporate America and have, for the past 15 years or so, considered myself to be an advanced amateur. My retirement simply gives me more time to pursue my passion: photography. I do have a website, www.morenogallery.com, where I display my images.
What types of photography most interest you and why?
My initial interest in “nature photography” was doing traditional color and B&W landscapes, and macro. Now, I’ve expanded my landscapes to include night photography of the stars, night landscapes under the full moon and, in the middle of the day, infrared landscapes. In the past 5 years have begun to capture wildlife images–mainly birds and small critters–with a dream of eventually photographing polar bears.
As I age, my mobility has diminished. So, I’m investigating drone photography as a means of crossing over those last few yards of terrain; to capture the images I want.
As a side note, I also do studio work (e.g., portraiture, product photography, etc.) when it’s too hot or cold to venture outside.
How long have you been a NANPA member?
I’ve been a NANPA member since April of 2006 and have attended every Summit since the 2011 Summit in McAllen, TX. Since moving to the St. Louis metropolitan area in 1999, I’ve been a member of Missouri Nature and Environmental Photographers (MoNEP), which was founded by Ruth Hoyt, shortly after her return from the first NANPA conference. My MoNEP membership lead me to NANPA.
How have you been involved in NANPA as a volunteer?
I’ve served on the NANPA Board of Directors since the Board’s 2018 Winter meeting. I was appointed to fill an unexpired term of a former Board member. I’ve chaired the NANPA Awards Committee, since 2015, and served as a member of the Membership Committee since 2013.
What was it about this work that most interested you?
My work with the Awards Committee has given me the opportunity to see, in great detail, the work of great nature photographers, both the “legends” and today’s “rock stars”. Yes, it appears that the ranks of nature photographers are aging but, I assure you that there’s a lot of great young talent, who are accomplishing wonderful things.
It’s also heartening is to see the dedication of these great nature photographers–young and old–to nature conservation.
What is the biggest highlight or accomplishment of your service in NANPA?
My greatest accomplishment is to have brought structure and organization of the NANPA awards selection process. Of course, a committee chair is only as good as his committee and I’ve been blessed with 2 great committees, plus 2 talented advisory panels.
Did you have a goal going into your NANPA volunteer experience?
In asking me to serve as Chair of the Awards Committee, in 2015, the NANPA Board expressed their confidence in my organizational skills. I wanted to exceed their expectations.
Does volunteering have benefits for you?
I’ve made several new friends and have learned that NANPA members are very approachable and willing to share their expertise. The value of my NANPA membership grows in direct proportion to my volunteer activities. It’s as simple as that!
Ted Moreno’s formal introduction to photography came about in the mid 1960s, when the United States Marine Corps thought he was best suited (at least, for their purposes) to be a photographer. Then, while attending Pan American University (now known as the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley), he enrolled in a several “advanced” photography classes and secured a part-time job as one of the university’s “work-study” (student) photographers.
Since graduating from college in 1972, he’s attempted to improve his photographic skills through trial and error, and by reading countless magazines and books; supplemented by enrollment in numerous workshops and seminars. However, the two most significant impacts, upon his photographic skill sets, were participation in the photography programs of the:
- Southwest Craft Center (now known as the Southwest School of Art and Craft) in San Antonio, Texas, where his “pictures” began to resemble “images”; and
- Center for Visual Technology at the Meramec Campus of St. Louis Community College, where he made the transition to the digital era.
Since retiring from the corporate world, he has enjoyed pursuing his twin passions for capturing images and post processing.