Craig Cutler came to the office today at the insistence of the editor, because Craig is shooting a very expensive project for us and well, the editor wanted to make sure that we were getting exactly what we wanted out of it. That’s always a bit of an awkward situation for me because I really don’t know what I’m trying to get out of it. I’m really just trying to match a brilliant photographer with a project that will play to their strengths. I have no frickin clue what it’s going to look like.
The meeting went well because as you can see Craig is a brilliant photographer and the project plays into his strengths (still life) but is something he’s not really photographed before (animals) and that always leads to the best work because it’s an opportunity for them to sink their teeth into something new and exciting and challenging. Should be amazing. Maybe even win an award and all I had to do is make one phone call. Perfect.
Getting the best by hiring the best is usually a good strategy. But since ‘the best’ is realistically only a matter of opinion you’re generally at the mercy of someone else’s taste. Calling Mr. Cutler into the office may include showing him what the editor means by best. That would involve satisfying an editor–who may or may not have great instincts. Great work often comes from the least instruction to the best people.
Your first two posts alone already affirm what I knew all along: the photo editor is the most criminally overpaid and overvalued job on a magazine staff.
And what are the underpaid and undervalued jobs Jane?