Did you know that the average life span of a New Year’s resolution is about a month? By now, many of you will have already broken your new year’s resolutions. Let’s re-frame those resolutions as perspectives for what you want to achieve in your photography this year. What is on your photography wish list in the coming year? What are your goals for the year? What are you looking forward to in 2023? Is it to improve you skills in the field, purchase new equipment, or learn new post-processing skills? Is it to travel and photograph more, spend more time in the field close to home, take that long-awaited photo workshop from your favorite photographic tour leader, photograph with like-minded photographers, or finally keyword and process those images from your trip last fall?
We all have ambitious intentions at the turn of the calendar or a milestone date such as new month, or birthday. Instead of being frustrated by having not achieved a New Year’s resolution already, I like to focus on opportunities or make plans that help me reach my goals or achieve my photographic goals and desires. Over the years, I have found that NANPA has been here to help me achieve my photographic goals, give me ideas about how to use my photography, and teach me new techniques and business practices. And NANPA members inspire me. One of my aspirations and goals for the year is to get to know more of you personally now that we can again gather in person in relative safety.
It has been four long years since the last Summit in 2019. The NANPA Summit is one of the events I have most been anticipating in 2023. Attending the NANPA Summit is a great way to learn and get inspired by the breakout sessions, presentations of an amazing body of photography work by our award winners and speakers, or workshops presented by he trade show vendors. By popular demand, this year, the Summit schedule now includes photographic field trips on the grounds of the beautiful Westin La Paloma and around the Tucson area. One of my favorite aspects of the Summit is the chance to catch up with long-time friends I met years ago thanks to NANPA and to make new friends. If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late. So plan to join us for this gathering of hundreds of nature photographers in Tucson May 4-7 and consider registering for optional supersessions and field events May 3 and 7. https://nanpa.org/events/nature-photography-summit/ The Summit will inspire you to pursue and reach your photography goals this year.
Exciting new educational opportunities to grow your photography in any number of directions now abound with our affiliation with ASMP. While the ASMP Academy Powered by Sony was originally targeted at pros, there’s a lot in there that can benefit NANPA members of any skill level. Pros and enthusiasts alike face copyright challenges, publishing, model releases, and any number of practical or business challenges. In addition to the Academy, the ASMP legal clinic is available to you as well. NANPA members are taking advantage of these new resources, products and services that many of you have asking NANPA to provide. Now they are at your fingertips. ASMP has sent you log-in information to the ASMP site. Explore and take advantage of your new benefits. https://www.asmp.org. Our two web sites are interlinked to make it easy to explore both.
In the field
If one of your aspirations for the year is to get out and photograph in the field with like-minded photographers and learn from each other, then NANPA Regional events are for you. I still maintain friendships with members I met on a NANPA regional event before the pandemic. I was immersed in the area and had the time to work the subjects without distraction. NANPA leaders and other participants who knew the area, where to be at certain times of the day, animal behavior, and how to shoot certain subjects in various conditions willingly shared their knowledge. It was fun to share images, experiment and learn from each other. We all came away with superior images than had we been on our own. Regional events have been selling out, and NANPA recently added new ones, Central Florida Wildlife and Landscapes March 16-19, Texas Spring Wildflowers March 30-April 2, Shenandoah National Park June 1-4 and Northern California June 13-16. So if your goal is to get into the field and visit a destination on your wish list or shoot with other photographers, register for a Regional Event while space is still available, https://nanpa.org/events/regional-field-events/.
NANPA hosts educational webinars and is adding new topics all the time. Topics range from travel photography, to night photography, to printing images and creating products from your work. Next up is a three-part series on understanding copyright for photographers that kicks off February 23. Even if you can’t attend a live webinar where you can interact and ask questions, recordings are on the NANPA website Events page, https://nanpa.org/events/webinars/. Take time to peruse the menu of past webinars and use them as a resource to help you meet your photography goals.
And don’t forget that many NANPA members are workshop, tour leaders, and instructors. If one of your aspirations this year is to improve your photography skills, travel an exotic destination to photograph wildlife or landscapes, learn new post-processing skills or software, or improve your business practices, find a NANPA or ASMP photographer who inspires you that geographic or subject area and join them in the field or in their virtual classroom.
Now that this newsletter article has hopefully challenged you to think about your resolutions as aspirations or goals and give you some ideas of ways that NANPA and ASMP can help you achieve them, don’t let yourself be one of those who makes and breaks resolutions. Set your intentions on taking advantage of your NANPA and ASMP membership. I look forward to seeing you at the Summit or in the field.