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Another Year Comes to a Close

By December 3, 2021No Comments
Photo of a bighorn sheep looking at the camera. Late November and early December mark the peak of the bighorn sheep rut. It is usually accompanied by snow but so far in Colorado it has been a dry, brown season. © Dawn Wilson
Late November and early December mark the peak of the bighorn sheep rut. It is usually accompanied by snow but so far in Colorado it has been a dry, brown season. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends.

I can’t believe it is now December, and another year is coming to a close. When I reflect on last year at this time compared to this year, and what I expected for this year, it is hard to believe we are still in the middle of a pandemic, climate change is more prevalent than ever, ships with Christmas goods are stacked up along the West Coast, and the economy is showing signs of, well, let’s hope that doesn’t become a struggle too. In the last month I saw polar bears waiting for ice that was at least two weeks later than the average freeze up. And just last week Denver broke a record of 223 days without measurable snow, and there is no snow in the 7-day forecast.

Through it all, nature photography continues to be a shining light of reprieve, relaxation and joy. We know nature needs stewards, and our organization is full of people willing to be that voice. Research has proven that being in nature calms our soul, reduces stress, and promotes healing. And I know our members love being in nature. Let’s continue to focus on that positive side of our troubled world and embrace the joy of being a NANPA member.

Photo of a polar bear walking across a rocky shoreline. A polar bear walks down the coast of Hudson Bay as it waits for the ice to form. The ice arrived about three weeks later this year than average historical dates. © Dawn Wilson
A polar bear walks down the coast of Hudson Bay as it waits for the ice to form. The ice arrived about three weeks later this year than average historical dates. © Dawn Wilson

Collaborate and Listen

Photo of distant sunrise over water with silhouettes of people in the foreground. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was just one of the locations where NANPA members joined together in the field this year. © Dawn Wilson
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was just one of the locations where NANPA members joined together in the field this year. © Dawn Wilson

NANPA started as an organization working to bring photo buyers and photographers together. Over the years, we have evolved to bring many facets of nature photography together — beginners to experts, buyers with sellers, instructors with students, and so much more. Through all of the expansions and different collaborations, including industry partnerships like that with Wild and Exposed for The Nature Photographer Podcast, NANPA has launched, ushered and supported the careers of many successful nature photographers and enthusiast photographers looking to improve their craft.

Did you also know that we have another collaboration that is important to the success of NANPA and its members? That is the NANPA Foundation.

The NANPA Foundation exists to raise funds and provide resources to advance awareness and appreciation of nature through photography. Those funds have been used to:

  • provide scholarships for hundreds of high school and college students to learn more about nature photography by attending Summit and field programs,
  • supply grants to build 47 photo blinds throughout the U.S.,
  • award more than $20,000 in grants for undergraduate and graduate coursework in photography,
  • fund 21 projects from the Philip Hyde Conservation Grant, and so much more.  

You can help the NANPA Foundation reach their goal of “seeing the big picture.” The NANPA Foundation is celebrating their 25th year with a $25,000 fundraising goal. They are 55 percent of the way there. Will you help them reach their target?

Donate today through the NANPA Foundation website and be a part of something special.

Photo of participants in 2019 NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program. Twelve college students are offered an opportunity to attend Summit and participate in the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program. This field-based storytelling program gives students an opportunity to learn from and work with pros and industry leaders to produce a marketing piece used by a local nature center, area or program. The program is made possible through donations to the NANPA Foundation. © Dawn Wilson
Twelve college students are offered an opportunity to attend Summit and participate in the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program. This field-based storytelling program gives students an opportunity to learn from and work with pros and industry leaders to produce a marketing piece used by a local nature center, area or program. The program is made possible through donations to the NANPA Foundation. © Dawn Wilson

Thank You, Volunteers

On December 5, volunteers will be recognized during International Volunteer Day.

Photo of two women walking in a conference hall. Kathy Adams Clark and Alice Robertson are just two of the many, many volunteers that keep NANPA operational. © Dawn Wilson
Kathy Adams Clark and Alice Robertson are just two of the many, many volunteers that keep NANPA operational. © Dawn Wilson

NANPA would not exist without its abundance of talented volunteers, and recognizing them for one day is just not enough of a thank you. These people — and not all of them are photographers — give thousands of hours of time. From those planning and organizing Summit to people who serve on the 14 different committees and boards to those who just help at different events, there is no shortage of dedicated NANPA members.

So, thank you to all of those too numerous to mention. Please keep up the great work and know that we appreciate every minute of time you give to NANPA and the NANPA Foundation.

Do you want to get involved? Consider volunteering for a committee. There are numerous options available for a variety of interests. For more info about volunteering, visit NANPA’s Built by Volunteers page.

Share Your News

Keep letting our membership and marketing teams know about your projects. There may be ways to share the news, like writing a blog or being interviewed on the podcast.

Do you have ideas for events or topics you want to learn more about? Reach out to us through our contact form

And be sure to recommend NANPA to your nature-loving friends and fellow photographers. Word of mouth is the number one way people learn about NANPA. New members can join online at nanpa.org.

“Big things start small. The biggest oak starts from an acorn.” ~ Jeff Bezos

Let’s stay positive. We are in this together.