Connecting with our work in new ways

Background on the Inspired Creator

How often have you traveled to a place and thought or said to yourself, “why haven’t more people heard of this place?”  Or maybe you know of someone who has a uniquely creative project, idea, or work they would like to do but lack the funds?    Or maybe you know a young person that wants to get into photography but could use a little financial help?

Get to know the 2023 Recipients & Their Projects!

Covering a wide geography and bringing forth new ways for us to connect to our natural world, ourselves, and others.  This is the class of 2023!

See the 2023 Recipients

What is the goal of the Inspired Creator?

My name is Nic Stover, and I am the founder of Nature Photography Classes where I work daily on a mission to “help nature photographers, who are interested in deeper connections, create more impactful images, so they can confidently and consistently express themselves.”  I do this through online classes, in field workshops, camera club presentations, and through speaker series that focus on bringing in world renowned photography educators to help people on their own creative journeys. 

I personally credit photography, connecting with nature, and development of myself as an artist as a major part of my evolution as a person to overcome addiction, rebalance my life, and live a better life.  But not everyone is as fortunate as me to have found their way into a life of personal self-expression. 

As direct response to what I have seen in my travels, conversations, and observations I wanted to help people overcome some of the barriers or obstacles that prevent them from bringing their ideas to life.  Just some of the things I have heard from people that I want to find ways to support.

  • “I want to take pictures of this area they are proposing a new mine so people know how beautiful this remote area is.”
  • “I have a photography project of the local birds that are threatened by deforestation, but I don’t know where to start.”
  • “This area is beautiful, but lacks protection from any local authorities or agencies and is at risk of being destroyed.”
  • “I want to go into photography but don’t think I can support myself or a future family.”
  • “I live in a very poor and congested area, I want to take some of the people in my community out into nature.”

Through these conversations.  I created the Inspired Creator.  Since founding Nature Photography Classes in 2022 I have been setting aside 10% of the proceeds from courses, classes, and the speaker series for charitable causes and for 2023, the Inspired Creator will award more than $10,000 USD to individuals that have inspiring projects, places, spaces, or purposes they want to promote or protect.  

Preservation of Place or Space

The Preservation of Place is specifically designed for outdoor guides outside of the United States that are in local communities working to preserve places that most of us have not heard of but are a risk of being developed or destroyed by entrenched interests.   The goal here is to educate these people with photography skills to document these areas and in turn provide local or regional authorities with the types of images to make people care about their natural environment. 

Unprotected Oasis in Chile

The kinds of places that inspire awe and wonder but also the kind of place that could be wiped out by the pen stroke of a politician.  

Incredible Valley in Peru

A surprising amount of trash in this completely unprotected valley.  The kind of place that needs to be preserved.

Preservation of Person or Purpose

I have also seen people that want to undertake something that is uniquely special to them, but they lack the simple financial boost to make this happen.  This might be a photography book, a curated photography project, or another type of personally expressive work.  The goal here is to provide funding for the person to pursue this work.  Or this could be person that wants to go into the creative arts but has been led to believe that there is no opportunity to make a career by being a professional photographer.  The goal here is to open the doors to people who need some help to expose others to nature.

Additional Benefits

This is not something where I simply write you a check and you are on your way.  Together we work to develop a plan and so that you are not alone in what you are looking to accomplish. 

  1. Complete access to all classes, courses, and speakers on
  2. If applicable for your project, an initial kickoff call to help scope the project and to work through obstacles or other problems. I am a former Inc 500 CEO, have an MBA, and regularly do business mentoring so we can work together to come up with a workable and actionable plan. 
  3. $200 of print credits through McKenna Pro.
  4. Select recipients will receive a 1 hour portfolio review with Eric Bennett and access to his Tools of the Trade Tutorials.

Qualifications / Eligibility / Fine Print

  • Applicants need to be focused on nature photography as part of their project, cause, or work.
  • Open to amateur and professional photographers.
  • Open to anyone that submits a completed application and can demonstrate their concept / describe how it will work. If you are 12 and want to do a book project, please submit.  If you are 82 and have a portfolio you need to have printed, submit.
  • The minimum award is $100 and the maximum award is $4k for 2024. This is an annual award and can be revisited in 2025 and beyond.  There is no cost share to this to be eligible. 
  • This is not a donation to a cause or organization, rather is designed to bring forward a concept, idea, or project.
  • Applications are open through till October 31st and awards will be made in late 2023.
Apply Now for the 2024 Awards!
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