Phew. I feel much better now.

On December 14th, after 2 long years, I quit my job as the Director of Photography at Men’s Journal. Before that I was the Photography Editor at Outside Magazine for 5 1/2 years and before that I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming freelancing as a photo editor for two national startup magazines (outdoor related and now defunct), managed/assisted several local ski photographers and worked with a couple national ski film companies.

I left Men’s Journal because I wanted a change of lifestyle. I like to ski, climb, bike and run as much as I enjoy working with photographers and NYC is not really the place for both so I did my time and… I’m out.

At Outside Magazine I worked with an incredibly talented Creative Director, Hannah McCaughey, who pushed me to hire brilliant photographers and challenged me to refine my taste to the point where I felt it necessary to go to New York City and join the community of photo professionals if I wanted my career to continue to grow. So, when Men’s Journal came calling the offer was too good to turn down and I was excited to meet all the photographers and agents I’d worked with over the years, visit galleries and go to events.

Well, it didn’t work out the way I expected, mostly because the work hours were long and the commute to Connecticut where I moved with my family a pain in the ass, plus I wanted to spend the weekends with my kids playing and I was trying to find outdoor activities to do as well. And, so, I never really got to be a part of that NYC photo community. My job started to get a bit stale and I spent lots of time online reading blogs and enjoying the community that I never engaged with in New York. J.M. Colberg, Andrew Hetherington, John Loomis, Alec Soth and others (Andrew is the only one who lives in New York so maybe they all have the same problem I did). I decided to start a blog. I had no objective other than to engage with everyone and contribute something back and… heeeeyah, holy fucking shit, it’s been nothing short of amazing. All those gallery shows and events and drinks with photographers that I blew off have all been made up by the interactions I’ve had with all of you. Thanks.

I left New York and I’m now temporarily in Tucson, AZ and then next summer I will move permanently to Durango, CO where I plan to pursue whatever comes my way. I’m still a photo editor and I love to work with photographers but I want to spend time outdoors and with my family so you know, whatever I work on has to come after that.

I’m tired of trying to change the media industry from the inside (I have great stories from my efforts that I will share with you in the coming months) and I really want to do something to lead this industry in the right direction. I think the blog is a good start but I have ideas for software and websites that I believe will greatly benefit professional photographers in the future so for the time being I’m going to devote all my energy to that.

Maybe now that you know who I am some of you out in the wings watching will feel like you can comment and we can continue this community and see where it goes next. Last month I had 40,000 unique visitors, so I know there’s a bunch of people just reading and watching. Also, just because I’m no longer anonymous doesn’t mean you can’t continue to be. I needed it to protect me just as some of you will when you have something to say that you don’t want to bite you in the ass later.

Anyway, thanks everyone, it’s been a trip and I hope we can keep on truckin.

Rob Haggart AKA A Photo Editor

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  1. Thank you Mr Haggart for such a wonderful blog. I may not be a professional photographer (yet) but your blog and the comments from others have given such a great insight into a particular part of the industry that a formal education cannot offer.
    I wish you all the best and looking forward to what you will share in 2008.

  2. Ahhh…out from behind the cloak. I’ll continue to stalk…great stuff.

  3. Congratulations – change from within is greatly over-rated as an idea!

  4. All the best, Rob. I’ ll sure stick around…

  5. Dear Mr Haggart,
    I am very glad for you and your decision and I hope all the best for you and your family. I am also a photo editor of an italian monthly magazine and I do enjoyed a loto your blog, it was sometime funny for me to read as I was living similar situation in my office. Merry Xmas and happy new year.

  6. Happy holidays Rob! – as much fun as it was working with you at MJ, I’m excited that you and the family have escaped out West. Best to you in ’08!

  7. Your blog keeps getting more fun!
    Enjoy the holidays.

  8. Wow!

    What a surprising post to find this morning!

    Nice to finally meet you, Robert. Keep the posts coming – I’ll keep on reading.

    Thanks for sharing.


  9. Our excellent team of graphic detectives have finally put a face to the name. And they all wish Rob the best in his new endeavor. They know he will do well, because his heart is in the right place.

    Left column, fifth down.

  10. Rob, nice to meet you.

    Happy Holidays.

  11. “where I plan to pursue whatever comes my way”

    Possibly the best quote ever!

    I wish you nothing but the best of luck in your future endeavors Rob. Time to get the blood pressure back to normal!

  12. Should get interesting, guess you want to be part of the solution. Thanks again for your dedication, and best wishes.

  13. friend suggested me to check your blog as on of the best. and he was right!!!!!!! happy holidays!

  14. The Anonymous Photo Editor Reveals Himself…

    I read a lot of photography related blogs every day. And on those rainy days, I scour the net for more. One of the blogs that I was introduced to from another site, was A Photo Editor. The author of this blog chose to remain anonymous, as he/she worked…

  15. Rob,

    season’s greetings and good luck with the new life!
    i understand perfectly your thoughts in this post as i too did quit my job last month as photo editor for a national newspaper in Lisbon (Público Newspaper).

    i decided that i enjoyed much more taking pictures than being trapped in the newsroom, but i also look back and know that i have learned much and gained certainly something out of the experience. almost 4 years. now i’m looking forward to enjoy life, the whole of it, and walk on another path and cycle of both my life and career.

    nice blog, keep it up, and all the best for you!



