Nature First Photography - Ep. 025

Nature First Photography | Erik Stensland & Scott Bacon | Nature First | Ep. 025

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Erik Stensland - Images of RMNP

Scott Bacon - Scott Bacon Photography

Release Date: January 24th, 2020

In this episode, I speak with photographers Erik Stensland and Scott Bacon with Nature First. Nature First advocates for responsible photography of our public lands and wild places through education and community. We discuss their background, the genesis of Nature First, their seven principles, photography ethics, cultural values towards nature, influencers and social media and steering public behavior. There has never been a more important time to be having these sorts of conversations. Our public lands are more important than any of us individually and I think when we can accept this truth, our collective actions will reflect this sentiment. Please visit


Erik's Website:

Scott's Website:

Episode Page:

About Scott

I'm a full-time enterprise software product leader, creating innovative solutions for some of the world's largest companies. Landscape and nature photography has been a personal passion for over 30 years, where I find peace and restoration in wild places. I'm a firm believer in wilderness preservation and one of the co-founders of Nature First - advocating for responsible nature photography through education and community.

About Erik

Erik spent the 1990s leading development agencies in the Balkan Peninsula doing everything from starting job creation programs to refugee agencies. In 2004 Erik and his wife moved to Estes Park, Colorado at the edge of Rocky Mountain where he now works as a professional landscape photographer and author. He has three fine art galleries where he sells large prints celebrating our natural world. He has also authored numerous books, his last being a 500-page guide to hiking Rocky Mountain National Park developed at the request of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy and focused on reducing visitor impact. Erik is also one of the co-founders of Nature First which seeks to minimize both the direct and indirect damage to our world’s wild and natural places by photographers. 

About Nature First

Nature First is built on seven core principles that help communicate how each of us can enjoy nature photography responsibly. The Seven Principles of Nature First Photography were developed to help educate and guide both professional and recreational photographers in sustainable, minimal impact practices that will help preserve nature’s beautiful locations.

The Nature First Principles

  1. Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.

  2. Educate yourself about the places you photograph.

  3. Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.

  4. Use discretion if sharing locations.

  5. Know and follow rules and regulations.

  6. Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.

  7. Actively promote and educate others about these principles.

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