8 Benefits of Virtual Conferences You May Not Have Considered

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

It’s spring … finally. Trees are budding. Flowers are blooming. Migrating birds are returning. Nature photographers are reemerging, too, eager for inspiration, education, camaraderie, and a chance to get immersed in this art form we love so much. But in a global pandemic you need a new way to gather, share, learn, and inspire, right? We got this! Heck, nature photographers are resilient and creative. Give us a challenge and step out of the way. For NANPA’s 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit, the doors have been opened to a whole new kind of experience.

All over the world conferences are being reborn, emerging from their pandemic chrysalis in new and exciting forms. The NANPA Summit’s tag line (“All the inspiration. Wherever you are.”) captures the idea that going virtual has some distinct advantages for attendees. If you’re on the fence about registering or can’t quite imagine what the experience might be like, there are eight big reasons virtual formats have become so popular.

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Suzi Eszterhas Recognized by NANPA as Outstanding Photographer of the Year

Photo of a seven to eight week old cub approaching adult male lion, Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya © Suzi Eszterhas
Seven to eight week old cub approaching adult male lion, Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya © Suzi Eszterhas

Internationally-known wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas is no stranger to accolades, having won awards in National Wildlife Photo Contest, Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition, and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. She’s published feature stories in a variety of well-known publications, had her images appear in more than 100 magazine covers, and has 19 books in print. And that’s just skimming the surface of her accomplishments. It’s no wonder she’ll receive NANPA’s Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award at the 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit, April 29-30. She is also a previous recipient (2017) of NANPA’s Mission Award.

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Grand Canyon Book Leads to Photography Award

Photo of Thomas Blagden
Thomas Blagden

Tom Blagden, a nature and conservation photographer based Connecticut, will receive NANPA’s Environmental Impact Award during the 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit, April 29-30. He will also be a keynote speaker at the Summit. The award is in recognition of his 2019 book, The Grand Canyon: Unseen Beauty — Running the Colorado River. Blagden’s work has previously focused on Maine, Costa Rica, and South Carolina. His photographs have appeared in Smithsonian, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, Nature Conservancy, and Sierra magazines. He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, has been a NANPA member since its founding, and became a NANPA Fellow in 2009.

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Borderlands Project Gets Environmental Impact Award

Photo of Krista Schlyer
Krista Schlyer

In recognition of her Borderlands Project, Krista Schlyer will receive NANPA’s Environmental Impact Award during the 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit, April 29-30. Schlyer is a conservation photographer and writer who focuses on conservation, biodiversity, and public lands. She previously received NANPA’s 2016 Philip Hyde Conservation Grant for her Anacostia River Project, and NANPA’s 2015 Vision Award (now the Emerging Photographer Award). She is a Senior Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won numerous other awards, including the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.

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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.

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