  16. Sometimes change happens because someone on the outside kicks down the walls instead of “playing nice” on the inside. I’ve done this twice now where I’ve kicked down a wall and made a change. Best of luck to you. Enjoy the family because you can never get that time back.

  17. Thanks for all the insight while you were here—and best of luck back out West. The time you put into this blog will be a valuable resource to the photography community for as long as it lives online.

  18. Thank you Rob! This blog has been a great help and an amazing look behind the minds. This is a great place to hear real conversations, with a bit of real life humor. I wish you the best, and thank you again for being so candid. Congradulations and Happy New Year!!!!

  19. Hey Rob,
    This was a nice present this morning, to see that you were the ‘man behind the mask’. It was great to meet you again this Fall at the lake – thanks so much for your input and especially what you have given to the photography community with this gem of a site.

    Enjoy the warm winter and kudos for making the move on your own terms.


  20. Rob,

    Congratulations and good luck with the change.

    I’ve enjoyed the blog and hope that you’ll continue to share your thoughts and ideas. There’s lots of shooters out there telling others what the buyers want but, not many buyers actually telling the shooters what they should be doing. You’ve got a lot to contribute.

    Cheers, and best of Luck


  21. It’s like a christmas present!

    I had you all built up in my head as some high-fashion mag guy, and to find out you’re and outdoor dude from JH? How cool is that? I suppose you know boys like Gabe Rogel and Jeff Diener then too, eh?

    Merry Christmas. Good luck with your endeavours. I’ll be tuned in!

    Jacob Gibb

  22. Thank you for your blog from Spain.

  23. p.s. if you make it to the coast let me know – SB is beautiful in early spring.

  24. Wow, I never expected to read a post like this.
    Good luck out west!

  25. Hey, Rod, how long are you going to be in Tucson? (Yeah, I know, your post says that you’re planning to move to Durango next summer, but this inquiring Tucson mind wants to know…)

    While you’re in the Old Pueblo, would you care to meet with some other local shooters? Just for lunch and drinks, and no we won’t hammer you with career questions.

    Shall we discuss this more after the Holiday Rush is over?

  26. Pardon the typo in my last comment. You’re Rob, not Rod. My bad!

  27. Pleased to meet you, Rob. Darn, I was really wrong on my guess. You do think and talk like another PE I know, and use the same photos by the same photographers to illustrate the same points. Separated at birth, or hive mind?

  28. Hi Rob,
    I am bummed that I never got to meet you before you escaped but I really appreciate your blog. Next time you are in NYC drop me a line if you want to come up to the gunks for an afternoon of climbing. Also, I know a solid crew of backcountry skiers in Durango if you need some contacts once you get there. I will check in periodically – let us know how it goes.
    mike at

  29. Howdy from a guy that is far from a photographer, but part of the scores of folk that enjoy carrying a camera (and reading your work here).

    With your perspective I feel I have a better understanding how to not only to look through the lens, but to evaluate the results.

    To the journey. May yours continue with success inside and outside.

  30. Ha! It’s Rob. I know that guy:)

    I’m happy for you and your family that you made the move.

    Best of luck,

  31. I liked the anonymity, but glad you feel better. Good luck in D-town, I lived there for a bit and spent many a day there in my mountain bike racing days…might be the best town in USA.

  32. SNAP!!!!! I knew is was to good to last! Good luck with the new path!

  33. What a way to end the year. And congratulations.
    Here’s to change.

  34. Hey Rob,

    I’ve got to say I agree with Jacob Gibb, I had you set up in my mind as some big high fashion guy enjoying the city life in NYC. Glad to know your and outdoor guy too… I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now, and will continue to, it’s great!

    Merry Christmas and best of luck in your new endeavours.

    Cheers, Josh

    Josh McCulloch Photography

  35. Ha, ha…I had no idea. As a former long time reader of Outside, I’ve seen your name on the masthead of magazines for a long time (and sent a promo or two your way years ago…)

    Best of luck!

  36. Welcome to sanity. Take a deep breath and enjoy life away from all the good photographers – heh – sorry, couldn’t resist.

    No really …. two years is a good strong slog. I’ll be looking forward to reading and participating in future posts.

    Here’s (raises glass) to a great 2008.

  37. Hi Rob – another Tucsonan here. If you want to take Martha (#25-26) up on her offer of lunch and drinks while you are here, there’s at least one other person who is interested in joining in.

    Merry Christmas, and congratulations on taking the plunge and putting your family first!


  38. Rob — You’re right to think that your influence reaches far beyond the folks that actively comment or blog about what you write. Your insight has been invaluable in the last few months, and I very much hope that you’ll keep at it. Thanks!

