Larkin Keys

Building on the experiences at NANPA’s Jacksonville, Florida Summit in 2013, Larkin took his knowledge into the field to photograph wildlife in Central America. He shares how winning the High School Scholarship program changed his life and gave him new respect for the work of conservation photography.

“In 2013, I attended NANPA’s high school scholarship program in my senior year of high school. It changed my life. The knowledge, skills and friends I gained have stayed with me to this day. The program gave me an experience beyond that of which I could have had anywhere else. I felt as though I was living, eating and breathing photography during the week we camping and then immersed in the NANPA Summit in Jacksonville, Florida.

Through Mac Stone’s expert guidance, the experience camping on Cumberland Island and the time I spent at the Summit taught me more about photography and my own abilities as a photographer than I had in all of my previous years of experience combined. This was truly one of the best life experiences I have had thus far.

I recently visited Belize, in Central America, with my father and wildlife biologist, Michael Keys, to put my skills to the test. I got to photograph the rare Yellow-headed Parrot and marvel in his efforts to restore their population in Payne’s Creek National Park. The trip, which was the second of many to come, turned out to be extremely successful for both of us. I managed to capture the images I was looking for and some of the parrots were using his nesting boxes within the week we were there doing fieldwork.

Additionally, I have started a 365 project where I will take a photograph each day of the year in order to further my skills and portfolio. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I wish to keep it that way so that I can always photograph what interests me in the moment without any other specifications to meet. I am currently going to school for mechanical engineering to become an electronics product designer but photography and NANPA will always be an extremely important part of my life. I love the outdoors and I love photography and NANPA brings those together in the best way possible.”