Today is Earth Day. It also marks the first anniversary of Nature First, an organization aiming to promote responsible nature photography.
We nature photographers enjoy spending time outdoors, and sharing our images of the natural world. However, over the last decade or so, some fragile landscapes and its habitants have been negatively impacted by the increased number of photographers that come to these areas.
The Nature First Principles:
Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations.
Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
Use discretion if sharing locations.
Know and follow rules and regulations.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
Actively promote and educate others about these principles
Join the Movement
Membership is free. By becoming a member, you simply pledge to live by those principles and to help spread the message. This movement is NOT about policing people, or telling them what they can and can't do. It's about bringing awareness and educating others, and also about leading by example.
Whether you're a landscape, wildlife or nature photographer (amateur or pro), I strongly suggest that you check out the Nature First's website to learn more about the movement. Also, I hope you will adopt these principles and apply them in your photography habits. Finally, tell your friends above the Nature First principles, and encourage them to join as well.
I'm proud to announce that I've recently joined Nature First's Community Advocate program. My role will be to promote the Nature First organization and its Principles to the photography community in Canada, more particularly in Atlantic Canada.
As nature photographers, we need to be good stewards of the land, and set an example for others. Let's put #NatureFirst!
To learn more, visit Nature First.