Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom Haxby, and for the next year I will be the President of the Board of Directors of NANPA. I’ve been a member of NANPA for over 10 years and have been on the Board of Directors for the last two. I have always enjoyed photography, but several years ago, after a career of almost 30 years as a natural resource manager, it was time to leave behind the 10 x 10 cubicle, endless meetings, toxic office politics and administrative tedium. So, I dove into nature photography full time and have not regretted for one minute the photographic adventures and time spent behind my camera. Along the way, there have been a few photos that have made the Showcase top 250 and a few other award winners as well as six weeks as an Artist-in-Residence in 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There have been so many trips to the Smokies, that some thought that I am local to there. Not yet! I currently reside in the Traverse City area of Northern Michigan.
My NANPA experience has included the chance to attend four memorable summits (Albuquerque, Jacksonville twice and Las Vegas). I will always remember the Jacksonville Symphony performance accompanied by a dazzling big-screen show of award-winning photos by NANPA photographers. Or, being inspired by awesome programs by Clyde Butcher, George Lepp, Jack Dykinga, Florian Schulz and many, many more. Each summit has been a chance to reconnect with fellow photographers while re-energizing my passion for photography. My photography has come a long way since my portfolio review at the my Jacksonville Summit and the 2010 NANPA Regional Event in the Great Smoky Mountains. Looking forward, this July will be my second year as an instructor for the NANPA High School Scholarship Program in the Smokies. I am also looking forward to participating in future NANPA webinars, as past webinars have helped to improve both my photographic and business skills.
Perhaps I am like many NANPA members. I want to improve my photographic skills, network with fellow photographers, enhance my opportunities to earn income from my photography while learning to use photography to educate others about today’s important conservation issues. All this, and enjoying what I have chosen as the next stage of life.
It is a great honor to be involved with NANPA at such an exciting time for nature photography. My time as president for the next year will probably race by. NANPA is steadily adding new members and we are working to attract even more, including young members who bring a different perspective and level of energy. There will be memorable NANPA Regional Events, such as the photo tour by snow coach in West Yellowstone, MT, from January 12-14, 2020, and one this fall, from October 3-6, in my back yard surrounded by “da yoopers” of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the dazzling display of quite literally millions of acres of fall-colored hardwood forests. I can hardly wait for the Nature Photography Celebration, April 19-22, 2020, in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, during the peak of spring in the southern Appalachians. Our just released Conservation Handbook serves as a guide to show how photography can be used to spread a much-needed conservation message. There will be a lot of great things going on with NANPA in the next year, so please join us as we promote and share our passion for nature photography. That is all for now. Please excuse me, I have to run! I see some monarch butterflies beckoning to be photographed.