NANPA Summit … the better deal

I’ve just registered to attend the 17th Annual NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) Summit scheduled for March 9-12, 2011 in McAllen, Texas. Okay, no big deal, you think. Hundreds of people will do the same thing.
True. But most of them won’t be first timers.

Now, I’ve attended conferences before. I’ve attended workshops before. And, I’ve attended photography classes before. The upcoming NANPA Summit is different however. First, it hosts some of the best nature photographers, professional as well as amateur, in the world. That makes it a premier opportunity to network (read learn from) some of the best nature photographers anywhere, many of whom we’ve admired from afar.

They’re some of the same people we’ve read about and learned from by way of their books,  articles and workshops.

Of course there’s more to the Summit than networking. From my perspective the heart of its agenda is the many workshop opportunities offered. I don’t know about previous Summits, but this year’s list of workshop opportunities is impressive. It’s easy to see how someone might get totally exhausted trying to take in as many workshops as time will allow.

As someone who’s spent some serious money on workshops, some great, some not-so-great, I’m amazed at how far my dollar is going at the Summit.

My run through the Summit actually begins the day before its official start, with a day-long Adobe Workshop and continues on the first day with two more – one on HDR and another on demystifying social media. I’ve been using both for some time, but I bet I’m in for some interesting and useful insights.

So far I’m paying to play. With the arrival of day two of the Summit we all get to keep our money in our pockets, yet continue our education. For free, I’ll be participating in five workshops in three days. Subjects range from a workshop on songbird photography, to color management workflow, getting the most out of RAW files, a buyer’s perspective on portfolios and presentations and digital workflow.

This doesn’t include keynote addresses and other special events, or portfolio review sessions. I’ve scheduled two.

For certain it will be a busy few days. However, based on my previous experience with workshops, it’s will also be the best bang for the buck I’ve run across in awhile. The whole tab, including the Summit registration fee, will cost me less than many individual workshops. Granted, some of the Summit workshops are brief by typical standards. However, I’m betting that they’ll be jam-packed with good information.

I’d suggest that anyone interested in advancing their photographic skills and/or careers get on the NANPA website and see if you think a few days in Texas ought to be on your agenda for March of next year,

Maybe I’ll see you there.