Director of Photography Santiago Lyon Leaving Associated Press

Santiago Lyon

By Tom Burton

Santiago Lyon, Vice President and Director of Photography for the Associated Press, is leaving after 25 years with the wire service.

In an email memo to AP staff photographers on Tuesday, Nov. 22, Lyon said “I have decided, after much reflection, to move onto another stage in my career and life.”

Lyon began his career with AP as a photographer, moved to picture editing and has been Director of Photography for the last 12 years. During his time as director, AP has won three Pulitzer Prizes for photography. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Eddie Adams Workshops.

As a photographer for AP, Lyon worked in Central America, Egypt and Spain. He became a photo editor for AP for Spain and Portugal before becoming Director of Photography in 2003.

Here is the text of the email Lyon sent to AP staffers:



  After 25 years with the AP, first as a photographer, then as an editor and for the last 12 years as director of photography, I have decided, after much reflection, to move onto another stage in my career and life.

  As a photographer it’s been an amazing, sometimes incredible ride with no small amount of joy, sadness and challenges along the way. I’ve met some amazingly dedicated and brave colleagues in the field, taken great risks to tell the truth, celebrated winning a few prizes and wept at the death of my colleagues.

  As director of photography I’m immensely proud of all the great work we have done together, the myriad honors that have been bestowed on your amazing images and above all the great spirit of camaraderie and professionalism that make you all such a fantastic team.

  The work of the AP (and journalists the world over) is vital. Issues of access, secrecy and more recently the spread of deliberately false news have made journalistic accuracy, impartiality and trustworthiness all the more important. It is heartening to know that mission is in your capable hands.

  Too many people to name individually have helped me along the way but you know who you are and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

  Going forward I can be reached at (redacted) and my cell number remains the same (redacted).

  My best wishes to you all.