Photography at the Summit has been bringing together photo professionals, awe-inspiring locations and aspiring attendees for 30 years.

The nature and wildlife photography workshop in Jackson is the organization’s longest running workshop. The five-day intensive features a star-studded lineup of photographers, many who come from National Geographic.

In addition to hosting the workshop, the National Museum of Wildlife Art awards two young photographers scholarships to attend the program. Thomas Mercer of Jackson and Elise Malterre of Boise, Idaho, were this year’s recipients. Their favorite photographs from the week are published here.

“Every year we get more and more applicants for this Photography at the Summit scholarship program,” said Lisa Simmons, the associate curator of education and outreach at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Beyond their talent, both high schoolers stood out with comprehensive, thoughtful applications that amplified their passion and dedication to studying the art of photography, Simmons said.

Mercer had worked at the museum before, having participated in an extracurricular studio project sponsored by the museum and the Art Association of Jackson Hole.

“That was in bronze casting, not photography,” Simmons said. “He’s really demonstrated an interest in the museum, and art in general.”

Malterre is the first scholarship recipient the museum has chosen from outside of Wyoming. She attended a weeklong course at the museum with her photography class last winter and stood out during that program, Simmons said.

Past scholarship winners have gone on to promising careers in photography. One, Syler Peralta Ramos, returned to the workshop this year as a teacher.

“The scholarship is an amazing leg up for these young students who are passionate about photography,” Simmons said. “It can really help boost their skill level, confidence and artistry moving forward.”

Next year’s Photography at the Summit will be Sept. 15 through 20 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Rich Clarkson, the founder of the workshop and former director of photography and senior assistant editor of National Geographic, awards $2,500 to two participants, chosen by the museum’s education department. The deadline for next year’s workshop is May 31. Applicants can apply via 

Contact Julie Kukral at 732-7062, or @JHNGscene.

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