Photo District News (or PDN) is an American monthly trade publication for professional photographers. PDN was first published in 1980. The publication takes its name from New York City's photo district, an area of photo businesses that was once located in Flatiron District.
Originally named New York Photo District News, PDN was founded by Carl Pugh, who was working as a photographer’s assistant and sought more freelance work. He inquired as to the best way to advertise his services and was told to post a note on the community bulletin boards found at local businesses frequented by professional photographers. This sparked the idea to create a newsletter for the loose-knit community of professional photographers who populated the inexpensive loft spaces along lower Fifth Avenue (the “Photo District”).
The first issue (May 1980) cost $800 to print and carried $2,000 in advertising, yielding a tidy profit. It was distributed free in stores in the Photo District. PDN was an instant success. In time, the pros coming to Manhattan on assignment from elsewhere in the country picked up a copy and requested a subscription (initially $6 per year), which, in turn, was seen by other pros back home. In this manner, PDN quickly grew into a national publication.