Audubon Photography Awards

Meet the 2019 Judges

Your work will be evaluated by an expert panel of bird photographers and editors

Red-billed Quelea and one Southern Gray-headed Sparrow. Photo: Ali Dhanji/Audubon Photography Awards

Meet the 2019 Judges

Your work will be evaluated by an expert panel of bird photographers and editors

Steve Freligh

Steve is copublisher of the award-winning magazine Nature’s Best Photography, and has more than 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. He is also director of the annual Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition and curator of the associated annual print exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Groo

Melissa is a wildlife photographer, writer, speaker, teacher, and an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her work has been published in numerous books and magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, Birdwatching, National Wildlife, Living Bird, Nature’s Best Photography, and New York State Conservationist. She writes a regular column on wildlife photography for Outdoor Photographer, and speaks and writes on issues of ethics and conservation in wildlife photography. Melissa has received awards and honorable mentions in many photography competitions, including Audubon (Grand Prize winner, 2015), Nature’s Best, NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association), Festival de L’Oiseau, and Birds as Art. She has a long-term gallery at Audubon Greenwich, and her prints are in personal and corporate collections all over the world.

Kenn Kaufman

Kenn is the originator and editor of the Kaufman Field Guides series and one of the world’s best-known bird experts. During his distinguished career, he has led birding and nature tours on all seven continents. He is also a field editor for Audubon, and writes widely on birds and birding. His first book, A Field Guide to Advanced Birding, drew wide acclaim, and in 1992 he became the youngest person ever to receive the lifetime achievement award of the American Birding Association. Since the late 1990s Kenn has reviewed hundreds of thousands of nature photos to select those used in his popular field guide series.

Sabine Meyer

Sabine is the photography director for the National Audubon Society. She has worked for a range of publications and organizations, including the U.N. Population Fund, the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, AARP Media, TIME, National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, and New York magazine. Since 2004 she has been on the faculty at the School of the International Center of Photography, where she teaches photo editing. She is also the codirector and curator of Fovea Exhibitions, a Beacon, N.Y.-based nonprofit that promotes visual literacy through the medium of photojournalism and documentary photography. Her photo editing has earned numerous accolades from Pictures of the Year International, Visa Pour l’Image, Communication Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, the American Society of Magazine Editors, and American Photo. 

John Rowden 

John joined Audubon in 2009 when he was hired by New York City Audubon to direct community science and outreach for the chapter throughout the city. In 2013, he transitioned to the National Audubon Society, first working on the Toyota TogetherGreen program before becoming Audubon’s director of community conservation in 2016. His work at Audubon has focused on engaging new audiences in Audubon’s conservation efforts, personally and through Audubon’s extensive national network and Plants for Birds program. He earned his PhD in Zoology from Duke University.

Allen Murabayashi 

Allen Murabayashi's passion for photography extends back to his childhood in Honolulu, HI, where he shot black-and-white film in the junior high photography club. After graduating from Yale University, he turned to entrepreneurship as a founding employee of As film gave way to digital, he co-founded PhotoShelter to provide website and workflow tools for professional photographers. He has served on the board of the Eddie Adams Workshop, and has written articles on photography, technology and culture for over a decade.