We knew it. You knew it. But now the rest of the country has officially recognized Santa Barbara Independent photographer Paul Wellman as the best alt weekly shutterbug around.
During an annual conference that brings together papers from all over the U.S. and Canada — held last weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, this year — the Association of Alternative Newsmedia named Wellman the top photographer among publications with a circulation under 50,000. Judging was conducted by a group from Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Journalism program, which vetted over 900 entries from 77 publications in writing, online, and design categories.
Wellman, whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and National Geographic, among other big-name outlets, got his start at The Independent in 2001. Since then, he’s tirelessly covered all manner of story from every corner of Santa Barbara County.
“I’m stoked,” Wellman said. “Totally surprised and totally stoked. The Independent is a great place to work, and the variety of experiences and assignments afforded me on a day-to-day basis is in no small part due to the entire staff — writers and editors that get the stories, designers that make the page look good, and the sales staff that pays the price of admission. Go team Indy.”