Geekfest 2011


Melissa Lyttle and APAD put on a great get together at the Glob on the other side of the tracks in Denver CO… For more info on APAD go here.

This is from their blog: GeekFest. The most frequently asked question is “what is it?!”

Well, it’s the best little photo conference with the worst, geekiest name out there. Every year, it’s suggested that we need to do something about the name, but in the end, it kind of fits. The name actually started as a joke, in reference to a group of geeks who’s all come together to geek out about photography. (If anyone has a better name though, I’m all ears!)

The first one was in DC with about 10 of us crammed into David Holloway’s basement. APAD was in its infancy and we all just wanted to put faces with names, so we devised a plan to get together for a meetup. We did a shootout on the Mall for the Fourth of July festivities, and talked photo all weekend. It was awesome and intimate and invigorating to know that there were some like minds out there.

From there it went to Fort Lauderdale, where we got about a dozen people, sleeping head to toe in every room of my small studio apartment, including two in the kitchen and one in the bathtub. I worked at the Sun-Sentinel then, and decided it’d be awesome to have some of my amazingly inspiring coworkers, like Angel Valentin and Mike Stocker speak to our small group. It also allowed me to approach Lisa Krantz, who I didn’t know at the time outside of her badass work at the Naples Daily News (about 2 hours from me, right across Alligator Alley). I emailed her, explained my mad photo crush, and asked her if she’d come share her work with us and hang out for the weekend. She’s been one of my best friends and still one of my biggest sources of inspiration since.

From there we’ve taken it on the road to Austin, Chicago, Portland and then found a homebase for the last three years in St. Petersburg, Fla. (where I work now, and where we have an awesome photo community and a great accommodating town).

Looking back on the speakers over the years amazes me. We’ve been lucky enough to have such talented presenters such as Ben Lowy, Penny De Los Santos, David Holloway, Khampha Bouaphanh, Carlos Javier Ortiz, Jon Lowenstein, Scott Strazzante, Wes Pope, Jamie Francis, Beth Nakamura, Karen Ducey, Alan Berner, James Rexroad, Bruce Ely, Robbie McClaran, Laura Lo Forti, Susana Raab, Lane Degregory, Preston Gannaway, Ross Taylor, Boyzell Hosey, Bob Croslin, Michael Williamson, Ted Jackson, Allison V. Smith, Damon Winter, Pat Farrell, Sam Abell, Bryan Moss, Dai Sugano, Alexis Lambert, David Hanschuh, Nicole Frugé, Lisa Krantz (2x speaker!), Greg Kahn, Liz O. Baylen, Zack Arias, Ben Rusnak, Todd Heisler, Deb Pang Davis and Mike Davis share their work, their stories and their wisdom with us.

Speakers this year — Kevin Moloney – freelance photographer, adjunct instructor of photojournalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Sol Neelman, the “Weird Sports” photographer with a new book just out, Tim Rasmussen, Denver Post DOP, Craig Walker, Denver Post photographer, Rob Haggart, A Photo Editor, Ben Rasmussen, freelance photographer, Sonya Hebert, photographer, Dallas Morning News, Matt Slaby, freelance photographer, co-founder of LUCEO images, John Moore, photographer, Getty Images, Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson, freelance photographers for National Geographic Magazine.

Mike Davis tries to navigate packed crowd at the Glob… a funky, grungy, venue for the Geeks…

Thomas Patterson is asked to strike an “underwear model” pose outside the Glob venue…

Sara Naomi Lewkowicz

Tricia Coyne in doorway…

Ben Rasmussen

Melissa Lyttle… Geekfest, APAD, Queen…

OK… so this is where it got a little weird… Ben Rasmussen was talking and a policeman entered the room asking for Kevin Martin, photo editor at the San Antonio Express-News. Kevin thought something bad must have happened, but then the policeman started taking his clothes off. I honestly still don’t know exactly why this happened.


John Moore, just back from Afghanistan, gave a moving talk about Benazir Bhutto’s death, being replaced in Libya by Chris Hondros etc…

Thomas Patterson

Mike Davis, Deb Pang Davis…