Most of my weeks are filled with board tasks, committee meetings, and writing and studying reports; but lately, I’ve been reminded of the essence of NANPA—nature photography.
I talked to a relatively new NANPA member recently who had looked at his first issue of Expressions, the annual journal of our Showcase winners. He commented on the amazing images that won the competition and how inspired he was viewing them. I’m probably not alone as a charter NANPA member who has seen and been involved with the world-class photography of our members for many years; and even though I still appreciate seeing an outstanding photo, I had forgotten about that sense of wonder of looking at hundreds of extraordinary images in one sitting. My conversation with that member made me see those images with fresh eyes. Expressions 2018https://www.nanpa.org/learning/publications/expressions/ was delivered to the Showcase winners this week, and the office received quite a few emails and comments about how much people enjoyed it and that they are proud to be a part of it.
Did you know that June 15 is Nature Photography Day? NANPA registered this date in 2006 in Chases’ Calendar of Events, and each year we’ve celebrated the day by encouraging people to get outside and take nature photos and share them that day.
Nine years ago my life was irreversibly altered when I attended the NANPA Summit in Charlotte as a college scholarship recipient. My quiet dream was given breath and fanned into flame. It is the friendships I’ve formed with other NANPA photographers that have most influenced me on my path to becoming a pro nature photographer. In this community I have found continual inspiration, and I created ALIVE Photo to offer the public a taste of these rich friendships.
In a world of 24/7 social chatter via glowing screens we cradle with care, it is easier than ever to be distracted from total immersion in the solitude and power of wilderness. It’s easier than ever to lose focus on why we are even living this wild dream as nature photographers in the first place. In light of that, my interviews with these 23+ pro outdoor photographers explore the “why.” “Why do you do it?” “In what ways does photography personally affect your life?” “How does photography awaken you to the experience of being alive?”
For me, it was important to start with why. I could have asked these talented pros how they do the work they do. I could have asked what gear they use or what their secrets are for success. But I would not have touched the heart. ALIVE Photo is a celebration-song exploding from the hearts of those whose lives are captivated by the unquenchable pursuit of great light.
Some of the amazing photographers featured on ALIVE Photo!
We need not incessantly contemplate our navels. It’s okay simply to play. But we would be wise to pause occasionally and reflect on what a life-changing gift it is to be one who photographs nature.
I hope that these simple interviews serve as a reminder to each of us about why we do this. It’s a radical gift to live in this present age, to have a camera, to have wilderness and to have a space where we can be transformed. Let’s celebrate Nature Photography Day on June 15th and give thanks for the experience of being alive. ALIVE.photography
Listen in as Rob Sheppard speaks on connection, Clay Bolt on seeing with fresh eyes, Carl Battreall on yearning to be remote and wild, and Amy Gulick on her life-long passion for storytelling. Next week you’ll hear from the ever-hilarious Joe and Mary Ann McDonald, and the week after that the beloved and contemplative Dewitt Jones. Sign up with your email address on the right column of the blog and be the first to know about our next pro.
June 15, Nature Photography Day:
A Weekend for You!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Eric Bowles.
Here’s a weekend that’s hard to beat!
Sunday, June 15th, is Father’s Day. And it’s Nature Photography Day, celebrating nine years of discovery.
How to enjoy? Time and your imagination can be the best gifts for your Dad. Take your family to a gallery or museum exhibit of nature photographs. Or start a gallery at home—by displaying your images of plants, animals, and natural scenes.
Invite your Dad to experiment with photographs. Pick something in nature that you’ve never photographed before. Then capture that scene on Nature Photography Day.
Chances are you’ll find lots of ways to be creative—especially close to your home. The beach, a trail, or a garden might be just the right spot to photograph. Make it so memorable that you will want to bring your camera to the same place same time, every June 15th.
Remember to look for the Nature Photography Day Member Event on NANPA’s website—and our page on Facebook! Take images on June 15 and upload one for the event section.