The Club's Early History

The Georgia Nature Photography Association grew out of simple frustration

The Georgia Nature Photography Association grew out of simple frustration.

Although Atlanta is a huge metro area with over 5.5 million people, there simply was no club focused on nature photography. There are many other great photo clubs which exist in the area where many of us are members and enjoy their meetings.

However, somehow there just was no club where our photo interests were front and center. That left us looking for a home where there were others who shared our photographic interests.

For two years Chris Dekle actively promoted the Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) in Atlanta in an effort to jump start a club here. (The CNPA club has more than 1,000 members.) The people he spoke to loved the idea but said "It's too far away." There began the inspiration to put together a club here in Georgia. So we more or less cloned the CNPA and made the club local.

The Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) is organized almost identically to the CNPA. Their bylaws and operating procedures have come over to the GNPA largely unchanged. Thanks to the great help the CNPA members have given us, we have a club model that works for nature photographers.

A heartfelt "Thank You!" should go out to Doug Holstien, the CNPA's president, for his help and advice on starting and setting up the club. He is selfless and fantastic. Several other CNPA members have freely given their advice to us as well. Visit their web site at www.cnpa.org You will see we look a lot like them and look forward to working closely with that group in the future.

Early in 2008, the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and the GNPA more or less found each other and realized that combining efforts was a great opportunity. The CNC wanted to hold more nature photography classes so people could take home some of what they saw. The GNPA needed a meeting location and a lot of help getting started.

We realized that by working together, we would introduce more people to nature photography and the CNC would be able to provide a great meeting location. Better, it would give the club an excellent local nature photo location with raptors, butterflies, beavers and the "Hooch" for photography.

Thanks to CNC staff and facilities, we had a regular meeting location with a spacious meeting area, many smaller classrooms for seminars and training classes, access to close photographic encounters with native wildlife, and knowledge of lesser-known locations for spectacular nature photography.

Beginning in 2008, a core group started meeting and putting the club together. Our goal was to give it direction so it could be formally launched. That day came on January 27, 2009, where we had over 240 people in attendance, six vendors and over 100 people joined the GNPA on the spot. We now have about 15 people actively helping with the club and look forward to making this organization the largest and best in the Southeast.