The idea of a National Association was presented at the joint East-West Coast Chief Photographer’s Mate Round-up in Arlington Texas in 1985. Many of the members had become concerned at the shrinkage of Naval Photography, the reduction of Photo Mates, the increase of the average age of the Roundup participants and the growing loss of knowledge of the history of Naval Photography, its beginnings, growth and place in Naval History.

During the business session of the Roundup a discussion was held on the feasibility of forming a National Association of Naval Photography, a hat was passed and everyone contributed $5.00. A committee was appointed to investigate and if feasible form an organization, independent of the CPO Roundup, open to all past and present photographers, of any rank, rate or service, or others who are interested in Naval Photography, past, present or future and the preservation of our Photographic heritage.

Jim Schriver and Ed Jolly were appointed Secretary and Treasurer of the committee. The bylaws were patterned after the “Navy’s Aviation Boatswain Mates Association”, a long established National Association, with over 5000 members.

The name National Association of Naval Photography was chosen and incorporated in the state of Rhode Island on 6 September 1988. With this recognition, and two years of organizing, phone calling, and mass mailings, the NANP was firmed up. In the early part of 1990 official membership applications and election ballots were distributed by mail.

Five years after initial conception, the first NANP annual convention met on 20 September 1990 in New Orleans, Louisiana, concurrent with the 2nd Joint CPO Roundup. The first elected officers were Officially inaugurated at that time.

The NANP is a Non-profit organization staffed by Volunteers. Officers are normally elected in December for the following year.