2020 Summer Newsletter

Thank you so much for all you do to carry this movement forward in these still very difficult times. While many of you can go out and enjoy nature again, there are still a lot of you that must deal with Covid-19 restrictions, like staying indoors during this summer period. This had made our work at Nature First more challenging. Luckily, we also see encouraging things happening. More and more photographers are joining the movement and rolling up their sleeves. Community Advocates either alone or with their local teams are developing action plans and Nature First is starting to get more and more known around the globe.


 Over the last year the staff at Nature First has been working to clarify the mission and vision of the organization. These will help keep us on target with clarity about why we exist and what we as an organization do and do not do.

Firstly, the mission of an organization defines why it exists and what its goal is.

Nature First’s Mission

Nature First promotes the protection and preservation of the world’s natural and wild places through inspiring, educating, and uniting everyone making photographs and videos in nature; empowering them to be ambassadors of the natural world.

Secondly, the vision is what we want to achieve. It expresses how we would like the world to be in the future. It is the dream that we work towards.

Nature First’s Vision

Our vision is for everyone making photographs and videos in nature to be mindful of their impact, knowledgeable about the places they photograph, and ambassadors for the natural world.


With a clear direction of why we exist and where we are headed, we have been hard at work these last few months. One of the things we have been doing is developing a new Partnership Program.

Nature First Partnership Program

Nature First believes that cooperation is essential to do anything great. We therefore seek to cooperate with other organizations that share the goal of protecting and preserving our world’s natural and wild places. Only together can we create a better future. We have been at work developing a new program, the Nature First Partnership Program for those organizations who want to join hands with Nature First. It is a program with multiple levels of partnership, each level showing an increasing commitment to the Nature First Principles. This partnership program is for those who run workshops, for small and large businesses, for photography festivals and photo competitions or any other form of organization that is involved in photography and the outdoors. We are just putting some finishing touches on this new partnership program and plan to release the details for how you can join in the near future, hopefully by the time of the next newsletter.

Beyond the Partnership Program and our efforts to promote the spread of the Nature First Principles across our planet we also have our eyes set on series of goals that we believe will help us move towards achieving the vision of Nature First. Because we are a volunteer-based organization and all of us have jobs we are hesitant to put expected completion dates on these items, but we are listing them here so you have a clear idea of the direction we are headed.

  • Grow Nature First to 10,000 members & 200 partner organizations

  • Create Nature First promotional products we can offer to you

  • Facilitate the creation of regional and genre specific principles

  • Develop professional multi-media materials

  • Grow our community advocate program to 30 nations

  • Create a sponsorship program

  • Design and implement a member training / certification program

We plan to keep you updated with our progress along the way. In the meanwhile, you can stay informed, via social media (Facebook and Instagram) and our website. Also, please join one of our regional Facebook groups.


One of the big changes recently is that Brynn Schmidt from Boulder Colorado has taken on our social media outreach. Since then we have become much more active on Facebook and Instagram. We may expand to other social media channels later. If you’re not following our pages, please do so. If you have news relevant to photography and conservation that you would like to share, please reach out to Brynn and let her know.

Our Community Advocate program is continuing to grow. We now have advocates representing 12 nations and also 7 regions of the United States. Visit the Regional – Groups page on our website to see if your region is represented and get involved. If there isn’t a representative and you would like to help start something in your region, contact Kristel Schneider our Community Advocates Director.

Since we sent our last newsletter, the following people have joined our Community Advocate Program. Be sure and check out their websites and if you are in their region get in touch with them about getting involved.

New Community Advocates:

  • Chile – Andres Puiggros
  • Italy- Cristiana Damiano
  • Netherlands & Belgium – Loulou Beavers
  • Romania – Daniel Mîrlea & Andreea Popescu
  • Slovenia – Petra Draškovič Pelc
  • US Northeast – James Johnston & Chrissy Donadi
  • US Midwest – Kristen Ryan Australia – Elliot Connor

We are very excited to announce that we now have a team of Community Advocates representing and promoting the principles of Nature First to the Chinese speaking community across the globe. Jay Huang, Xiu Yu and Willa Wei, based in the United States along with several others will lead this initiative. They are already connected with an extensive group of Mandarin speaking photographers and hope to see the values of Nature First become well-known and widely-practiced in that community.

New Regional Team Members

  • Nature First (de Lage Landen – NLD & BE) – Renate van den Boom, Etienne Courtens
  • Nature First (France) – Ambre de l’Alpe, Julien Butheau, Arnaud Nédaud
  • Nature First (Italia) – Andrea Celli

Thank you so much for your continued support of Nature First. As always, you can also help us spread the word on our own social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), on YouTube and by using the hashtags #naturefirst and #naturefirstprinciples.

Kristel Schneider – Community Advocate Director

Nature First Team