MAPV has 3 judges each for the Nature and Photo Art categories, all are nationally or internationally known professional photographers. The Photo Art judges also judge the Student Competition. We try to recruit nature specialists for the Nature categories and generalists for Photo Art.

The judges are asked to score each image from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest score. There are typically more than 800 entries in both Nature and Photo Art. The top 500 images are juried into the show. The number of entries juried in for each category is proportional to the number of entries in that category – so, for example, if 10% of all the images submitted (Nature plus Photo Art) are in the Birds category then 10% of the juried images are from Birds. The average cutoff score required for an image to be juried into the show is around 19.

Nature Judges

Anette Mossbacher |

Hey there! I’m Anette Mossbacher, a wildlife, landscape, and nature photographer extraordinaire. I take immense pride in capturing the very essence of nature and its amazing creatures. And you know what? My journey began way back when I was just a wide-eyed kid. I used to tag along with my dad on adventures through our local forests, uncovering the mysteries and marvels of our furry and feathery friends. That’s when the magic took hold, and my passion for nature and photography was born.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve been fortunate enough to explore the nooks and crannies of this incredible planet. From steamy tropical rainforests to blistering arid deserts, from the wide-open African savannahs to the icy realms of the Arctic, I’ve been there, camera in hand, ready to capture jaw-dropping landscapes and mesmerizing wildlife in their natural habitats.

You can bet your camera strap that I never leave home without my trusty gear. I’m always on the lookout for those breathtaking, unique, and downright rare moments that make your heart skip a beat.

My photography journey has led me to diverse projects and exciting opportunities. From contributing to platforms like ARKive for endangered species to being featured in publications around the world such as National Geographic, Forbes, and BBC Wildlife, I’ve had a wild ride.

My true passion lies in exploring different countries and immersing myself in diverse cultures. Imagine embarking on a personalized photo tour to exotic locations across the globe – lush jungles, awe-inspiring deserts, and breath-taking icefields.

These tailor-made tours and workshops are really flexible, and I’m always up for new projects. Whether we’re exploring hidden corners or well-known wonders, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in private photography workshops where I’ll personally guide you. We’ll unlock your unique style and vision, making your nature photography truly exceptional. We’ll elevate your skills to new heights, make incredible memories and create photographic magic, together.

Share with us the magic of Mother Earth. It is always fascinating for me how photographers portray nature.

Cheers Anette

Emily J. Carter |

Emily J. Carter is an award winning and published nature and wildlife conservation photographer based in Annapolis, Maryland.

Her work has been seen in numerous juried art exhibits, and published print including books, magazines and newspapers. Her work has also been displayed in several solo art exhibits in the Maryland area, including the National Wildlife Visitor’s Center.

With a corporate background in Human Resources and extensive years in the travel and hospitality industry, she holds a Master’s Degree in Global Management. Her photographic journey began when she was a teenager and has always enjoyed photography as a way of connecting to the world around her.

She is a seasoned international traveler, who is fluent in English and Spanish. Emily’s passion for photography has been shared in a wide variety of photography classes in the metro Washington D.C. area for the past seven years, and has juried several photography contests, as well as offered presentations through camera clubs and Mid-Atlantic Photo Visions (formally Nature Visions.)

Nature as Art Photography Tours celebrate the Wonders of Nature by connecting people with nature and sparking compassion, curiosity and inspiring people to care for our planet. These tours provide clients with real-world opportunities to make memorable connections with nature and wildlife, while learning about conservation.

Adam Nish |

Adam Nish is a New Mexico landscape photographer whose award-winning imagery captures the beauty of the state from end to end. He began his photographic career for the UNM Lobos, filming live hockey games. Finding inspiration in world-class photographers such as Wayne Suggs, Ian Beckley, and Jake Werth, he then delved deep into landscape photography. Adam’s work was first highlighted in New Mexico Magazine and its corresponding annual calendar. While developing his craft he partnered with brands such as ABQ Sunport, New Mexico United, and others. Currently Adam enjoys teaching passionate landscape photographers, live and onsite from his beautiful home state.

Photo Art Judges

Clay Blackmore |

Clay Blackmore

Clay Blackmore is an influential and sought-after leader in the photographic industry. He is revered for his development of innovative lighting and portrait techniques and is highly sought after as an instructor. 

Clay meticulously developed his photographic, teaching, and business skills during his 25-year association with Monte Zucker, first as an assistant, then as a co-educator and business partner. His clientele has included celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Forest Whitaker, Jenna Elfman, Maria Sharapova, and many of Washington D.C.’s top families.

Clay is a champion of innovation and growth in the photography industry, pushing the boundaries of storytelling with the latest innovations in technology. In addition to his mastery of lighting and classic portraiture, Clay was among the first to test and evaluate new products for photography and HD-DSLR cinematography. 

As a Distinguished Canon Print Master, Clay has been part of the Canon team for over 20 years.  In 2018, he received the Tom McDonald Award from the Professional Photographers of America for supporting photographic education. He is also part of the Westcott Pro Team, a member of the elite Camera Craftsmen of America. His Rockville, Maryland, studio supports a team of passionate photographers and filmmakers working with the most cutting-edge technologies in the field. He has served as a Canon Explorer of Light and created tutorials for the Creative Live platform. 

In addition, Clay is active in ministry and his local community, volunteering his time to help others through photography.

Mara Magyarosi-Laytner |

Mara Magyarosi-Laytner is an artist, educator, and curator in the Detroit area. A graduate of both College for Creative Studies and Savannah College of Art and Design, she has experience across photography, education, and arts administration, culminating in her MA in Arts Administration in 2016 and her MFA in Photography in 2022. Her work pairs experimental photography methods to explore identity through a symbolic and poetic lens. The artist and her work have been shown in many spaces across the United States and internationally, including the ScotiaBank CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto, Canada, and exhibitions in Italy, France, and Hungary. Mara has been featured in multiple articles and periodicals, including Complex, The Hand Magazine, and Aeonian Magazine. In 2022, her work from The Untended Garden was a Photo Lucida Critical Mass Finalist. Mara proudly is the founder of the Silver Water Collective, an all women artist collective celebrating the work of eight fine art photographers across North America.

Mara is also an award winning educator, combining her love of photography and her passion for connecting with people of all ages. Whether teaching photography to high school students in her classroom studio as the Media Productions Instructor at William D. Ford Career Technical Center or coaching fellow educators through the Design Thinking Process with the Henry Ford Learning Institute, her focus is on pushing forward culturally responsive education through art and design. Her educational accolades include being a semifinalist in the 2018 MAPSA Charter School Teacher of the Year awards and the 2019 Inspiring Educator Award through the Southeastern Michigan Region Scholastic Art Awards.

Sarah Weiss |

Sarah Weiss is an accomplished artist and educator with experience in photography and the local arts communities of several cities. As the Project Director at Praxis Gallery | Photo Arts Center, she is responsible for overseeing the gallery’s programs and exhibitions. Additionally, she is a co-founder of CollabArts Twin Cities, an organization that promotes collaboration and community building among artists. Sarah completed her MFA in photography at Rochester Institute of Technology and has participated in numerous exhibitions and art organizations in the local arts communities of Rochester, NY; Milwaukee, WI; Glenview, IL; and currently in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN. She is active in local critique and photobook groups, which allows her to stay connected with other artists and stay up to date on the latest developments in the field.

Sarah is passionate about creating exhibition opportunities through arts programming to help build an inclusive and energizing art community. Her contributions to the local arts communities have helped to promote collaboration, creativity, and innovation among artists, and have helped to inspire future generations of artists.