Celebrating Earth Day, Today and Everyday

Today is Earth Day!

I’m guessing that many – if not all – of us celebrate Mother Earth just about every day.  After all, we are photographers, based in Utah, where every venture outdoors offers a chance to experience nature in settings so unique and special.  

But let’s just spend a couple of extra minutes today, April 22, to consider the importance of Earth Day, now arguably even greater than on the day of its founding in 1970.  Thinking about the state of the earth can be depressing, frankly.  Climate change, mounting losses of biodiversity, increasing pollution, land degradation, and deforestation are very big problems.  So big that many turn away.  Don’t.  

Your part in the solution can be small but mighty, especially as a photographer.  Nature First, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering photographers as ambassadors of the natural world, offers the following principles:

  • Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography
  • Educate yourself about the places you photograph
  • Reflect on the possible impact of your actions
  • Use discretion if sharing locations
  • Know and follow rules and regulations
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles
  • Actively promote and educate others about these principles

There are times when I come across something so beautiful and captivating, and instead of photographing it, I just take it in.  A beautiful sunset, a moose crossing my path, a budding flower about to explode with color.  Of course I enjoy capturing these images too, but the pleasure of the sensory indulgence is worth foregoing a picture sometimes.  These experiences make me double down on my commitment to cherish the earth and the sacredness of the natural world.  

As springtime weather beckons us outdoors, into parks, monuments, and public lands, you will find yourself with ample opportunity to be an ambassador of the natural world.  Make images that reflect your own commitment to nature, and share them in a way that fosters respect for our planet.  I hope to see you out there!