  39. Wow! I always “read” you as a woman… I guess it has to do with anonymity being some kind of mirror for myself. Or something, I don’t know. I’ve seen your name many times in trade magazines, in articles about what a great, pro-photographer, innovative editor you’ve been at Men’s Journal and Outside, so it was cool to recognize it here as well. You’d think with technology being what it is, magazines devoted to outside activities one can’t get in NYC would be understanding about having their staff located outside of NYC as well. I just returned from business in NYC and don’t know how you all do it – Northern California it is for me, thank you.
    Best of luck on your new endeavors! Thanks for the fascinating blog, and please keep it up.

  40. Just started reading your blog during the holidays, and will tune in for the aftermath… Congratulations!

  41. Darn! My guess was surely wrong. Thou, I have been a fan of the magazines, you have worked for. I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to new posts. Good luck to you and your family.


  42. Great Blog, thanks much and you were great in “Grizzly Adams”.

  43. Ahh… A name to put to the faceless face of the blog. :-)
    Good luck with the change and KEEP BLOGGING!

  44. Thanks for coming out ….

  45. No way! Superheros never reveal their secret identity!

  46. i am one of those thousands of anonymous people who pick up your blog on my rss reader everyday, and as a photographer who’s just starting out in the business of commercial photography (all be it as an assistant at the moment), i can safely say your blog has been a mine of information and inspiration, but most of all, a bloody good read!

    hopefully this isn’t the end of the line!

    hope 2008 is good year for you.

    chris hoare.

  47. Welcome out of the closet! I read your blog very carefully.

  48. Rob Haggart wrote:

    I think the blog is a good start but I have ideas for software and websites that I believe will greatly benefit professional photographers in the future so for the time being I’m going to devote all my energy to that.


    Let’s start with putting LiveBooks out of business, or at least waking up that tired formula of theirs, and giving them a run for their money. There is a huge gap in photographer’s web design services, in between “doing it yourself” which I what I do, and then the next rung up is LiveBooks, and then a massive gap until you get to Group 94 or Robinizer or something like that.

    Personally, I just cringe when I see yet another Livebooks site.

    There is a need for a five thousand dollar creative template, where the photographer can maintain and service his own site, and not be dependent on a company 24/7 to do it for them. There doesn’t seem to be much of a choice, between five grand and twenty grand; not much there in the middle at all. It should not be that way.

    After we finish that project, let’s move on to reducing the Digital Dog and Pony Show that’s (seemingly) necessary for most modern commercial shoots nowadays.

    That should keep you busy til you migrate to Durango… So drop that burrito and get to work, young man. You’ve been infected with the New York work ethic; it’s gonna take a long time to rid yourself of that.

  49. Congrats for cutting the cord!

    I think many people in this crazy business can relate to your struggles, frustrations and dreams.

    Good luck and keep posting.

  50. damn. and i always thought you were a chick.

  51. ha. funny, but i knew somehow, this would happen ;)
    i was quiet watching all time from overseas and had a lot of laughs here, far far away in another world in little austria, europe. keep on rocking and thanks for keeping my mind open with necessary asskicking. i stay tuned.
    good luck and all the best.

  52. I passed thru Durango on my way moving to Austin stayed at a hotel went to the store and saw a bear outside my hotel a few doors down on my way back from the store. I could not convince my girlfriend to take up grad school in Durango though. Be sure to hit up Steamworks Brewery met those guys as they were in Austin promoting there brew here in Austin, good brew, nice guys, unless the locals have something different to say about them.

  53. Rob

    Since I’ve known for a while, I have only told one person and swore him to secrecy. He never told anyone. Thanks Mark!

    Glad you are going to follow your desires! Good for you!!!

    Best wishes and keep on rolling with this incredible blog.

  54. @50.

    Does that mean you have some weird fantasy issues you have to work out now?

    Looking forward to the future of APE.


  55. Best to you Rob! Like most of your readers, I thank you for the energy you invest in this blog…and still photography in general! I hope the best for you, and look forward to your posts in 08.

  56. Go Rob! Your blog has been a fav for months now. Good luck in CO. You are making a superb move.

    thanks for all that you’ve shared so far.


  57. Well count me as one of those who had it in my head you were a lady. Good to hear your story and all the best in the move.

  58. I grew up in NM just south of Durango and I go up there often, well more to see family in Cortez. You’ll love it, it is an outdoor paradise with a little something for everyone. Really your not that far from Monument Valley or the parks in Utah, Mesa Verde is a must and if you want something a little flatter try out the ruins in Aztec. Great fishing above Durango, there is a little town above Cortez called Delores that has a pretty big deal with bike races. Basically you’ll just have fun there. Good luck.

  59. you never hired me biaaaaatch!
    kidding – good job on stirring up some dirt. keep it up – we’re all ready.

