Dave LaBelle, Alexandra Garcia, Jarrad Henderson and Stephanie Sinclair

Keynote speakers

Alexandra Garcia, The New York Times

Alexandra Garcia is a director/producer for The New York Times’ new television show ‘The Weekly,’ where she makes films on topics ranging from investigations to culture. In her last role, she was a senior story producer at The New York Times, where she oversaw and produced marquee documentary and interactive projects. Previously, she filmed, reported and edited video stories at The New York Times and The Washington Post for more than a decade.

Garcia has been awarded top honors in the News and Documentary Emmy Awards as well as the Edward R. Murrow, NPPA Best of Photojournalism and POYi contests.  In 2012, she was a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. 

David LaBelle

Dave LaBelle has been a photographer, editor, teacher, author and lecturer. After beginning at the Ventura County (California) Star-Free Press as a weekend sports shooter and lab man while still in high school, LaBelle has worked for 20 newspapers and magazines in nine states, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he was assistant manager editor for photography. LaBelle’s love for feature photography and his ability to hunt out feature ideas has helped him win numerous awards. He was runner-up to W. Eugene Smith for the first Nikon World Understanding award in 1974 and runner-up for the NPPA National Photographer of the Year award in 1979. In 1991, NPPA honored LaBelle with the Robin F. Garland Award for photojournalism education.

LaBelle has written five books, including “The Great Picture Hunt.” In 2002, the Photographic Society of America Inc. honored LaBelle with the International Understanding Through Photography award. LaBelle has taught photojournalism at Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky and directed the photojournalism sequence at Kent State University from 2010-2016. He now teaches photography with The Athens Photo Project in Ohio, a non-profit art program that promotes mental health recovery. In his words, “My life’s mission is to use the gifts God has blessed me with to be a blessing on others in any way I can.”

Stephanie Sinclair
Stephanie Sinclair, Canon Explorer of Light
photo: Mark Thiessen and Rebecca Hale/ National Geographic

Stephanie Sinclair is known for gaining access to photograph the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world. She has documented the defining conflicts of the past decade with a fearless persistence. Although she has covered the dramatic events of war, many of Ms. Sinclair’s most arresting works confront the everyday brutality faced by young girls around the world.

Sinclair has earned numerous global accolades for her Too Young To Wed Project, including three World Press Photo awards, the United Nations (2012, 2014) and the Whitney Biennial (2010) in New York. Other awards for this project include the 2015 Lucie Humanitarian Award, the International Center of Photography 2014 Infinity Award, an unprecedented three Visa D’Or Feature awards from the Visa Pour L’Image photojournalism festival in France, UNICEF’s Photo of the Year, and the Alexia Foundation Professional Grant

Ms. Sinclair’s other projects have also received a great deal of recognition, including the World Press Photo award for her coverage of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon; and a Pulitzer Prize (2000) for her work documenting systemic failures in the U.S. airline industry.

Additional speakers

Akili-Casundria Ramsess
Akili-Casundria Ramsess, NPPA

Akili Ramsess is Executive Director of the National Press Photographers Association at the University of Georgia. Prior to the NPPA, Ramsess built a distinguished career as a Pulitzer-winning picture editor working with news organizations such as the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, the San Jose Mercury News that culminated in her role as director of photography for the Orlando Sentinel. She has won numerous other awards from NPPA’s BOP, POYi and Society of News Design.

Ramsess also continues to work as an independent visual journalist when she’s not cruising the roads on her Harley motorcycle.

Jillian Bell, Tamrom USA, Inc.

Jillian Bell is a member of the National Technical Team for Tamron USA, Inc. Photographer, Educator and Artist she tastefully merges form and artistic flare; her emphasis always lies in the subtle details. As a true Road Warrior, Jillian travels the country leading hands on photographic workshops, educating attendees at PhotoPlus Expo, WPPI and PPA Tradeshows.  Photography is a useful tool, and her goal is to inspire others and help them to build on their photographic skills to create better, more consistent results. Through life lessons and formal study, an internship in a commercial studio, may years running a successful freelance business and retail management;  Jillian’s photographic knowledge base is very diverse.  Her lectures are always fun and interactive; focusing on the “how” and techniques used to capture an array of photographic topics.

David Bowman

David Bowman grew up in Chicago, studied journalism in Madison, traversed the Australian outback via camel, and drifted to the Twin Cities some time thereafter. One of the first people he met in Minnesota was fashion photographer Richard Avedon, who was giving a talk to students at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Bowman asked him what advice he might give a struggling artists and Avedon responded, “Start working.” So he did, ultimately shooting for the likes of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Target, Ford Motor Co, Disney, and Dwell. Over time, Bowman earned his MFA in photography, and was named Best Of ASMP by the American Society of Media Photographers. In 2019, after 30 years of freelance art-making, Bowman joined the faculty of Minneapolis College, where he teaches the business of photography. Limited-edition prints of Bowman’s photographs are available worldwide through National Geographic Fine Art Galleries.

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