The Images for Conservation Pro-Tour of Nature Photography has arrived-creating a whole new recreational sport! The advent of the photography blind and the growing reality of private lands opening their gates to avid nature tourists give photographers the opportunity to experience exciting interaction with wildlife.
Images for Conservation’s goal is to create sustainable development of rural economies through the creation and prosperity of the Private Lands Nature Photo Tourism industry. Patterned after major organized competitions for outdoor sports such as golf, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and tournament fishing, the Pro-Tour of Nature Photography seeks to play a major role in economies around the world.
The Private Lands Nature Photo Tourism Industry: the most cost-efficient method to conserve wildlife habitat
- Photography’s economic incentives will protect habitat by increasing the asset value of native wildlife.
- The industry also will create jobs: i.e. photographic site design and construction, guide services, photography classes, etc.
- Rural communities will benefit from increased tourism.
- All types of wildlife and habitats will become economically valuable and “worth preserving.”
- Revenue is DIRECTLY tied to the prosperity and diversity of the land’s wildlife.
The Pro-Tour of Nature Photography: a clear, decisive and efficient method of protecting habitat
- The Pro-Tour is the Images for Conservation flagship event-the world’s first all-professional nature photo tournament.
- Photographers and landowners are paired into teams to promote conservation, create outstanding natural images and promote the Nature Photo Tourism industry on the most beautiful and biodiverse lands of North America.
- The Inaugural Pro-Tour of Nature Photography was held in the Texas Hill Country in April 2006. Ten of the 17 competition ranches are now actively establishing photo eco-tourism businesses.
- In the same way the PGA of golf brings professional focus to the golfing industry, the 2008 Pro-Tour of Nature Photography: Coastal Bend of Texas brought national focus to 18 counties in the Texas Coastal Bend region.
Regional Organizations: continue the development of the new industry and promotion of conservation
- Following the regional Pro-Tour events, Regional Affiliate Organizations will promote conservation through development and marketing of conservation and educational programs, Nature Photo Tourism opportunities and amateur photography competitions.
- Legacy tournaments will be open to all landowners and photographers – youth, amateurs, professionals, etc. (like open golf tournaments).
Photography Books & Museum Exhibits: beautiful and educational conservation tools
- Beautiful Pro-Tour coffee table books share winning images of nature with people of all ages while offering long-term widespread exposure for Pro-Tour Sponsors.
- The Museum Exhibit of stunning photographic images from the Pro-Tour will travel to appropriate venues, including major sponsors’ business locations throughout the region.
Images for Conservation has received strong endorsements from:The Conservation Fund, Conservation International,Environmental Defense, The North American Nature Photography Association, The Nature Conservancy, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the Texas Travel Industry Association, The Texas Wildlife Association, the Wildlife Habitat Council, the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Contest and the Valley Land Fund.