  60. Good for you for putting your family and the outdoors first!! You won’t regret it! I am a commercial photographer in Southern Oregon. I live on 50 acres, have a large studio at my house, ride my mountain bike from my house and get to see my kids all day long and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. In this internet age it’s possible to live remotely and still work with the big boys. With your level of talent and background you will have no trouble finding something in Durango (which is a great place!) With your readership, I think you could make a living just consulting photographers!

    Keep up the good work! Like others, I too thought you were a NY fashion girl. A very pleasant surprise to find your an outdoorsmen!

  61. WOW!

    I did not expect to read this. It is like finding out your spouse has an alter ego.

    I have enjoyed the blog and you can count me in as one that will continue to be be here for you.

    Thanks for all you have informed to the rest of us.


  62. Nice to meet you Rob!

    Good luck on your new adventures. I look forward to your future posts.


  63. Had I known a few days ago I could have offered to buy you a drink while in NYC. Best of luck with your new endeavors. Your blog has been extremely informative. I look forward to reading more.


  64. Smart man to choose self-preservation. You must have been dying of heartbreak every second you spent in NYC. I know I would have!

  65. Great show Rob!
    All the best wishes to you on the future adventures.

  66. So I guess the advice to move to NYC worked out after all…it just didn’t fit your perception.

  67. man! i lost the betting pool. I had you as susan white at vanity fair. oh well. thanks for the blog and good luck with everything.

  68. Congratulations on coming out of the closet, as it were.

    With all this talk of cutting-edge portraitists I had you pegged as at New York Times Magazine. I’ll have to start looking at Men’s Journal–it’s a magazine I’d never really paid attention to until now! (If you keep us posted when you find a new magazine, I suspect that lucky magazine’s readership will grow by some substantial portion of your readership.)

  69. There was a certain comfort in the anonymity, plugging into a wisdom from the ether so finely tuned to the reality of working as a photographer. It’s been a joy reading your blog, and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve nodded with recognition at the things you’ve said, I’d be a wealthier man. Revealing your ID means I can say thanks Rob for such refreshing honesty and insights into the inner workings of our industry. Half-way through reading your latest post I was thinking, “No way, he’s packing it in, it’s an Alec Soth-style farewell note.” I’m relieved to find it isn’t! Have a great new year.

  70. ah, so you are human? ,-)

    Good luck for all your plans and may all your wishes come true!

  71. Anonymous or not, it was, and I hope it still will be, fun to read your blog. Keep up good work, even if not anonymous anymore :)

  72. Keep this going. It is always interesting to read, and think about.

    Glad you are out of the closet!

  73. Hi Rob

    I wish you all the best with “whatever comes your way”.

    But I selfishly hope it will still be connected enough with what you’ve done in these last 2 years to keep this blog alive and as fresh and interesting as it’s been so far!

    Thanks and good luck!


  74. Thanks a lot, Rob. Your blog is very informative and helpful. I’m sure that like me, many photographers feel like they have a friend “on the inside” through your blog. Good luck on your move and I hope you have a great year ahead.

  75. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I thought for sure you were a woman. Glad you escaped New York. I escaped (Buffalo area) 10 years ago.

  76. for the last few months i have enjoyed reading your blog and have recommended your postings to friends all over the world as a tool to learn about the business of photography, mainly because you are a voice of reason, a voice of values in a very competitive photograpic market.
    so it comes as no surprise to hear that you are doing what is right for you and your family.
    i hope that you keep up with the blog, to continue telling tales from the wonderful world of photographic practices and keep informing us somewhat lonely photographers out there with insightfull details of the business.
    thanks and happy holidays!

  77. Congrats and good luck!


  78. welcome to our world. kudos on handling anonymity well and not letting it turn snarky. well done.

  79. Rob (and Mike @28)

    It’s great to hear from some other people in the industry who like to get outside (and who also grapple with living in the city.) Good luck in Durango, and make some turns for me.

    I always loved the photography in Outside when you were the editor–it’s so rare to see great, creative photographs about the outdoors.

    I’ll echo Mike’s offer, too. If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area (or Joshua Tree, the Sierra) and want to go climbing, let me know.

    Thanks for the blog and best of luck.

  80. just wanted to say hello to you from spain!!!
    i have been reading your blog often, very useful information
    hugs and good luck in your new path!!

  81. Your “Primary Colours” are out! The APE has hair (…and a tail!)
    I had you pegged as an editor I know at Details, mostly the JD Salinger references to “goddam” Guess my days as a literary sleuth are over!

    Happy to see you are not signing off, it was enough to lose the ‘soth in one year…

    Best of luck out yonder!


  82. Really great mountain biking in Durango. And Wolf Creek is amesome….
    My guess was GQ or Esquire…
    400,000 hits wow.
    This is one of my favorite blogs. Please keep the posts coming.
    Good Luck!!!!!

  83. Rob –

    Wow! What a surprise! I have been reading this blog for quite a while now and always thought – maybe it is Rob? It has been a million years it seems since we met up for lunch back here in Santa Fe while you were at Outside Magazine. I am sorry we didn’t get to work on much while you were at Men’s Journal.

