Daytongram, Dayton Baton and Dayton’s Best have all been front runners on paving a way for fellow Daytonians to post pictures of their favorite “hidden gems” around town. DaytonGram in particular is one of the earliest adopters of the “newer and better Dayton” mindset.
I recently reached out to Tom Gilliam, the founder of Daytongram, and met him at Ghostlight Coffee with my business partner Josh Boone. We realized almost immediately that there was more to his focus than just taking amazing photos with his iPhone. As he talked, Josh and I realized the vision for what he was doing and how much he deeply cares for the city, but hasn’t been given the proper platform to express himself until now.
Tom can talk about his vision better than I can, so here’s his words on what Daytongram means to him and why he does it.
Why I started daytongram:
In 2012, I started becoming active on Instagram. This grew out of the occasional times my four year old son would fall asleep while riding in the car. Rather than waking him I found myself driving around exploring various areas of Downtown Dayton and taking pictures of The Dayton Arcade, The Old Court House, and other historic buildings along the way.
Around the same time, Dave Schmidt of @cincygram and I connected on Instagram. I was very impressed with Dave’s consistency of showcasing Cincinnati at it’s best. After awhile on July 10, 2013 I decided to start @daytongram on various social media outlets after realizing Dayton wasn’t being showcased the way Schmidt was doing for Cincinnati.
Why I put a lot of effort into Daytongram:
While it started as a hobby, it’s shaping up to be so much more. I feel that it’s important to do my best in helping to showcase this great city and not hold back. While I don’t have a background in professional photography, what I lack in technical ability I feel is compensated with passion, creativity, and an eye for framing.
On March 8, 2014 I hosted the first Daytongram photowalk with 75 other local photographers, both amateur and professional, helping spread the vision of why Dayton is the place to be.While I like to shoot at public places and festivals, I feel most passionate about seeking access to areas and sharing experiences which most Daytonians never get to see. The current photo series on The Dayton Arcade called “Lost Jewel of the Gem City” I’ve had the pleasure to work on is one of those experiences. With the future of The Dayton Arcade still in limbo, I hope that the photo series will generate a spark of interest in saving this landmark.
I love history, and there are few better places for a history buff to live. Because of Daytongram I established a partnership with the historical society Dayton History to run their Instagram @daytonhistory. I encourage everyone to visit the magnificent Carillon Historical Park to learn about Dayton’s history.
We are on the cusp of a Downtown Renaissance, I can feel the energy and excitement around the city growing. There are too many reasons as to why I love Dayton, and I’m excited for the future growth and innovation of this city.
For all things awesome in Dayton: #daytongram, #forloveofdayton, #daytonsbest, #daytonbaton