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NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program

Resuming with the 2023 NANPA Summit

Our college program is an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to attend its Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show and participate in a hands-on experience using photography to tell a story for nature.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make personal contacts with the top pros in nature photography and other industry leaders.

Photo by jon holloway

About the program

The NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program is an opportunity for 12 college students (undergraduate or graduate) to participate in a field-based storytelling program that mixes nature photography, videography and marketing. Scholarship recipients spend a week shooting and editing stills and videos to produce a marketing piece that is used by a nature center, area or program.

If you love nature and photography, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make personal contacts with the top pros in nature photography, as well as editors and other industry leaders.

Apply to participate in the NANPA Summit College Photography Scholarship Program and the biennial NANPA Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, which takes place in odd-numbered years. This is a great time of fellowship and outstanding opportunities to network with peers and professionals, attend workshops, and photograph in the field alongside professional photographers and mentors. Scholarship awardees will also participate in a field-based, story-telling project for a Summit-area client. Past participants have described their experiences during the program with phrases like inspiring, incredible, and even life-changing!

View the video produced by the 2019 program participants for the Clark County (Nevada) Wetlands Park:

This program is funded through the NANPA Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization.

If you are interested in supporting this program, please consider donating to the NANPA Foundation.

Donate now

Program contact

Ryan Trenkamp – Email
Michele Westmorland – Email or Voice: 425-896-8113

If you would like to speak with some of our past student participants, please ask a program coordinator for a list of names and contact information. They would love to visit with you!


  • Be at least 19 years of age as of December 31 the year before the biennial event
  • Be a full-time undergraduate or graduate university student in an accredited two- or four-year college, university, or trade/vocational school.
  • We will accept applications for students graduating or recently graduated and were not able to apply during 2021 due to cancellation of event and COVID. We can only accept up to 2 applicants who meet or exceed all these one-time extenuating qualifications. To reiterate, this is a onetime only opportunity and no guarantees will be made until after the review process is complete.

You don’t have to be an art or photography major. You don’t even have to call yourself a nature photographer, but you will be one when you leave the Summit! You do have to have a digital camera that accepts interchangeable lenses. Past recipients of NANPA’s high school and college scholarships are not eligible to apply. Transportation expenses to and from the Summit site is the responsibility of the student.

Each college student selected to participate in the program and attend the NANPA Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show will be provided with the following:

  • Full registration and admission to all keynote presentations and breakout sessions at the Summit;
  • All meals and hotel room (shared with another student) at the Summit site;
  • Portfolio review given by a professional nature photographer, stock agent, or photo editor;
  • All meals and housing during your participation in a field-based, story-telling project for a Summit-area client;
  • Opportunity to network with mentors throughout the Summit; and
  • Membership in NANPA for three years.

In addition, students will meet with a variety of invited guests that include top nature photography pros for small-group and one-on-one discussions. Throughout the Summit, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm, critique images, and talk with many pros on a variety of subjects.


The application deadline for 2023 has expired.

The Scholarship Program Client Project

A key part of this scholarship experience is developing a story-telling project prior to the start of the Summit. The student team will work with the client to develop the story line and decide the visual format for the project. The team will then go into the field to shoot photographs and record video and audio to support the project. The story-telling project will then be shown to Summit attendees on the final night of the event.

Examples illustrating recent client-project videos

2019: Clark County (Nevada) Wetlands Park
2017: North Florida Land Trust O2O Corridor
2015: San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve
2013: Big Talbot Island
2011: Reconnecting the Rio Grande Valley
2011: From Passion to Profession, Aaron Schmidt’s Account of His 2011 Participation