As I’ve been flipping through past issues of NANPA’s first newsletters, Currents, I’m impressed with how forward-thinking our boards and management teams were as they formulated our organizational documents, Mission Statement, bylaws, and basic structure. Much of those basics are still relevant and just as important today—ethics, education, conservation, inspiration as they relate to nature photography—as they were 25 years ago.
Take our Mission Statement, for example:
NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, is the first and premiere association in North America committed solely to serving the field of nature photography.
NANPA promotes the art and science of nature photography as a medium of communication, nature appreciation, and environmental protection.
NANPA provides information, education, inspiration and opportunity for all persons interested in nature photography.
NANPA fosters excellence and ethical conduct in all aspects of our endeavors and especially encourages responsible photography in the wild.
In 25 years, only one slight modification has been made. The Board still refers to this at every meeting, and decisions are still made based on NANPA’s Mission.
As a board and organization, we continue to offer programs and services that support NANPA’s Mission while remaining relevant as times change, such as using electronic communications and social media as opposed to print and mailed communications in 1994. All of NANPA’s records and documents have been electronic since 2011, which saves resources not only for the environment, but for our costs as well.
NANPA’s Board of Directors elections have been electronic since 2011. The deadline to vote for the 2019 candidates ended on April 20; and beginning on July 1, 2019, Alice Robertson and Dawn Wilson will join the NANPA Board for three-year terms. They will fill the vacancies of Sean Fitzgerald and Ted Moreno whose terms expire on June 30.
As we continue with NANPA’s 25th Birthday celebration, this month’s gift goes to the 25th member to refer a new member to join this year…. drum roll. please…congratulations to Alex Noreiga who referred Rebecca Tribelhorn. Alex received a NANPA logo long-sleeved T-shirt. Thank you, Alex—and welcome to NANPA, Rebecca!
Speaking of celebrating, please reserve April 19-22, 2020 and plan to attend NANPA’s 2nd Nature Photography Celebration, which will take place in Asheville, NC. A Task Force is working on the program and schedule now, and we’ll have more details as plans are finalized for “Springtime in the Carolinas.” I’ve had a sneak peek and it’s going to be fun!
And while you have that calendar handy, save April 28 – May 2, 2021 too. The NANPA Board recently approved a contract with Tucson, AZ as the 2021 Summit location.
Twenty- five years went by quickly, and a lot (beyond film to digital) changed. It was a big deal when NANPA started a fax-on-demand service to share white papers and membership applications, then came AOL forums, websites, email, and eventually electronic communications replaced snail mail. Now we use many social media platforms, provide webinars and are looking ahead at other ways to connect the nature photography community with others through Citizen Science projects, iNaturalist, and more.
I know the possibilities are impossible to imagine now, but I also know that NANPA was built by a strong, forward-thinking group and has been maintained, nurtured and expanded as the world changed. I’m confident that NANPA will remain at the forefront of the evolution of nature photography.