It all started back in October 1993, when ornithologist, artist and nature photographer, Roger Tory Peterson invited a group of nature photographers to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York. This was the first time that an organized group of nature photographers had assembled in one place, and more than 100 photographers showed up for panel discussions, networking, and presentations. This meeting was so well received that everyone wanted to do it again—and thanks to a ton of work and great organization—by April 1994, NANPA had a founding board, president, bylaws and mission, with plans underway for their first annual conference, which took place in Florida in January 1995. NANPA’s first awards were also bestowed at the 1995 conference when Roger Tory Peterson received NANPA’s first Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award, and Outdoor Photographer Magazine was honored with our first Community Recognition Award.
Traditionally, October is a relatively slow time in the NANPA office because so many photographers are out searching for fall color and wildlife. It’s also when people take vacations or squeeze in another workshop while the weather is cool, but not yet bitterly cold and blustery. For whatever reasons, this October was different – and busy – with member activity, phone calls, and questions.
In this month’s column, I’ll give a brief status report on what’s happening with NANPA’s events and programs.
2019 Showcase Competition
The 2019 Showcase Competition closed on October 17, and judging started soon thereafter. We received more than 3,600 entries from nearly 400 photographers, which is our highest participation since 2009. Judging has been completed, and winners have been notified and are now sending us their hi-res photos that will be published in Expressions 2019. Production of Expressions 2019 is underway, and barring any unforeseen delays, will be available in February. Members who submitted images in the competition can view the results by logging into the members area of the website. The Top 250 Winning Images will be displayed on the NANPA website beginning in January. Thank you to all who entered the competition; to judges Melissa Groo, George Lepp, and Joe and Mary Ann McDonald; Showcase Coordinator, Wendy Shattil; Showcase Web Developer, John Lock; and Project Manager, Teresa Ransdell.
We do have a few spots left for advertising in Expressions 2019. If you’d like to place an ad, contact Gina Head for rates and availability. Or download ad info here.
2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show
Registrations opened in early October for the 2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show which will be held February 21-23, 2019 in Las Vegas. As usual, members wanting to ensure spots with their top choices of portfolio reviewers and to make sure they get in for Super Sessions and pre/post photo outings, registered early. Take a look at the speaker lineup and schedule for this Summit, check out the reviewer openings (A bargain at only $60 for 20 minutes one-on-one time with a pro!), and consider adding a Super Session (only $75 for a 3-hour class on a variety of great topics). We’ve heard of some great airfare sales to Vegas, and you can’t beat the room rate at the Westgate! NANPA will be emailing a series of Summit Snapshots to you in the coming weeks with announcements of any changes or additions to the program. Be sure to bookmark the Summit website and check back periodically because we’ll be making updates as they come up.
A few exhibitor booth spaces, advertising, and sponsorships are still available. More info.
NANPA Regional Events are almost full for 2018 and 2019. As of November 1, there are two spots left for the Bosque del Apache event with Cathy Illg in December and one spot left on the Florida Birding Workshop with Maresa Pryor Luzier in January. We still have spaces left for the fall 2019 Fall in Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Richard Day and Hank Erdmann. The Yellowstone Snowcoach Tour and the Arches Astrophotography Workshop are both sold out.
We took a short break from webinars this fall while photographers were traveling, but have a great lineup ready for the next few months. Topics include power marketing, video nature photography, timesaving tips with Adobe ACR or Lightroom, macro on a budget, and more.
Remember that all NANPA members can view past webinars in the members area of the website—including the latest in our Town Hall Series on Ethical Field Approaches for Nature Photography.
Those are the highlights from October, and we’ll continue to share new information on events, programs, and projects when it’s available.
Susan Day at NANPA board meeting, Jacksonsville, FL. Photo by David Small.
Choices and Goals
Everyday we make choices. What to eat. What to wear. What to do. Nature photographers make choices on new equipment, how to pay for it, where to use it, how to compose an image, which tweaks to make during post-processing; and for some, how to make a living. Everyone’s bucket list is unique, and we take different paths to reach them–whether you’re a big-time goal-setter with spreadsheets and planners or a seat-of-the-pants winger.
Passion, planning, and drive play big parts in whether (and when) we take those fall landscape photos in the Rockies or photograph wildlife on an African safari.
Susan Day at NANPA board meeting, Jacksonsville, FL. Photo by David Small.
Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings…
Meetings are a necessary evil. Few people will confess to liking them, but for groups like NANPA with members who, at any given time, are scattered throughout the world; meetings are a means of keeping us connected to one another. To keep in touch, NANPA’s board, committee members, contractors, membership, and the nature photography community rely on virtual, teleconference, social media, and in-person meetings to function and flourish.
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.
Why should you go to the Nature Photography Celebration?
As the April 9 early registration deadline nears for the Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson, Wyoming, I thought I’d write about questions we’ve been answering lately in the NANPA office.
