You may have figured out that the editorial photography world is a bit incestuous– especially if you’re trying to break in– and there’s a pretty good reason for it called, “let someone else try out the new guy.” I’m always more than happy to poach a photographer from another leading (not rival) publication because they’ve obviously given this person an assignment and they delivered the goods.

Don’t get me wrong, one of the joys in photo editing is developing new talent, but sometimes it’s nice to just grab someone developed by another magazine.

It’s also good corroboration when a new photographer’s work catches your eye and you’ve decided to give them a shot (when the right opportunity presents itself) and they get hired by another photo editor you respect.

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  1. Why is this? I could understand the reluctance to use someone new if you worked at an agency and there was real money on the table. What are you risking with editorial? A paltry $350 – $500 assignment fee (unless you’re at Business Week or Forbes where they pay a decent rate)? Which begs the question – why are rates so low? Rates today are the same as when I started in 1992. Why? Do photo editors realize this? Do they care? What can be done to raise the rates?

  2. @Johnnie B — as a photo editor at a major magazine I just want to say that we have been fighting to raise rates for years. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that upper managment won’t give us the go ahead.

    The good news is that it looks like we might be moving towards giving higher rates to those photographers that we have worked with for a very long time (10 years or so).

  3. Well thats a cheery thought…knowing that after school, I’m going to have to live on Top Ramen noodles, ketchup packets stolen from fast food places and Tic Tacs for the better part of my photographic life.

    Maybe I’ll get a side job at Burger King…so I can stay in some meat.

  4. I still refuse to introduce myself to the softer side of a bullwhip to get myself noticed…or is that artistic “roadblock” going to change for me as well?

    (strumming fingers on table, rhythmically)

    accountants are pretty happy, aren’t they?

    sorry…just thinking to myself.

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