    Drop me a line when you get to Durango – we can go ice climbing or do some fun outdoor stuff if you want since you aren’t too far away. I hope this finds you doing well and I look forward to seeing all that you have to say on this blog in the future. It would be great to catch up sometime….A happy new year to you! Welcome back to the west.

    Cheers, Michael Clark

    P.S. – Sorry to have missed you in Maine at the Aurora meeting earlier this year as well – I was on a shoot in Wyoming…..

  84. Hey Rob,

    Funniest thing is that the whole time I’ve been reading this, I thought you were female. Not sure why!

    Anyway, it was good working with you, and I’m glad for you that you’re moving closer to the mountains. It’s good out here.

    Best of luck with the new endeavors, and keep up the blog. I’ll continue reading.


  85. Good stuff, Rob.

    As a former corporate ad guy who broke free from the paycheck a few years ago, I commend you. It can be as frightening as it is liberating and both become the fuel that keeps you motivated to do something special.

    Experience in a group creative environment will come in handy and you’ll find that you’ll draw from it as you lead your upstart – and looking forward to see what you do next!

    Just keep this blog going, hmmm? And if you ever wanna get your hot rod on, come on out to San Francisco and GARAGE magazine…


  86. wow! great stuff! who wouldve known? cant wait to see more of what you have in store for us!

  87. Rob –

    Congratulations on moving on to the next step for you.

    I’m sure you already know this, but Durango really is a great place, and the area around it is spectacular. (I live far away from there now, but went to camp there for three years and have returned a few times as an adult.)

    I’m eager to continue hearing about your past work and to hear about your new work as well. There is so much to think about in the online space and so much change; I’m sure with your insights you can help bring new ideas.

    – Marshall

  88. Thanks for sharing your wisdom about the industry! I look forward to further revelations and insights. Best of luck to you and your family!

  89. Rob,

    I never made the leap to NY. I lived in Colorado for 13 years, including the ski towns, but Denver in the 80’s was in a bust phase. I did spend some time in Durango – you’ll love it.

    Eventually, I settled in the Seattle area where I live outside the city (on an island no less) to raise my family. It’s worth it… quality of life is always a balancing act.

    Thanks for all your empathy, insight and wisdom. Please keep it going! Yours is the first blog where I’ve found myself coming back for more.

    Happy 2008!

  90. thank you rob.

  91. Out of the closet and into the light! Congratz! Looking forward to more of your incisive commentary, bathed in anonymity or not.

  92. thanks for coming out!! Seriously, great work on your blog.

  93. Glad you’re pursuing your dreams. As a photographer I’ve enjoyed seeing the world from your perspective, and I hope you’ll be around for the future.

  94. Dear Rob
    you really enbody what we say in Italy ‘Anno nuovo vita nuovo! (a new life in a new year)’ I hope all the best for you and your family. Changes are the salt of our short lives. Anyway you confirm my impression (I spent only a week in NY in 99 to take a photostory on favourite Woody Allen locations and bars in Manhattan) that to live in the city that never sleeps it’s great only in Breakfast at Tiffany. Very happy new year

  95. Always a pleasure reading this blog… and the timing on this one is an intereting one for me as well… balance in life, what we like, what provides us with a quality of life that we seek is a hard thing to do, or so I have come to learn. Getting it just right takes a lot of time planning. I rather be an ignorant and not know that it affects my life, but when you do become aware of it… on how it does… then changes can be great… they are just a bit scary.

    Continue this blog as we get to learn and share along you…

    Cheers and best of luck.


  96. Hey Rob,

    All the best to you and your family.

    I hope you keep this blog going …..and BTW, I never thought your were a woman!

    Happy New Year! Sarah

  97. Slashie

  98. Hi Rob – nice to put a name to a blog – and thanks for all the lovely comments. Good luck with the move too – less commuting, more family, more outside – it has to be good.

    Have a great 2008

  99. Nice to learn about your identity.

    In the past it has been quite interesting to learn from your thoughts and ideas while you were part of the [photographic] system … now that you are a free man, I am quite excited to see what you will telling …

    I am certain your creative thinking will lead to great things in your next steps in photography.

    Thanks for sharing with all … and good luck to you and your family.


  100. Rob, glad to see that you’re out of the closet. Your tone and bent towards the industry makes more sense now that I know some of your past and present situation. I will enjoy reading this blog all the more now that I know more about you. Although I know that anonymity is at times necessary it can definitely prevent me from trusting the source. Now that you’ve told us who you are it makes me appreciate past posts all the more. Good luck with your gutsy move to the country, that’s great. Kate.

  101. Congrats Rob,
    Glad to see that you and the family are going to finally start living the dream again. From this blog, I’d say your years in NYC were definitely worth it. You picked up a strong and singular voice that should serve you well in the future.

    Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from working with you (and Hannah) at Outside was to trust the photo/art department. More often than I’m happy to admit, the words of stories I edited fell short of matching the power of the images your photographers produced. It’s never a fun day as an editor to see that what you thought of as a nice piece of writing doesn’t support the impact of the photography.

