Atlanta Seminar Featuring Pultizer-Winning Speakers, Student Discounts

Photo by David Bergman

By Tom Burton

The Atlanta Seminar is the longest continuously running photojournalism conference in the country. Since 1973, the group of photojournalists that run the seminar have built a close-knit community around the program.

“Our staff is all volunteer and our faculty comes without compensation, so you know they are doing this for the love of photojournalism,” said Kevin Liles, president of the Atlanta Seminar board.

The dedication has also helped keep the price low for attendees. This year, thanks to support arranged by Mark Suban of Nikon Professional Services, students get very reduced rate of $50 for the entire seminar, making it very affordable.

The Atlanta Seminar will be held Nov. 11-12 at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast. Registration details are at and the deadline for entering the seminar’s photo contest is 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 10.

The NPPA will also be there offering discounts for both new and renewal memberships. Canon and Nikon will be offering free clean and check for equipment.

Over past several years, Liles said there have been fewer attendees with staff jobs and more independent and student photographers. The workshops featured at the seminar reflect that shift.

“We have four workshops dedicated to marketing and business. And our video workshops, something we've been offering for several years now, have some really talented folks leading them,” Liles said.

Workshops on Friday, Nov. 11 will cover photo topics from morning through early afternoon with video workshops in the afternoon to early evening. They include sessions on social media publishing, video storytelling and portraiture.

Friday night, dinner will include a screening of “Graveyard of the Great Lakes,” a film by Eric Seals, one of the workshop leaders. After dinner, there will be free portfolio reviews by faculty, speakers and photo editors.

The speakers on Saturday include Pulitzer winners and photographers who have worked for some of the best-known publications.

David Bergman, is a New York based music, portrait, and sports photographer. He has been Bon Jovi's official tour photographer since 2010. In addition to his other celebrity clients, Bergman has 13 Sports Illustrated covers to his credit and has photographed numerous Olympics, World Series, Super Bowls, NBA and NCAA Championships. His high-resolution GigaPan of President Obama's first inaugural speech was viewed by over 30 million people.

Deanne Fitzmaurice is a documentary photographer and storyteller ability to go behind the scenes to discover and convey personal, intimate and emotional stories through images. She won the Pulitzer or feature photography while working at the San Francisco Chronicle and now represents a wide variety of publications, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and National Geographic.

Jessica Rinaldi is a staff photographer for The Boston Globe. She was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for, The Life and Times of Strider Wolf. She was also named a Pulitzer Finalist in the same category for, A Life Unraveling. Rinaldi was twice named Boston Press Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2014.

Eric Thayer is a photojournalist based in New York. As a regular contributor to The New York Times, Getty, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Reuters, he has covered national news, politics, and natural disasters. He has extensively covered three presidential campaigns and is working on a project focused on the U.S. Mexico border.

Marcus Yam left a career in Aerospace Engineering to pursue a photographic life. The themes of his work revolve around the social issues and the dichotomies that shape the American experience. He currently is a staff photographer with the Los Angeles Times. In 2015, Marcus was part of the LA Times team earned a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking New Reporting. In 2014, he was part of The Seattle Times team that also earned a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting.