Ever see that Conan O'Brien bit, which he used to do with Andy Richter, where they would make ridiculous prognostications about what the future would hold "In the Year 2000?" That's kind of what it felt like at times while attending the National Press Photographers Association's Annual Photojournalism Summit in Portland this last Friday and Saturday.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of interesting and helpful information to be had, but there was also a lot of speculation and prognosticaion being doled out as facts also. Multimedia was the hot topic and I learned some cool new techniques and ideas. I also heard some speakers say that still photojournalism is a dead medium and that newspapers as a physical thing is a thing of the past. That has all been said before ... in the 1950s.
In my opinion, the most important piece of info that was being talked about was that despite the tools being used, good storytelling should be at the core of whatever we do. If nothing else, hopefully everyone wrote that note down .....
It was great to see so many people there, some of whom I had never met or hadn't seen a long time. The East Oregonian Publishing Co. (of which the Observer is part of) was well represented, having sent me, E.J. Harris (very nice to meet and hang out with), chief photog at the EO and Alex Pajunas, the new photog at the The Daily Astorian.
I also got to see and hang with some old friends, Mark Ylen (the man responsible for leading down this career path so many years ago) and Sol Neelman (who I owe so much inspiration to and have missed talking to for far too long). I also got to see/meet some people I didn't know as well, or at all, which was really cool including, Tom Boyd, Richard Koci Hernandez, Troy Wayrynen, Janet Mathews, Andy Cripe, Craig Mitchelldyer and Paul Erickson.
Please check out the links above ( as well as the Observer's site) and you'll find a wide variety of stuff/opinions/info/examples of things related to the "future" of PJ. Enjoy,