    On really great days, the photo’s that you chose for my stories made decent stuff good, and good stuff great, and great stuff worth all the rest of the crap I had to deal with in my job.

    Working with you taught me this lesson about magazine editorial: No one stops paging through a magazine to read words. They stop because of the photography. An amazing photo is what compels a person to actually start reading the story behind the photo. So quit bitching about how much space the art director is giving the photos. Without them, no one would give a s**t about your precious words.

    Yeah, I know. That’s “Duh,” to you, but just wanted to let you know the message go through, and as a result, it’s made the rest of my career a helluva lot easier.

    Best of luck,
    Grant Davis
    a former editor at Outside 2001-2005

  102. i don’t know why but i thought you were a woman!

  103. Grant,

    Thanks for the comment. I think the future for photography is very bright despite what many are saying and your comments reinforce that idea.

  104. Congratulations on the life change, they take guts but they’re always worth it! Oh, and I totally knew you worked for Men’s Journal. :-)

  105. I thought you were a woman. And I know why. Because you have a very sensitive side and yet you are not afraid to say what you think. I always though of you like a mother to us all.

    Thank you for your time and for your stand for photographers. I congratulate you on you decision. I have myself been wondering about changing my life drastically, about quitting working as a freelance photographer and just do art for the sake of art. You’re brave. If you ever need help with anything, you know you have 400,000 people listening.
    Best to y’all.

  106. Wow- thanks for coming out into the light. All this time I thought you were a woman. I don’t know why!

  107. A pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Rob H. A great pleasure reading your blog and I hope you and the family are well. No doubt I believe that the new year will be a great one for you, photographers and us picture editors all over the world. Keep on blogging!!

  108. And i always thought i was reading a woman’s writing.

    Thanks for all the work and insight you put into this blog. Kudos on your decision; in my former life I was an analyst for an investment bank. Now I’m trying to teach myself photography while building a business. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.


  109. cool, Rob, congrats on the life change. I’d not hit APE in several weeks and was SHOCKED to see you’d outed yourself, but happy to see it too. my hunch is you belong out west anyway. you also sound like a perfect candidate for aluminitus, or terminal Airstream travel trailer obsession disorder, a malady I have recently contracted. contact me if you catch it, I’ll fill you in.

    many of us make changes/sacrifices for the very same reasons you did: more space, time with kids/family, etc. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

    what a shame it would be to grow old and regret spending most of your life looking at a computer screen or television set. (of course when you’re young you feel certain that “growing old” will happen to everyone but you.) there is a life beyond MEDIA, even for the career media-dependent. carpe diem ‘n all that…

    rick olivier
    new orleans

  110. Boy, did I fall behind on the news. Congrats on the bold move. Takes guts. Visit us here in Portland, Oregon. We made the escape from DC.

  111. Hey Rob!

    I believe blogs do change lives. It sounds corny but I´ve been deeply influenced by a few blogs over the years and indirectly began to pursue commercial photography, photojournalism, and my passion because of that.

    Look forward to hearing more of your stories and wish you all the best.

    Best regards,


  112. Hey Rob, I’ve loved reading the blog since I discovered it about two months ago. I can’t thank you enough for everything that I’ve learned about the photography industry from your first-hand experiences.

  113. Hey Rob,
    I found my name on your consultant list. Turns out we were both photo editors at Outside Magazine – some years apart. Me in San Francisco before Jann wennner sold the magazine he founded. I work with the photographic community nationwide as a coach and consultant. TalK sometime?

    Best wishes to you on your earth and cyber path,
    Monica Suder, CPCC
    Creative & Business Coach/Consultant

  114. Very inspiring read just on the “about” page. I look forward to checking back daily.

  115. I’m impressed with the article you have written with James.Cause at the same point I have fallen on the same situation here as a photojournalist intern in our local newspaper.:)

  116. Love the blog. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

  117. Hello Rob-
    Great blog. As an editorial photographer for the past 15 years, I’ve worked with photo editors and art buyers around the globe; thanks for the insight your blog provides. I’m based in Denver..perhaps we can work together in the future. Thank you again for a great weblog.
    Don Cudney

  118. Hi Rob ,
    Great website! I’ve been wanting to break into editorial photography for awhile I actually caught the interest of Jackie Tobin of PDN for top 30 photographers during a college portfolio review. I just released my new website and planned on doing a web mail launch through agency access. I just wanted to know what emails have you received that really stood out. Are there any of my images that you think are the strongest?
    Thanks for any advice you can give. You could be brutal , I’m a New Yorker , I could take it! lol!
    Thanks again – Sloane Timson


    The website I gave you is a link to my new one… not yet live. More like a sneak peak.

    My current website is still just html:

    I am a 25 year old female photographer. I have been successful in San Francisco and I am headed out next week to show my book in NYC. The Big Apple… um… yeah.

