St. Pete Times photojournalist Melissa Lyttle, who I appointed to serve on the NPPA board of directors in February, is the founder of an online community called â€œA Photo A Dayâ€ (APAD) and creator of the annual â€œGeekfestâ€, which is a gathering of self-professed photojournalism â€œgeeksâ€. Itâ€™s in Denver this year.
Sadly I wonâ€™t be able to attend. Iâ€™ve always wanted to. I am, without a doubt, a photojournalism geek and Iâ€™m proud to wear that label.
What is it that makes me a geek? What is it that defines such a geek? If you read the APAD web site it tells you that the members there â€¦
And if you spend some time subscribed to that listserv youâ€™ll encounter a community of people, with varying skill levels, experience and talent, who all really just want to show samples of their work in an informal setting and, hopefully, get some constructive criticism.
By and large all there embrace the idea of being a â€œgeekâ€ â€¦ of being someone so deeply invested in something that they can sometimes seem obsessive. When it comes to visual storytelling (or whatever you care to call it) that describes, nay, defines, me to a t.
I would concede sometimes that maybe I need to seek counseling to help me with this. And yet other than it clearly being a career path that does not allow me to provide for my family as well as I might like, it does not veer off into self-destructive or over-indulgent tangents. I donâ€™t go to war, I havenâ€™t left my wife and children, I eat and sleep and I even occasionally do something without my camera (though rarely I will admit). But still, clearly based on my constant attention to the APAD list, to my various other photojournalism communities, my efforts on behalf of the NPPA, I am without a doubt a photo geek of the highest order, and in the end, damn proud of it.