Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Outdoor Photography School is an online resource and community created by Brenda Petrella to help you master both your photography skills and your outdoor skills.


The OPS Manifesto is a declaration of their core values that guide everything they do as outdoor photographers. 

Brenda Petrella's Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Put nature first, even it if means missing the shot.

Respect all species and ecosystems.

Be kind to others.

Lead by example.

Remember we are part of nature not separate from it.

Know before we go.

Leave no trace.

Pack it in, pack it out.

Know our limits.

Plan for the unexpected.

Advocate for untouched landscapes, dark night skies, and keeping wildlife wild.

Produce images with integrity and authenticity.

Explore the outdoors rather than sit in front of a screen.

Protect what’s left like our lives depend on it.




If you didn’t know it advance, you could probably read this manifesto and think it was about camping and an outdoor lifestyle rather than a photography school.

If it was just for a couple of mates wanting to take some pictures in the wild, then it’s a neat expression of their views, but perhaps not really necessary.

However, when you ramp things up and multiply the number of people involved (It’s a photography school), then a manifesto like this one is a great idea.

It’s a great example of a niched manifesto which reflects the stated niche of the business: photography + outdoor skills.

What I particularly like about it is that it seems to have both a soft and a hard edge to it. ‘Put nature first’ is a good general comment. But, when you match this up with ‘even if it means missing the shot’, then you have a really potent rule that speaks to the heart of what is truly important to a photographer – the shot is usually everything.

That’s how you make some thing unique!

Plus, these values apply to both beginners and experts.

From a branding position this manifesto says we care and we’re here for the long haul. Yes, we take our photography seriously, but we also take nature very seriously too. As Brenda suggests on her website – we need nature. “And it’s shrinking every day around the globe.”


The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography – a photographic art movement

Simple Shoes Manifesto – shoes for a happy planet

Blue Gym Manifesto – celebrate the natural environment as a means to improving health and wellbeing.

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