    I know you have lots of experience with the said Apple, and I was wondering if you had any tips. I have been sending out emails like crazy, but I am wondering how terrible it would be if I just walked in to some of these places. Ad agencies and Magazines that is.

    I am going for a week. Do people hire on the spot like that? I would love to shoot while I am out there.

    Anyhow, love your blog and appreciate your insight.


  120. Rob,

    I can totally identify with your struggle. I too am in the photo biz (photographer), enjoy the outdoors, live in NYC, have a family and… 20 years ago, lived in Durango, CO and am a bit “done” with NYC. I would love to go back – what are you gunna do???

  121. What a great way to start my day!

  122. Yo homeboy:

    I was wondering what happened to you. Rising out the ashes to baptize himself in the refreshing wonders of the outdoor arena.(I’m not really sure what means.) Glad to hear that you’re well. Just got back from cuba doing some personal work; would love to share.

    all the best,
    Jimbo Wright

  123. Dear Mr. Haggart,

    A friend sent me to your site. Wonderful!

    I am the Director of Design and Marketing at Dynalite. If appropriate, I’d like to add you to our press contact list. To do that I’ll need (at least!) your appropriate email address.

    Additionally, do you or might you accept advertising?



    Peter Bradshaw, for Dynalite
    PBD&M, L.L.C.
    voice: 540.937.2291
    efax: 800.813.4090
    cell: 540.219.6980

    “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”
    – Mahatma Gandhi

  124. Hi Rob,
    Great blog ! I’m freelance photographer based in Roma, Italy and maybe we can work together in the next future ! Thank you again for sharing.

  125. now that the barn has burnt down you can finally see the moon

  126. Hi Rob

    I’m an Irish photographer back home after a 5 years in OZ.
    I’m now totally disillusioned with the industry here in Ireland, no more staff jobs here either plus papers and magazines aren’t paying freelancers to shoot. So where does that leave me?????
    By the way I’m looking to get a new website and I’m leaning towards what can you do for me

  127. Dear rob,

    your about me is even more inspiring then your blog. I recently did the same from the BBC. Everyone said as I was mad but being able to pick up the kids from school just suddenly seemed a lot more important. Congratulations on the success of your blog and the debate that it generates … a model of public service.


    p.s. perhaps you’d have a look at our website. We’re the only ones in the UK trying to make a go of multimedia in a kind of Media Storm way (although we’re not really interested in emulating the way their work is produced, you won’t ever find us filming photographers!) I’m slowly trying to get the BBC to take this kind of work seriously. They could provide an amazing portal and platform for image driven storytelling but are yet to fully engage. You Americans are so far ahead of us its sickening!

  128. Brilliant stuff…keep it coming. It helps! :-)

  129. Happy blogging, man. We’ll be watching the feed now…

    We’re developing new media in big ways over here, using photography about as well as a print magazine at times.

    We welcome contributors, and comments too…

    The Locust Fork News-Journal

  130. Oh, and I should have mentioned the word about the Christian Science Monitor got out in our photog community. I was a regional correspondent for them out of New Orleans, 2000-2004.

    Guess I should blog about it. But it appeared there were out of money for free-lance work from the South after the free-lance correspondent was kidnapped in Baghdad.

  131. First ‘Deep Throat’ and now ‘A Photo Editor’ what in the hell do they put in the water up there in Moscow!

    As a die hard Bronco I really wanted to not like this blog

    … but I can’t . ;)

    It’s great. I look forward to becoming a regular reader.

  132. For someone on page 2 of a 300 page book “Becoming a professional photographer”, As in.. I am new. This is a great blog to visit. Many of us share the same hobbies, dreams and aspirations. It is comforting to know there are others out there so discontent with life that it is time to make a change and try a new path. To new beginnings… good luck.

  133. I just came across your blog by accident – but then there ARE no accidents! I’ve been in THE BUSINESS of photography for 25 years. Twenty five years in the trenches; inventing and reinventing. What a ride! I moved to NYC from the Boston area about 3 months ago. My kids are grown and out on their own, and this is my opportunity to experience the epicenter. I’ve had 1 foot on the NYC side of the fence for years, traveling back and forth (and all over) following the work that came my way. My reps are in NYC. I moved here because I’ve been working on a personal project for a couple of years and I felt that putting myself in the thick of it would create a opportunity to investigate the possibility of getting a grant in order to comfortably pursue my project. My work is stronger, more mature and more passionate than it has ever been. I have a trove of imagery that casts a wide net; trained in the studio with film, lighting and large format, I am grateful for my baseline. I cannot imagine jumping into the flow of this profession without the knowledge and basic understanding of the tools that have preceded digital. Now that I’ve landed here, I sense a pervasive fear within our culture due to the transition that has obviously begun. Work flow is tight, and I am trying to find ways to stand back and understand where the focus and the flow will be once we shift and rebalance. I am trying to find a way to stay a float and be true to the joy of my chosen field and continue to work and evolve my image making. If you go to my web site, the work you will see is commercial – mostly shot for assignments and advertising. My personal work is not there. I have shown a few pieces of this new work in group shows in NY. Four pieces have sold. But my desire is to develop a strong series, continue to expand the vision, and hire a curator to help move it forward. When I read about Women in Photography, and I am not part of the conversation, it feels as though I should be. I have so much to say. So much insight to offer. I have brought two daughters up as a single parent in this profession – nuts, but so totally awesome for all of us. I don’t know exactly why I’m telling you all this, except to say, it is unusual to have a forum to express myself as a creative person to another who understands the depth of the joy and the struggle. Hope you’re life is going well. Sounds like you’ve made some heartfelt choices. Hope to hear from you. Susie

