THE NATURE FIRST 7 PRINCIPLES
1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
4. Use discretion if sharing locations.
5. Know and follow rules and regulations.
6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles
For many years, nature and outdoor photography in general was just about taking pretty pictures, maybe selling a print or stock image or competing in the local camera club. Of course photography to me was always about "being there" and enjoying the beauty and grandeur of nature and the great outdoors.
In recent years it's become increasingly apparent how our hobby and passion is impacting the natural world. Photography has been around for centuries, yet since the explosion of digital photography, cell phones, the world wide web and most specifically, Social Media, the sheer volume of photographers and people in general, are creating a host of issues.
Nature First was formed as a result of a number of nature and outdoor photographers who were concerned about the influence we were having on our natural world and the special places we have loved to photograph.
For many years now I have tried to live by the "Leave no Trace" principles. It wasn't always the case in my younger years.... When I learned of Nature First through the online community of the Nature Photographers Network, I joined to recommit myself to these principles and do my best to lead by example.
Please visit the Nature First website to learn more about these guiding principles and what you can do to participate and help.