Volunteer Recognized for Contributions to NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program

A woman looks over a ship's railing at ice floating in the sea. Caption: Alice Robertson in Antarctica. Photo credit: Sue Flood Photography
Alice Robertson in Antarctica. Photo credit: Sue Flood Photography

Nevada-based nature photographer Alice Robertson will be awarded NANPA’s 2021 Kinne Legacy Award during the Nature Photography Virtual Summit April 29-30. Alice is the driving force behind the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program, which provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduates to not only attend the biennial Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show and network with professional photographers and agents, but also to participate in some hands-on photography and videography storytelling. (Uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic prevented the program from taking place this year.) Alice first proposed the idea for the scholarship program while serving on the board of the NANPA Foundation and has been integral to its success and continued vitality.

More about Alice

Alice joined NANPA in 1996, while a student at Daytona State College in Florida, where she earned an AS degree in Photo Technology in 2000. She serves on the board of the NANPA Foundation and began serving a three-year term on NANPA’s board of directors in 2019.

“One important aspect of the college student program is to offer networking opportunities through introductions and meetings at Summits and helping with work projects and internships,” Alice says. Her work with the students continues beyond the Summit. She remains in contact with many, is a source of advice and guidance, and had helped some of these talented young people take the next step in their photography careers. It was her inspiration to add a video component, in collaboration with local conservation organizations, to the scholarship program, with students creating short films that could be used by the organization to further its goals. In 2019, at the Nature Photography Summit in Las Vegas, the students created a video about the nearby Clark County Wetlands Park that the park is using for publicity and community outreach.

NANPA Clark County Wetlands Park from NANPA Video on Vimeo.

“NANPA was a wonderful discovery for me in photo school, where most students and teachers were focused on commercial or documentary photography,” Alice said. “My interest was more in nature and cultural photography, so meeting others who shared my passion was important.” Twenty-five years later, it’s the networking and shared interests that’s kept her active and engaged. And, of course, working with the student photographers. “Sharing NANPA with students has been one of the biggest joys in my life.”

While she is a professional photographer, her first business was owning a real estate company in northern California. She’s lived in Las Cabos and Ixtapa, Mexico, and Malta. Her daughter was born in Mexico. Alice also has a special love for ice hockey, and it’s not unusual to see her at a game with Susan and Richard Day.

Alice started out in photography back in the days of film and darkrooms, but digital cameras were already starting to make some inroads. The transition to digital has not been without its challenges and, like many photographers, she says she’d rather be spending her time behind a camera than in front of a computer. Right now, Alice is looking forward to getting back on the road, once it’s safe to travel again, and to working with the next group of students.

About NANPA’s Kinne Legacy Award

Jane and Russ Kinne were both founding NANPA board members and instrumental in helping set NANPA’s purpose, mission and goals in 1994. Russ Kinne was a well-known nature photographer and photojournalist who travelled all over the world on assignment or shooting images for stock. Jane, a renowned photo researcher, was elected NANPA’s second president, and later the NANPA Foundation’s second president as well. With the Foundation’s backing, she funded what was originally called the Russ Kinne Grant in recognition of her husband. After she unexpectedly died in 2007, the Foundation renamed the grant to include both Kinnes. More recently, the Foundation turned it over to NANPA to serve as an award to a NANPA member “who has freely and selflessly shared his/her professional expertise for the education and/or betterment of NANPA members.”

The Awards Committee looks for individuals who “made a significant impact upon the nature photography community by mentoring or helping others become successful in some aspect that’s related to NANPA’s Mission Statement.” In addition, the criteria state that the nominee has, without compensation and in a selfless manner:

  • Mentored NANPA members in the creative and/or business aspects of nature photography;
  • Fostered the improvement of professional education for nature photographers;
  • Promoted, within the nature photography industry, the career path of emerging nature photographers; and/or
  • Advocated on behalf of nature photography.

The awardee’s efforts must have had a beneficial impact upon numerous NANPA members over an extended period of time. Furthermore, the awardee must have proactively and consistently demonstrated his/ her support of and adherence to the tenants of NANPA’s Mission Statement.

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