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Kendall Chiles

Chester A. Massey Distinguished Service Award

January 26, 2024

Since mid-2006, Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers has been fortunate to have Kendall Chiles serve as its president. During that time, the club has remained steadfast in its mission to provide a friendly, welcoming and informative organization for all who love nature photography. Over time the club has evolved, as some members have left and others have joined, bringing fresh thoughts, expectations and ideas. Many of the new members were invited to join SANP while taking non-credit courses at the University of Tennessee taught by Kendall.

During the years Kendall was president, the digital photography age was in full swing, with sensor and software technology growing by leaps and bounds, with the arrival and use of mirrorless cameras and even the advent of high-quality cell phones emerging as tools of the craft. Post processing evolved from hours spent in a darkroom to time in front of a computer screen with increasingly powerful editing tools at everyone's fingertips. These have been sources of challenges and opportunities for SANP. As you may know, Kendall was one of the last to embrace “the digital age of nature photography,” but he never let his preferences influence the direction of the club, and eventually he joined the digital ranks!

Finding members who treat nature photography as an art rather than a social media snapshot opportunity has made keeping SANP a vibrant organization a bit of a challenge. With his contacts not only in our area but throughout the nation, Kendall has been instrumental in bringing in many accomplished photographers to share their wide array of knowledge and skills with the club, providing insight into the art of photography, the technical aspects of photography and the changes in photography. The club has offered field trips, wildlife and nature seminars, and other photo opportunities to its members.

The annual salon has seen a growing number of digital images entered over the years as the SANP Board added categories such as "travel and place" and “people in nature," inspired by club members’ interest in these areas. Our salon continues to promote photo printing and black and white nature photography—areas that might be considered passé to outsiders but remain popular among our members. SANP has strived to keep the art of nature photography alive and relevant.

Obviously, Kendall didn't do all these things on his own, but with his leadership and the help of many dedicated nature-loving photographers and club members, he has been a valuable asset to the Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers. As an organization we owe Kendall our gratitude for his years of service and dedication to our club.

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. 
Mailing address: SANP, 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A/231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

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