GNPA 2021

Register now for this year’s Smokies Photo Weekend:
November 4th through 7th, 2021.

Don’t Miss Out!

This year’s Smokies Photo Weekend will be very much like last year’s, due to COVID-19 Safety Concerns.  We want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable during this pandemic.  This year’s registration will prompt you to review and accept GNPA’s updated COVID-19 policy.

We’ll feature field trips ONLY again this year—beginning with a sunset shoot on Thursday evening, followed by 1/2 day field trips Friday and Saturday.

COVID-19 safety guidelines will once again limit field trip participation to a maximum of 12 people per trip:

  • we will practice social distancing at all times (even when asking field trip leaders for advice or help)
  • there will be no touching or sharing other photographer’s equipment
  • carpooling is not encouraged

There will be NO Thursday night welcome, pizza dinner or speaker again this year.

David Foster is our Sunday morning speaker. 

Photo Competition

Our Smokies Weekend photo competition will once again be online. That means you’ll have Saturday evening through Monday evening to prepare your images for the competition.

  • online competition categories will be Wildlife, Landscapes and Macros/Close Up.
  • Competition rules will be shared after registration.
  • Images must be submitted by 9:00 P.M. on Monday, November 8.
  • Winners will be announced by email, no later than Saturday, November 13, on our GNPA webpage and GNPA Facebook page.

This year there will be cash/gift card prizes!

  • 1st place ($100), 2nd place ($75), and 3rd place ($50) in each category
  • Honorable mention photos will be recognized
  • Best in Show will be selected from the winners in each of the three categories. A $125 cash/gift card will be awarded for the overall winner.
  • Prizes will be mailed to the winners.

Come Photograph Fall in the Smokies!

Join us to photograph landscapes, water, wildlife, flora, the historic structures and buildings that all have been preserved to reveal the rich tapestry of the region.

The Smokies is well known for its wonderful fall colors, but in November, the crowds thin out, the leaves are still colorful, and the forests reveal old growth trees, old structures, feeding bears & other wildlife, waterfalls, reflections, etc.  In years past we have still had good color in early November.  We have the privilege of GNPA members who have agreed to be field trip leaders and who will share their knowledge and love of both the Smokies and Photography!

As we get closer to the dates of our Fall Smokies Photo Weekend we will send out additional information regarding the Townsend and Great Smoky National Park area, including info on restaurants that are open (and whether dine in or take out, or take out only), and updated guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety measures. In the event of travel restrictions, National Park closing, or stay at home requirements, GNPA will make a decision on whether to cancel the event.  Also, our normal guidelines for cancellations will be in place for this event.

Schedule at a Glance

Nov 4, 4:00 pm       Sunset Field Trips to various locations

Sunset will be around 5:30 P.M.

Dinner will be on your own.

Friday & Sat.
Nov. 6, 7                Field trips as detailed in the Field Trip schedule.

Nov 7, 9:00am        Speaker – David Foster, Capturing the Essence of Photography

11:00am Check out – return home, process images for photo competition.

Register EARLY

How Much?          
GNPA members only. $65 registration fee.

All meals will be on your own.

Beverages or incidentals are not included.

NOTE: Wine is not available for purchase in Townsend, so BYO. Some restaurants allow you to “Brown Bag” wine into the restaurant.  There may be a ‘corkage fee’ charged to serve the wine.

Where?                  Highland Manor Inn & Conference Center, Townsend, TN.

This is the SAME LOCATION as last year.

Room rates will be $113.35 per night (plus 14.25% taxes = $129.50).

When?                   Call Highland Manor Inn at 800-213-9462 or (local number) 865-448-2211.  Mention GNPA when you register to get the discount.

Room Reservations can be made now. 

Room Reservations CLOSES Saturday, Oct. 15.


Sign up SOON – Rooms are blocked only until Oct. 15.

Event registration CLOSES Friday, Oct. 29.


Mike Thornton – email –; phone 678-362-2144, leave voice mail if no answer.

Travis Rhoads – email; phone 770-356-2935, leave voice mail if no answer.