Since 1997 the NANPA Foundation has been funding the construction of photo blinds on public land through grants. To date, 47 blinds have been built in 29 states. As photographers, we tend to think of blinds as safe, ethical, and responsible places to observe and photograph wildlife. The animals are not disturbed by humans in the blinds and are more likely to engage in their natural behaviors. All good for the nature photographer! But there’s a lot more to blinds than just photography.
Chris Herig has been interested in photography since age nine when she went away to camp for the first time, but she didn’t “get serious,” she says, until much later in life.
“It wasn’t until both of my parents had passed away and no longer needed me that I truly began traveling for pleasure and then eventually traveling longer distances and visiting the places I had only dreamed of, most especially our national parks,” Herig explained. “I started my national park adventure with Grand Teton and then Yellowstone on my 50th birthday!”
Herig registered for a brown bear workshop led by NANPA member (now President) Dawn Wilson and was inspired by Wilson’s 15-month journey traveling across the U.S. by RV. So she joined NANPA and keeps discovering new things.
A photo blind in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
While participating in a NANPA webinar, Herig mentioned that she frequently photographs at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in northern Florida. The refuge is home to numerous waterfowl, hawks, eagles, bobcat, deer, butterflies, alligators and, well, a lot of wildlife. But Herig didn’t realize it is also home to a photo blind funded by the NANPA Foundation.
Mary Jane Gibson, Vice President of the NANPA Foundation Board of Trustees announces the results of a challenge grant at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.
During NANPA’s recent Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show in Las Vegas, one bunch of photographers always seemed to be especially hard at work, energized and excited. These young people were participants in the NANPA Foundation’sSummit College Scholarship Program and their week in Las Vegas was packed with learning, growing, creating, networking and having fun.
Their assignment: develop a story-telling project which would be shown during the Summit.