I worked with an editor once who–fairly often when I brought him photos–would tell me the photos sucked. I would then try to tell him that no, you’re using the wrong words, you should be saying “I don’t like those photos” which is fine because you’re an editor and therefore you know nothing about photography. This is why I work here.
In the editorial and advertising world, photos are good when they do their job, but it all depends on where you’re standing.
I’m standing over here with other mainstream consumer magazines. My magazine has a specific agenda that involves overshooting our audience’s taste in photography to attract elitist advertisers, favorable press and awards from the NYC photo mafia.
If you’re standing over in corporate head shot universe there’s no need to get all Terry Richardson on their asses because that will get you fired because it’s bad photography.
So, when I think about who’s the best photographer in Canton, Ohio it has nothing to do with who’s the best at shooting things people in Canton actually need pictures of it’s who’s the best at emulating the NYC editorial style I need to do my job.
Usually, when my editor doesn’t like photos it means I’m doing my job.