North American Nature Photography Association

Connecting The Nature Photography Community


Explore the Power of Nature Photography

NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program

Notice: Applications for the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program are now closed. Please check back in June 2016 for the next scholarship program.

Student and Pros
Photo by Ronnie Mabou

You love nature and photography. Nature is important to you and how you see the world. In addition, photography is one way in which you see and share that world with others.

If those things describe you, then apply now for a scholarship that will enable you to join us at the next North American Nature Photography Association annual summit. This is a great time of fellowship with some of the top nature photographers and includes outstanding opportunities to network with peers and professionals, as well as attend workshops and photograph in the field alongside professional photographers and mentors.

Past participants have described their experiences at the NANPA Summit with phrases like inspiring, incredible or even "life-changing"! It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make personal contacts with the top pros in nature photography as well as editors and other industry leaders. A select group of college students will be awarded this scholarship to participate in the Nineteenth Annual Nature Photography Summit presented by NANPA in San Diego, CA in 2015.

To qualify, you must be at least 19 years of age as of December 31, 2014. You do have to be a full-time college student in an accredited two or four year college, university, trade or vocational school. You don't have to be an art or photography major. You don't even have to call yourself a nature photographer, but you will be one when you leave the NANPA Summit! You do have to have a digital camera that accepts interchangeable lenses. Lastly, transportation to and from the conference site is the responsibility of the student. Past winners of NANPA's High School and College Scholarships are not eligible to apply.

Each college student selected to attend the Annual NANPA Summit will be provided with the following:

Photo Review
Photo by Linda Helm

  • Full Summit registration
  • Admission to all Summit keynote presentations and breakout sessions
  • Hotel room (shared with another student) at the conference site
  • All meals during your stay at the Summit
  • Photo field trip led by NANPA pros
  • Portfolio review given by a professional stock agent or photo editor
  • Opportunity to network with mentors throughout the Summit
  • One year NANPA membership

Students in class
Photo by Ronnie Mabou
In addition, students will meet each morning for breakfast with a variety of invited guests that include top nature photography pros for one-on-one discussions. Throughout the Summit, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm, critique images and talk with many pros on a variety of subjects.

College Students: This is an opportunity of a lifetime! Don't miss your chance to attend the 2015 NANPA Annual Summit! If you have any questions, contact the program coordinator, Don Carter. If you would like to speak with some of our past participants, please contact Don Carter for a list of student representatives. They would love to talk with you!

Want to help promote this program? Download and print this 1-page flyer to post at your school or around town.

Scholarship Application Process:

If you are interested in applying for a college scholarship to the NANPA Summit complete the following application sections and submit them no later than November 15, 2014. All applications must be submitted via the NANPA website. Applications cannot be submitted any other way. Prepare all your image submissions BEFORE starting the online application! All images must be submitted electronically. See PHOTO SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS below for details on how the images need to be prepared and submitted.


After reading the guidelines below, you can access the online application form by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on the button.

To avoid losing valuable information while online, we recommend that applicants first compose and save your answers in an off-line document. Those answers can then be copied and pasted into the appropriate section when completing the online form. Please note that attempting to copy and paste from Word or other full-fledged word processors can introduce formatting errors into the online form, therefore we recommend using NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) as your source for copying and pasting your answers into the form.

Also, be sure to prepare ALL your photo submissions (described below) BEFORE starting the online application process.

Each applicant must provide personal contact information, list his/her photography equipment, provide a brief biography, discuss the role of photography in future plans and list awards and recognition received for photography. In addition, please explain why you would like to attend the NANPA Summit and how receiving the scholarship would help you to attend.


Each applicant must submit 15 photographic images that best demonstrate the diversity of his/her photographic skills and interests. The subject matter may include but is not limited to nature. Each photo should include a title and brief caption (not to exceed 50 words). (We recommend saving this text in a separate document prior to accessing the online application and then copying and pasting the information into the application.)


In addition to the 15 images required above, each applicant must submit a collection of five nature-oriented images that express their interpretation of a single theme or concept of their choosing. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to tell a story with your photography. The images submitted need not be recent photographs, although shooting images specifically for the thematic photo assignment may be your best bet. Please include a thematic introduction of 100 - 250 words for the entire series of five 5 photos. (Once again, we recommend a saved saving this text in a separate document and then copy/pasting into the online application.)


To submit your photographic images, first complete the text portion of the application. After you click Submit, you will be directed to the photo upload page. The image files must be JPEG (jpg) format, sRGB colorspace, be 1024 pixels on the long side, and 72 dpi. Maximum file size is 500k.

Remember to prepare ALL your images BEFORE starting the online application. You will not have an opportunity to go back and upload them later.

On the upload pages there will be instructions and space to upload your images. For each image click Browse to select the image from your computer, enter (paste) the title, and the brief descriptive paragraph about why the image was made and/or selected for submission. Then click Submit Image to upload each photo. After you have completed all photo entries, click Finalize Submission to complete your application.

If you have difficulty uploading images, please contact Don Carter for assistance. All college student applicants must use this website for their submission. Applications will not be accepted any other way.


At least one letter of recommendation, but no more than two (2), must be submitted by a professor or teacher, coach, activity leader or other adult who can attest to your qualities and experiences, such as interpersonal skills, willingness to share, sense of responsibility, creative expression, photographic endeavors, and any environmental issue involvement. The contact information (name, address, day & evening telephone #'s, email address) of the student and writer must be included in the recommendation. In the letter of recommendation, make reference to the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship. The writer must send the recommendation to the NANPA office by postal service (see addresses below) or email (preferred).

Send recommendation letters:

Via email to Don Carter
-- OR --
Don Carter
618 Illinois Dr
Shorewood, IL 60404

Notice: Applications for the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship program are now closed. Please check back in June 2016 for next program.


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