Skip to main content

Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award

Presented in honor of one’s accomplishments, stature or length of service to nature photography

NOTE: Nominees who are not NANPA members must be born or reside in North America. However, this birth/residency requirement shall be waived if the non-NANPA member nominee’s work is focused on North America.

Nominations for 2025 award are closed.
The Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award is presented biennially to an individual who has demonstrated unquestioned skill and excellence as a nature photographer through his/her past work and who has produced extraordinary recent work of significance to the industry. Judging will favor recent breakthroughs in the photographer’s work and achievements. The recipient must exemplify the principles which NANPA promotes.



  1. Photographer
  2. Exemplifies NANPA principles
  3. Has created substantial work, photographically or within the nature photography industry, within the past 1-5 years

Selection criteria definitions

Significance to Nature Photography Industry 

The nominee’s career length and impact, past influence on others, and profound modern photographic projects are extraordinary.

Modern Influence

The nominee’s current influence on others as well as scope and volume of their exposure through media outlets is extraordinary.


The nominee is changing the world of nature photography through innovative and cutting-edge technology and/or the unique revival of earlier photographic modalities, enthusiastic and positive purpose, or innovative and effective marketing.

Suzi Eszterhas, 2021 Outstanding Photographer of the Year, presented one of eight keynote sessions at NANPA’s 2021 Nature Photography Virtual Summit.

Photo by Suzi Eszterhas, 2021 Outstanding Photographer of the Year

Past recipients

2023: No award
2021: Suzi Eszterhas
2019: Florian Schulz
2017: Christian Ziegler
2015: Steve Winter
2013: Daniel Cox
2012: Flip Nicklin
2011: Jack Dykinga
2010: Joel Sartore
2009: Tim Laman
2008: James Balog
2007: Kevin Schafer
2006: Patricio Robles Gil
2005: Tui De Roy
2004: Norbert Wu
2003: Gary Braasch
2002: Michael “Nick” Nichols
2001: Robert Glenn Ketchum
2000: Tom Mangelson
1999: Frans Lanting
1998: Art Wolfe
1997: John Shaw

NANPA’s Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award has been presented biennially in odd-numbered years since 2013 to coincide with NANPA’s Nature Photography Summit.