Why I Never Miss a NANPA Summit

I try my best to never miss a NANPA Summit! That’s the photo convention sponsored by the North American Nature Photographers Association. There are so many reasons to attend. With all the great speakers, workshops, breakout sessions and the tradeshow, there are plenty of good things happening that make attending a wonderful experience.

I enjoy the speakers and seminars, learn a great deal, and go home highly inspired and motivated. Besides the events, one of the reasons I keep returning is the personal experience that the Summit provides. It’s the connections I make with other photographers who share the same passion for outdoor nature photography that I do.

I’ve been a professional photographer for a long time. 30 years to be exact. When I was a student in photography school way back, I wandered the California Sierras and desert with my fellow classmates photographing some of our school assignments.

Later, while my career was still young, I continued to travel with a small group of fellow photographers. We explored and photographed all over the West, camping in the middle of nowhere and sleeping in our trucks.

We bonded, we shared techniques and information, drank a beer or two, and created fabulous photographs!But, as the old saying goes; “Life happens!” As mine and my fellow photographers businesses grew and lives changed, getting together and traveling became more difficult, and we haven’t done it in years.

The Trade Show

Since I joined NANPA and began attending the summits, I have enjoyed a similar experience to those early days. I have connected with other photographers and made new friends. While at the Summit we pretty much do the same thing: share techniques and ideas, talk about our adventures and photography, step out for some local shooting, and have a beer over dinner.

Last year’s summit was in Reno, Nevada and featured some wonderful keynote speakers and breakout sessions such as: Joel Sartore, George Lepp, Paul Colangelo and many more. I learned about video, Photoshop, stock photography, and more. But that was last year!

This years schedule is just as impressive with legendary photographers Jack Dykinga, Michelle Westmorland, Kathy Adams Clark, and Daniel Beltra. I have one Jacks books and have always admired his stunning landscape photography. I am anxious to hear him speak.

Breakout Session

Speaking of meeting photographers at the Summit; I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Westmorland at the summit several years ago. She is a fabulous underwater photographer and I look forward to her presentation as well. Daniel Beltra’s and Kathy Adams Clark’s presentations focus on great subjects and will be just as enjoyable.

The breakout sessions are as diverse and interesting as the speakers. Video is the rage now and I to have an interest in getting into it but admit I’m pretty much a novice here. Fortunately there is a session on wildlife film making I plan to attend. If you’re in the business of professional photography then the session on social media for photographers will no doubt be educational as well.

Brenda Tharp Book Signing

And there’s so much more: bird photography, book publishing, raw file processing, the greeting card market, and so much more. The schedule is packed!

The summit is barely 5 weeks away and my suitcase is already packed. Well not really, but I’m thinking about it. I can’t wait to get there! I look forward to the seminars and speakers and a chance to look at all the new gear in the trade show.

And finally, there are those connections I know I will make. Old friends and new friends! Landscape and nature photographers all gathered in one place, sharing stories, ideas, and techniques. An experience that can only be found at the NANPA Summit!

And the best part; it matters not whether you are a member or not, this year the registration price is the same. So if you are a non-member, come and check it out this year, learn from the breakout sessions, meet other nature photographers, and then you’ll go home and fully understand why you need to become a member.

See ya there!

Sign up here for The North American Nature Photographers Summit.

Have you been to the Summit? If so please share your experience by leaving a comment.

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