MoNEP Mission Statement
The mission of the Missouri Nature and Environmental Photographers is to provide a forum for individuals interested in the field of nature photography and the environment, provide education, gather and disseminate information, and promote nature photography as an art form and medium of communication.
Monthly meetings are held at Powder Valley Conservation Area Nature Center. Each month a guest speaker is invited to share his or her knowledge of photography and/or the environment with members. MoNEP has hosted many well-known guest speakers from Missouri and Illinois that have covered a wide range of nature related topics. Members are encouraged to share their work by showing their images during the "Show and Share" segment at each meeting following the guest speaker’s presentation. The focus is on learning and not competition. An annual Holiday Show and party is held each December and features members’ images set to music.
Local field trips are scheduled monthly, with overnight field trips scheduled occasionally. Members go into the field to photograph a natural area or event as a group. These activities provide an opportunity for members to share techniques, learn from each other and have a good time. Images from these outings are often viewed by the membership at the following meeting.
MoNEP invites nationally known nature photographers to conduct biennial photography seminars that are open to the general public as well as the membership. Past presenters have included Bill Lea, Rob Sheppard, Bill Fortney, Richard and Susan Day, Willard Clay, and Rick Sammon among others.
Community Events & Service
MoNEP is invited to participate in local and national community events each year. Volunteering our time and services at these events is our way of giving back to the community by helping increase public awareness of natural beauty and the environment. MoNEP has participated in a photographic exhibit at the Shaw Nature Reserve and community events at National Public Lands Day, Earth Day, and the Fall Festival at Faust Park. Members donated prints and slides to help with the educational work of the Wild Bird Sanctuary after a field trip there.
MoNEP Charitable Gifting Fund
While MoNEP has been gifting for many years, in 2010 the board established a gifting fund and created a committee. This fund was financed to cover a minimum of five years. The funding came from previous Seminars and could not have been established without the help of our past speakers, sponsors and volunteers. In addition, it was decided that all profits from future MoNEP Seminars would be directed to the Fund to extend the life and the scope of the fund. Recipients and awards are decided solely by the gifting committee.
We are proud to announce since the establishment of the fund, MoNEP has contributed to the:
• UMSL College Scholarship - Annual Scholarship for the Pierre Laclede Honors College.
• Shaw Nature Reserve Youth Photo Contest - Annual awards for youth 14 and younger.
• Forest Park Forever (Keeper of the Park)
• The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Guardian)
• NABA - North American Butterfly Association of ST. Louis (The Jim Ziebol Butterfly Garden at Bush Wildlife Conservation Area.)
• Shaw Nature Reserve - purchased and donated cameras for educational programs for students.
• Wildlife Rescue Center (matching funds) - building a Community Wildlife Education bldg.
• The Heritage Foundation - August Busch Memorial Conservation Area.
• The Green Center - assisted in the purchase of cameras for youth nature/photo workshop.
• IPHF - International Photography Hall of Fame (matching funds).
• The Nature Conservancy of Missouri - prairie restoration.
• The Nature Conservancy
• NANPA - The North American Nature Photography Association Foundation.
• Nancy Rotenberg Student Endowment Fund (for High School Students).
• Arbor Day Foundation (matching funds) Trees for Joplin MO campaign.
• The Heritage Foundation - Powder Valley Nature Center for building a viewing blind.
• Alaska Wilderness League.
• The Fund for the Tiger.
• UMSL Center for International Studies
• St. Louis Community College at Meramec - Donation of student photographic equipment.
• The Missouri Prairie Foundation
• Wildlife Rescue Center - Fox Level
• Tree House Wildlife Center
• World Bird Sanctuary
• Living Lands and Waters
• The Ethical Society
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you mean by "nature photography"?
Our members have a wide variety of interests. Many members shoot landscapes. Others choose animals, from dragon flies to mammals to birds. Some specialize in flowers and other plants. You shoot what you like! Shoot where you like! Nature is nature, no matter your location.
Do I need to be really good photographer to join?
Not at all. The almost 150 members of MoNEP have a wide range of skills and interests. Our members’ skills range from beginning photographers to professional photographers. You will find cameras ranging from phones to professional level DLSR’s. Your skill level isn’t what’s important; it’s your interest in nature photography and the environment.
What does it cost to join?
First of all, you are welcome to attend our meetings just to see what goes on. If you wish to become a member, our current yearly dues are $30 for one person, or $40 for two people in the same household.
How often does the group meet?
MoNEP members gather once a month on the third Tuesday of the month. We are currently meeting at the Powder Valley Conservation Area Nature Center 6:30PM-8:30PM.
What happens at a meeting?
We have a speaker at each meeting. We try to present a variety of topics. One month may deal with a photography related topic and the next may focus more on an environmental topic.
I have some interesting pictures I’d like to share. Is there a way to do this?
Definitely! At most meetings we encourage members to share up to five images with the club. We call this “Show and Share”. We are doing this in a digital format. Information for submitting images is found on our web page and in our monthly newsletter, “Close Up”. If they wish, members may share a little about each image as it is shown.
How can MoNEP help me improve my photography skills?
One way is through the speakers at our meetings. We also schedule a monthly field trip from spring through fall. You’ll find that most of our members are only too happy to answer your questions. Don’t ever be afraid to ask! We try to go to a various locations to give participants a variety of subjects to photograph. Some of our field trips focus on improving a particular skill, i.e. composition, macro photography, lighting.
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