Alec Soth interviews photographer Doug Dubois (here) and posts it on Jorg Colberg’s blog Conscientious (say it 3 times fast). I found this part interesting:

Soth: You’ve also done a fair amount of editorial work. How do you mix that work into your overall practice?

DuBois: Editorial work keeps you on your toes and in shape – the unique stress and pressure of an assignment can offer up some real surprises. The hardest part is to maintain a sense of your own work and take appropriate risks in making a good photograph. You have very little time to work and no time to reflect or go at it again. Some of the best editorial work I’ve seen offer significant contributions to the photographers’ work. Larry Sultan, Mitch Epstein, Katy Grannan, etc., pull this off time and again. The frustrations come from the time limitations and other circumstances that you have to work around– and, of course, a bad edit or layout can defeat even the best efforts.

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  1. Hm… My thoughts exactly. I’m also a photoeditor and a photographer and I wouldn’t believe I could do both at the same time, but I did a body of work that exceeds the frame of Mladina weekly that I’m working for. I just had a very successful exhibition in London and that also contributed to the decision to quit the editorial part of my job.

    I’m so jealous on my colleagues who can afford to focus on their work, while I have to to do editing, photography, taking care of my two daughters, etc…
    Well I think I did a right thing. We’ll see. Stakes have rouse.


  2. Most agreed, Shooting editrial assignments keeps you on your toes,
    lack of prep, resources, manpower, ect.. Usually make for a lesson learned
    every single time. Not to metion it is always exciting to get thrown into situations
    where bribes, tresspassing, negotiations, and sweetalking are ever present..
    Reminds me of my days selling stolen cars in Poland to mafia types while balancing
    on a high wire above a pit of rabid dogs. Ahhh, salad days..

  3. “..of course, a bad edit or layout can defeat even the best efforts.”

    I couldn’t agree with Doug’s comment more. I have had many a shoot gone bad on the page due to horrid editorial choices and layout. I’ve also had editorial work presented thoughtfully with good editing choices of the photos using great layout and design/type that have added to the photography and the eye appeal of the magazine. It feels great when it happens.

    However, with no eye candy.. most readers eyes and fingers will keep flipping the pages. Interesting photography makes readers stop and look.. if just for a moment. The same goes for plain boring design.. readers will just keep flipping past those pages.

  4. That’s probably why, in the end, it’s not just about money to me — I actually like doing professional photography more than just shooting projects for my own edification. It’s a constant series of problems to solve in a short period of time, which I find exhilarating. But then, I almost took the LSATs just because I thought the test was fun,

  5. I revisited this post and something occurred to me. Doug Dubois is a great shooter but it’s obvious that most of his work is aimed at the art market. Read his CV. I bet some hired gun pro shooters don’t even know what a CV is. Maybe I’m way off here but if he dropped a book at many a clients door they wouldn’t understand the work. My roots are in humanistic street shooting so I really appreciate what he’s doing but that “fair amount of editorial shooting” isn’t that much it seems comparatively.

  6. To coment on what yet another photog.. said, “Maybe I’m way off here but if he dropped a book at many a clients door they wouldn’t understand the work”

    I imagine this is definately the case, unforfunitely, as his subject matter is very emotional, and very personal. But i think it lends its self to conveying a message that could be appreciated by the “masses”..
    I could absolutely see the commercial aplication of his work..
    Not to mention, his work seems to be presented here in a somewhat unconventional way. To which I personally respect. I think it is admireable to see how Dudois has not chosen to adhere to the classic presentation of work in srtict regimented groups.. ie, portrait,environments,still life, ect.

    Dubois’s work is beautiful, and indeed needs the veiwer to slow downto veiw the work..
    which is similar to many other successful commercial photographers.. first of which comes to mind is Larry Sultan.
    Commercially viable, but took years to be seen in this light I would imagine..

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