Almost six years ago, I ditched a job that I had grown to resent (even if, once, I had enjoyed it), packed up my things, left a woman and a city that I loved, moved to Ohio, and began grad school for a career in an industry that was - and still is - in decline.
Often, during that first year, I wondered, “What the fuck have you done, Bryan?”
Over time, however, that feeling dissipated. I made new friends. I found new mentors. I learned, daily, about the power of photography in my personal and professional life. And, then, I discovered Melissa Lyttle’s "A Photo A Day" Listserv, otherwise known as APAD.
For those of us in creative careers, things get lonely. Fast. When I first quit my job, I combated that loneliness by throwing myself into my “new” career. But, somehow, I still felt the same sense of longing that I’d experienced near the end of my time at GQ. I’d changed careers and cities, put my closest, most personal, relationship at risk, and nothing had changed. How was this possible? When I discovered APAD, I also discovered what I’d been missing: A community.
APAD was, and continues to be, a huge source of inspiration to me. I’d previously worked in a creative field, but I’d never seen the type of “We’re all in this together” vibe that immediately hit you when a round of responses, good or bad, began pouring in on the listserv. Here I was, the very definition of a neophyte, and Scott Strazzante was taking time from his day to comment on my image. At that time, to me, this felt like magic; Like I’d suddenly discovered a wormhole to a world where age, experience, title, and industry acclaim had no bearing on how you interacted with other people within your industry. It was, and still is, a special place within photography. And, because of that magic, APAD has - without a doubt - been responsible for fostering the careers of many of the most talented, young photographers and photo editors now working.
And now? It’s a 501(c)(3) that’s trying to give even more back to the community that it has served tirelessly for the past decade. This year, all the money that is generated by APAD’s print auction, “will go directly to grants for working photographers, enabling them to tell visual stories that would otherwise go untold.”
So…long story over. Now, the important part.
If you are looking to get the work of some of today’s most talented photographers at an extremely discounted price, you MUST go to the A Photo A Day Auction at Paddle8. There, you’ll find the work of so many people who have and continue to inspire. All for prices that would make you feel guilty IF you weren’t supporting such an awesome cause.
Finally…I’ve also contributed a print (see above) to this auction! And, while I hardly deserve to be in such fine company, I am extremely happy that this image was one of the first that I submitted to APAD and, despite the years, one that - primarily because of this connection - I continue to love. So…buy it for cheap!
Experiments in 4x5.