Thad Allender

I am a photographer, designer and business owner based in Brooklyn, NY who embraces the evolution of media and wants to help shape the future of visual communication.


I was born in western Kansas and spent most of my youth in a town oddly named Protection, population 547. I developed a strong interest in the arts, nature and learning about the first americans and their cultures that preceded my existence on The Great Plains.

I graduated with a journalism degree from Kansas University in the winter of 2002. After graduation, I loaded into a 1986 Chevrolet cargo van and drove to Chiapas, Mexico where I lived and worked with a Zapatista community deep in the Lacandon Jungle.

BMX & commuting by bike are also passions of mine. Documenting BMX during my teenage years ultimately led me to photography and helped to shape my direction in life as a visual communicator.

Work life

In 2007, I founded Graph Paper Press, a web development company focused on creating tools and designs for creatives using WordPress, an open-source web publishing system. By 2009, Graph Paper Press had grown substantially, serving nearly 45,000 users world-wide. I left my position as multimedia producer at USA TODAY in the fall of 2009 to focus 100-percent on Graph Paper Press. Today, Graph Paper Press has grown to over 200,000 users.

Before joining USA TODAY, I was the director of photography for the Lawrence Journal-World, where I directed a team of photographers and visual journalists responsible for all the photographic content for “the newspaper of the future” (as described by The New York Times, 2005). I worked as a freelance photographer and multimedia producer for nonprofit organizations in New York City in 2005 and taught Bronx youth how to make multimedia for the internet.

Clients & Awards

My photographic and multimedia work has been commissioned by USA TODAYNPRNational Geographic Traveler and The New York Times. A few of my project won national awards, including the Associate Press Managing Editors Award for Online Convergence – Mining’s Legacy: A scar on Kansas and NPPA Best of Photojournalism – First Place, In-depth Web – 24 Hours in the E.R.


My wife Abby and I split our time between Brooklyn, NY, and a small cabin in upstate NY.


  • Change is inevitable. Adapt.
  • Demos, not memos.
  • Don’t forget the neediest.
  • Well done is better than well said.


Contact me.