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History of the Georgia Nature Photographers Association

A 501c3 Non-Profit Organization

The Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) evolved from a simple need: to create the first nature focused photography camera club in metro Atlanta. In 2009. Atlanta offered great photography groups, but there were no clubs where our founding member’s photographic interests were placed front and center.

The idea for a Georgia nature photographers club originated with Chris Dekle.  Chris placed an ad in the Atlanta Audubon Society newsletter seeking persons interested in nature photography.  Mary Bachner spotted the ad and alerted Don Stewart.  Don contacted Chris and the Georgia Nature Photographers Association was born.  From there, others joined and the group was off to a good start.

The original planners and organizers included Chris Dekle, Don Stewart, Mary Backner, Amy Bram, Izzy Israeli, Don Saunders, Todd Sparger, Starr Camp, Marvin Price, Don Saunders, George Bradfield, Gail Stewart, CJ Andretta, Jim Bell, Tom Zakshevsky, Brad Wilson and Terry Metcalf

The original officers were as follows:

  • Chris Dekle -President
  • Todd Sparger -Vice President
  • Treasurer – Star Camp
  • Secretary – Don Stewart

The early founders modeled the organization on the Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) thanks to Chris Dekle, who shared the great things that CNPA did so well for their then 1,000+ members. Doug Holstien, the then CNPA’s president generously shared CNPA bylaws and operating procedures and provided valuable support and encouragement.

From the beginning, the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) supported us in our implementation of GNPA.  All of the planning meetings were held at CNC, as well as the monthly meetings.  Our founding members provided nature photography courses at the Center. This enabled CNC guests to photograph and take home tangible memories of all their discoveries. This enabled our club to spread the word to Atlanta’s nature photographers about CNC and GNPA. Thank you to CNC for all their support.

On the evening of January 27, 2009, Georgia Nature Photographers Association held their first meeting. Over 100 photographers came, far surpassing the new clubs expectations.  This first night paved the way for our current 700+ membership in many regions.





Georgia Nature Photographers Association is dedicated to helping nature photographers of all skill levels improve their photography, learn and grow, network with outdoor photographers and participate in exciting trips and events. Through our work, we share our appreciation for the natural world and spotlight the value of nature as a photography special interest.

Our goal is to become the Southeast’s premier nature photography club, and we welcome your help guiding and molding GNPA into the amazing future ahead.


Contact Us

Contact Us


Reach out to us however works best for you.

  • Attend a chapter meeting near you.
  • Email a board member, committee chair or chapter coordinator.
  • Fill out the Contact Us form on the right.

Note:   Or goal is to promptly respond to all e-mail. Unfortunately, due to the volume of inquiries we receive, member correspondence is give first priority. If you don’t receive an immediate response, please be patient—or consider emailing the appropriate board member, committee chair or chapter coordinator directly.

2022-2023 Officer and Board Election Results

The election results are in. Thanks to everyone for voting. Congratulations to our new and returning Officers and Board Members.


President: Bill White

Vice President: Doug Flor

Secretary: Ken Dunwoody

Treasurer: Bill Hatherley

Past President: Eric Bowles

GNPA Board Members At Large

Tricia Lynch

Ray Silva

Marcia Brandes

Janet Newton

Returning Board Members At Large

Jenny Burdette

Travis Rhoads

Lee Friedman


We also wish to extend thanks for a job well done to our outgoing officers and board members Tom Wilson, Jimmy Day, and Susan Burroughs.

GNPA Officers, Board and Committee Chairs

We would love to hear from you. Below is a listing of our current officers, committee chairs, and chapter coordinators. Click the person’s name to email them.

President: Bill White
Vice President: Doug Flor
Secretary: Ken Dunwoody
Treasurer: Bill Hatherley
Past President: Eric Bowles
Website: Chris Dekle

GNPA Board Members At Large

Janet Newton
Tricia Lynch
Lee Friedman
Ray Silva
Travis Rhoads
Marcia Brandes
Jenny Burdette 

Committee Chairs

Communications: Tom Wilson
Conservation: Marcia Brandes
Membership Chair: John Criminger
Newsletter Chair:  Ken Dunwoody

GNPA Website Content Submissions
To submit an article for the website; email: (Coming Soon)
To submit a GNPA Event announcement/information for the website, email: (Coming Soon)


At the GNPA, we are member focused and all about seeing, shooting and sharing our passion for capturing our natural world. We look forward to hearing from you! We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

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