The Responsible Nature Photography Standard

The Responsible Nature Photography Standard

The Responsible Nature Photography Standard is a commitment to implement Nature First principles within your organization. It is similar to the commitment that photographers make when they join Nature First, yet this standard is not for photographers themselves but rather for the organizations that use the nature photos and videos that they create. We also have a portion of this standard that is specific to organizations involved in photo, video or outdoor instruction.


Requirements for organizations who source nature photography or nature videos for internal or external communications and marketing materials.

  • Require that all such sourced content used in either internal or external communications and marketing materials, including but not limited to, website, blog, social media, digital storytelling/content marketing, print, in-person events, and influencer partners be obtained exclusively from photographers who have pledged to follow the Nature First principles by becoming a Nature First member (membership is free of charge) prior to licensing, use or publishing.
  • Sourced content may include but is not limited to professional photography and video through hired commercial photographers, stock assets purchased through independent nature/landscape photographers and/or third party marketplaces, assets from social media influencers (amateur or professional photographers), and community photographers submitting user generated content Nature First Partnership Program Page 5 through social hashtags or other forms of user generated content curation and collection systems (i.e. Pixlee, Stackla, Curalate, etc.)
  • Content creators (influencers and users generating content) may be professional, amateur or hobbyist level photographers who may or may not be using professional equipment. All who photograph nature and make their content available through their own personal publishing channels/social media/blog/website/store, etc. are eligible to become Nature First members.
  • Take additional responsibility and best effort for ensuring every sourced photographer adheres to the Nature First principles when producing images and videos used in said communications and marketing materials.


Requirements for organizations who provide nature photography, nature videography or outdoor recreation education and instruction.

  • Require that a basic introduction to the Nature First principles be included in education and instruction curriculum, syllabus and/or materials provided to customers and/or students.
  • Require that the Nature First principles are adopted and adhered to by instructors, guests, customers and students during any activities in the field or natural areas.
  • Lead by example: acting ethically, and explaining those ethical choices, is even more important when in front of a group.
  • Keep group sizes small. Actively minimize your group’s impact on the places you visit and work to protect the experiences of those around you. It is your responsibility to make sure that your group is not disruptive to others.
  • Carefully consider the impacts of leading a group to sensitive locations before doing so.
  • Follow rules and regulations, including permit requirements.


Responsibility for compliance lies with the organization. Before finalizing the partnership, the organization must share with Nature First their process for ensuring that photographers are compliant with the Nature First membership requirement. Organizations who are unwilling or unable to vet photographers are not eligible to formally adopt and commit to the Responsible Nature Photography Standard and are best suited for our level 1 organizational partnership.