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Johnson County

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Johnson County
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Olathe, KS 66061

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Nature Photography

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by Jessica Lawrenz | 4-H and Youth Development Agent


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     Not all “holidays” are well-known; some are celebrated because they are fun and bring awareness to current issues. June 15 is National Nature Photography Day. The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) created the day in 2006 to encourage people to learn and enjoy capturing the beauty of nature through their cameras as well as to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes both locally and globally. Nature photography is a branch of photography that is devoted to taking pictures of natural elements including landscapes, geological formations, and flora and fauna in their natural habitats. NANPA encourages people everywhere to enjoy the day by using a camera to explore the natural world whether that be in a zoo, a national park, a local park or even your own backyard.

     Some ways to celebrate NNPD include joining a photography club, taking a hike with your family and friends and capturing the scenes with your camera, learning more about the natural history of your environment, learning about the legacy of nature photography by reading about the work of naturalists as well as pioneers in the profession, creating a local scavenger hunt of birds, butterflies, insects, rocks, and other natural sights from your photography, and sharing your favorite nature pictures on social media to bring awareness of environmental and conservation issues and efforts. 

     In Johnson County, KS, photography is no-doubt a very popular 4-H project. Not many other projects can intertwine history, art expression, and creativity, all while encouraging positive mental and physical health.  Photography can be practiced by anyone, anywhere.

     One of our very own 4-H’ers, Jaden F. is heavily involved in the photography project through 4-H, both at a club and county level. Jaden is 17-years-old and has been in the Lucky Clovers Club for nine years. She has been in the photography project for five years and taking photos since she was 12. Jaden is even a recent Kansas 4-H Project Recognition Award winner in the photography project!

     Jaden originally began taking photos because she wanted to take pictures of things she found pretty. What she enjoys the most is finding the perfect picture and being able to show others what she accomplished. One of her biggest challenges is taking photos of moving objects. When asked why is a project such as photography important for youth, Jaden’s response was because it gives kids a creative outlet, where they can think outside the box and do whatever they want to. They are in control and can do anything they want to alter or change the photo to their liking. She also says photography builds lifelong skills in 4-H’ers such as patience, especially when you have to wait for the wind, lighting, or maybe even a sunset. You also must be more detail-orientated and focus on your subject.

     Jaden has some advice for beginner or novice photographers. There are no rules or regulations to photography, you don’t need a camera or know a certain way to take photos. It can be as easy as going out with some friends and taking pictures of cool things you find along the way. Photography has provided many opportunities and benefits for Jaden. Photography is something she really enjoys and invests her time in. She runs meetings and organizes meet-ups and classes.  She led the first county-wide photography club and has won many ribbons and awards at county and state fair. She feels that she has helped many 4-H’ers and taught them about the project.



Nature Photography Day – NANPA

Thank you to Jaden F., Lucky Clovers 4-H Club/Johnson County, for your input!