First of all, it’s a NANPA event; and anyone who has ever attended a summit or regional event knows that they’re fun, educational, inspiring, and you get to hang out with a bunch of friendly nature photographers. Summits are primarily inside at a convention center or hotel, and regional events are outdoor field trips or workshops. Celebration combines the two—indoor presentations plus our schedule allows for free time each morning to photograph and spend time with other photographers and vendors in the field. Or have coffee or drinks together after hours in some of the cool watering holes in downtown Jackson.
Spring signals a time for rebirth of life, including nature photographers who spent the winter in front of computer monitors working on last year’s captures. As our black and white world switches back to color, photographers clean camera sensors, dust off backpacks from last fall’s color shoots, and pore over social media for the best bird migration activity or most glorious flowers and waterfalls. The anticipation between seasons reminds us of why we do what we do, and the world lures us outside to explore and create our newest masterpieces with pixels.
NANPA, also, is gearing up for spring. The Board of Directors held their winter meeting this month where they reviewed the past six months and discussed the future. The countdown is on for NANPA’s Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, (May 20-22) where many of us will be reconnecting with friends, meeting new ones, and photographing the splendor and wildlife of arguably the most beautiful mountain range in the United States—the Grand Tetons. Several other great events are being planned for other seasons, and we’ll announce them as soon as details are available.
The board welcomed new board member, Ted Moreno, who will serve the remaining term for Jaymi Heimbuch who recently stepped down to devote more time to her new projects. We thank Jaymi for her board service and wish her well in her new endeavors. Ted has been very active on the Membership Committee and has served as chair of the Awards Committee for several years. He is a great addition to our board.
Also during their meeting, the board approved a contract with Alisa Hines as Communications and Marketing Coordinator. Alisa started working for NANPA on March 1. She has a strong background in marketing and communications for associations and has already drafted plans for improvements for NANPA. Welcome to NANPA, Alisa!
NANPA began using a robust new communications system, Informz, in November, which offers much more flexibility for preparing messages and designs as well as improved tracking and monitoring of how we’re doing with our mailings. We’re still learning how to use all the features, but so far it’s a great improvement and timesaver over our previous system. Alisa will be fine-tuning our designs and look in the coming months. Feel free to let us know how we’re doing.
Treasurer Bruce Haley reported that NANPA’s financials for the first half of this fiscal year are on target with our budget. The board also reviewed Financial Statements from our CPA firm, and NANPA is a better place financially than we’ve ever been.
Many of our pro members have asked for general liability and workshop insurance, and we’re happy to announce that NANPA will be partnering with Rand Insurance to offer this coverage. Rand has handled our equipment insurance policies for more than 20 years, and their customer service is outstanding. We’re pleased that they’ll be able to help with the small business policies for photographers as well as equipment coverage for Canadian members. Information will be posted on the website and announced soon.
During winter meetings, the NANPA board approves officers for the following year. Gordon Illg will be NANPA’s next president and Sean Fitzgerald will serve another term as vice president. Their terms begin on July 1. Congratulations, Gordon and Sean!
As you’ll see in the coming months, NANPA’s Advocacy and Ethics Committees have been busy too. Committee members will be writing articles that will be posted on NANPA’s blog about issues that are important to all nature photographers. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so at NANPA blog.
In case you want to brush up on some photo techniques before heading outside, be sure to tune in to Clay Bolt’s Tips for Macro Mastery webinar on March 20. Or check the lineup of NANPA’s free webinars which are archived in the members area of the website.
As the world springs forward, it’s a great time to be a NANPA member and nature photographer!
Hello! As 2017 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on all that happened in NANPA over the last 12 months. As I jotted down highlights, it occurred to me that you also might like to see an overview of NANPA’s past year.
2017 Snapshot of NANPA by the Numbers
1 – 2017 Nature Photography Summit in Jacksonville, FL —attended by nearly 650 members, speakers, and vendors.
5 – Regional Events – Adirondacks, NY; Bosque del Apache, NM; Chincoteague, VA: Southern Illinois; and Yellowstone, MT for spring wildlife. Total of 100 attendees and 11 leaders.
A few years ago, NANPA adopted the tagline, “Connecting the Nature Photography Community,” and as I drafted this month’s article I thought about the many “connection” opportunities available within NANPA. Here are just a few:
Based on feedback from surveys and comments from you, NANPA developed a new meeting format for off-summit years. You asked for less time in meeting rooms and more time outside to photograph and hang out with fellow photographers. You asked for a less expensive venue in a gorgeous location with economical lodging options. NANPA listened — and registration opened recently for our 2018 Jackson Nature Photography Celebration. Instead of being in a giant hotel/convention center, you’ll pick your own lodging (we negotiated some great rates in several hotels—plus you’ll find plenty of campgrounds nearby.) We will meet from May 20-22, 2018 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming to learn, share, connect, and celebrate! Each day will follow a different theme—the State and Future of Photography and Yellowstone’s Ecosystem—and we’ll celebrate nature and photography at keynote presentations, educational sessions, Lightning Talks, a Photo Gallery Crawl, and a new vendor format where you can check out and test equipment outside. Our keynote speakers are Rick Sammon, Henry Holdsworth, Dan Cox, and Geoff York who will inspire us to stretch our creativity. Continue reading →