It’s no revelation that we live in a culture where we are constantly inundated with images. The total (estimated) number of photos taken in 2012 was 380 BILLION. According to Facebook, in that same year, users uploaded over 300 MILLION photos EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The vast majority of these are only seen by a few people- shared mostly with the photographer’s circle of friends and family. Some might be seen by strangers with similar interests, who discover them via a hashtag, and fewer still make it into a print or online publication, get printed out and shown, or go viral online.

But who are the gatekeepers who decide which images make it to the party? Who separates the digital wheat from the proverbial chaff? In this panel discussion we will meet those curators of imagery, both off and on-line, who determine which images people see.  These are the photo editors, the reviewers, the bloggers and the art directors who deal with hundreds, if not thousands of pictures each day and decide which images are worth sharing and promoting. We’ll find out what they look for in an image and how their opinions differ from other editors, curators, and bloggers.


Our Panel:

Nicole Aguirre – founder of Worn Creative and Worn Magazine
Heather Goss – associate editor of Air & Space Smithsonian and founder of ExposedDC
Patrick Onofre – creator of the Staying in Focus Podcast
David Hicks – Center for Digital Imaging Arts, contract photo editor for National Geographic, and former photo editor at The Washingtonian
Louise Salas –  Senior Art Director at RTC
Michael Wichita – Director of Photography for AARP Media.


September 26th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm


The West Penthouse 
1301 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005


APA/ASMP/ASPP/NPPA/WPOW + students – $10 online/ $20 at the door.

General Public – $15 online/ $25 at the door.






Nicole Aguirre is CEO of Worn Creative, a creative agency that works with organizations including Planned Parenthood, NBC/Universal, and &pizza to produce marketing campaigns targeting multicultural millennials. She is also a professional photographer, and Editor in Chief of Worn Magazine, an art and fashion publication she founded in 2009. Reach Nicole via twitter @worncreative






Heather Goss is the founder of Exposed DC, which began in 2006 with the first annual photography contest and gallery show through local news website DCist, and throughout the year highlights the work of local photographers and provides information about D.C. area photo events. Heather has been a juror for FotoweekDC, the Phillips Collection, the Intersections Festival, and many other local contests. She was the arts and managing editor of DCist for six years, and is now an associate editor at Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine, where she creates regular photography features and is a judge for its annual photo contest.





After leaving the restaurant management job behind four years ago to pursue his own career as a photographer, Patrick has shot weddings, celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, gourmet food, rehabilitating Marines, and everything in between, all while having his images printed in numerous books, magazines, and other publications such as the Washingtonian, American Way, and the Washington Post. He regularly shoots for and works with the United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment and has frequently been a guest speaker at American University. Patrick also hosts a weekly podcast called “Staying In Focus“, where he talks to some of the most creative and talented photographers in the business.





David Hicks has over twenty years experience providing visual direction for national and regional publications.  As photo editor for Washingtonian Magazine, he art directed cover shoots for Washington’s top chefs, lawyers, and politicians.  At USA Weekend Magazine, he art directed celebrity cover shoots for Jim Carrey, Uma Thurman, Geena Davis, and Paula Abdul.  At the White House, he traveled internationally with President Clinton’s diplomatic corps, to provide media support across platforms.

He is also a regular contributing portfolio consultant to FotoDC, NYC Fotoworks, The Corcoran College of Art and Design, and his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design.  He is also on the faculty of Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Washington, DC.





True story. A WWII vet turned B movie star, in his fifth attempt at nuptials, weds an entrepreneurial rodeo dwarf. They gave birth to a feisty curly-haired little girl, who luckily, didn’t inherit her mother’s vertical challenge. Growing up in St. Louis under the roof of such interesting people, well, let’s just say her roots are more colorful than most.

Since leaving her home town of St. Louis, Missouri in pursuit of a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Center for Creative Studies in Motown, Motor City or simply Detroit, Michigan, Louise has called Minot, ND, Bitburg, Germany, Denver, CO, Little Rock, AR, Honolulu, HI and now Washington DC, home.

While spending the last 15 years in the advertising industry, starting her career as an art director, Louise has earned regional, national and even international awards for her creative work for clients like Meineke Car Care Center, Deltic Timber, E.C. Barton’s, Surplus Warehouse and the Nature Conservancy. In the local Hawaii market, her efforts were focused on launching brands like Mobi PCS, Sunetric, GreenCar Hawaii, Watermark Waikiki and Kauai Visitors Bureau. Since establishing herself in the DC market, she’s been fortunate to call Urban Igloo, Jonah’s Treehouse and JK Moving, client.

After working her way through the ranks to become a senior art director, she set her sights on creating a start-up agency, playing the role of Creative Partner. From there, she set-out to establish herself as a freelance creative / branding consultant building Sunetric from a small solar company to the largest solar intergrator in Hawaii, as well as becoming apart of Pineapple Tweed Public Relations & Marketing, working on Family Programs Hawaii, Hawaii Film Office and Hawaii’s Department of Defense. She has most recently found a new home at RTC Agency in Georgetown.

Louise has served on the DC Ad Club Board of Directors since 2010, serving as the Chair of the Social Committee and the 2012 & 2013 American Advertising Awards. She also now sits on the board for one of DC’s newest associations, FemCity DC where she plays the role of Creative Queen.



Michael Wichita is currently the Director of Photography for AARP Media. Wichita has worked for AARP for over 8 years working on print web and advancing into social platforms. Prior to that he was the Photo Editor at Metro Weekly, Washington, DC’s gay and lesbian magazine, where Wichita began work after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design. A strong belief in collaboration, visual storytelling that mixes art and journalism and the passion of photographers keep him going. In his spare time Wichita is working on a photo book project.




  • Valerie brown ,

    Please add me to mailing list for future events.

    • Valerie brown ,

      Please add me to mailing list for future events

      • apadc_admin ,

        Definitely. Thanks!

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