  134. Just found your blog, what a fantastic resource. I think I may spend the rest of the night poking around here. Thanks for making so much information available, can’t wait to absorb it all.

  135. hey there.

    just thought to drop a note and ask your thoughts on my blog. photos are my own (unless otherwise noted or pr shots) and the writing is my own as well….

    would appreciate your thoughts..

    b well.

  136. Rob – thank you so much for creating this for the photo community…and for setting an example. This is the first blog I’ve found that I’m going to actively follow.

  137. Hi Rob:

    Good luck to you. It sounds like you know you’re doing the right thing. And you’re going to love Colorado.

    Jan Kabili
    Senior Trainer,

  138. Funny thing. The minute Zoozoom send an email stating they are following my twitter updates I found yours.

    After reading your blogs, I know exactly what you went through. There’s absolutely no freshness. Even in the retail business.

    Often while working on major campaigns, I asked myself if this was meant to be. Well, tomorrow will be my last day.

    I’m too pursuing new ideas in the digital media. Also continue to advance my passion for design, photography & film. First task is two shopping cart interface with scriptaculous (javascript).

    I hope you do well with your future. Looking forward to read more of your blogs.

  139. Rob,

    Damn fine blog you put together . I’ll be a frequent visitor. You should have come to Brooklyn when you were in NYC; you might have found it a great place to raise a family as I have. All the best in your future endevors.

  140. Dear Rob,

    I can’t remember how I stumbled on your blog very recently but I’m happy I did. I shall look regularly from now on.

    Best wishes,

    Richard Baker, London.

  141. … I know I’ve said it elsewhere, but I just have to say it again … this is a GREAT BLOG. Keep up the good work.

    Durango is a curious choice as a ‘destination’. Spent several days there after my car broke down in the desert … I always preferred ‘Alma’ up in the hills … Check it out if roaming. Very conducive to FAMILY life and living …

    Best to you.

  142. Dear Rob,
    I was researching photographer blogs when I came across your profile – you’re lucky to have worked in so many great places and been brave enough to not rest on your laurels.
    In case it interests you, I came across some interviews with other photographers that I thought I might share:

  143. Hi Rob-
    Your blog totally inspires me to go on with my blog that is just beginning to take shape. I too had the good fortune of getting to work with Hannah McCoughey and at Rolling Stone when she was working under the great Fred Woodward ……… back then I was a frustrated photographer working as a photo researcher. I’m glad I took the leap courage to be what I always knew I should be. The experience I got from working with in the walls of such places like The New Yorker and Rolling Stone was invaluable. Having that training from the other side gave me knowledge that I couldn’t have found any where else. We had a lot of fun along the way as well. Thanks Rob for putting yourself out there, I visit your blog regularly. Come visit my site and lets blog on!

    Michelle Del Guercio

  144. hello rob,
    just discovered the site ,its great but i feel I’ve missed quite a bit.
    a similar move has been on my mind for some time now but mine is a little further south.
    keep on writing.


  145. I am very glad for you and your decision and I hope all the best for you and your family. I am also a photo editor of an italian monthly magazine and I do enjoyed a loto your blog, it was sometime funny for me to read as I was living similar situation in my office. Merry Xmas and happy new year.

  146. thanks for the wonderful blog and the story about your business in photography beeing a photoexpert. I am from Germany and also a freak for nature . A photographer and artist working on several projects.
    Best wishes eva

  147. Rob,

    I ran across your blog by accident while looking at the the NYTimes website for photo editors. I enjoyed reading your inspiring story. Growth and value issues we all can relate to a some point in time.

    Best of luck.
    Bill Sosin

  148. my eyes are nearly bleeding from blog reading but yours is by far the best tonight !!! feel like i’m back in the loop after baby making

  149. It’s so weird…for the last few days I was thinking that I don’t really know much about your career. I mean you were PE with two well known outdoor magazines, and then suddenly you’re in the southwest, and yet you have this connection to everything, know everyone in New York, LA and the photo world in general.

    I was wondering how is it you bailed and live in a tiny, but cool town – Durango, Colorado.

    Then I clicked on this bio and it’s all there…

    I’m from Albuquerque, love the outdoors, love snowboarding, biking, 10,000 ft. peaks – real mountains. Durango is a cool little town and I’ve been going to Durango since the mid-eighties to ski and snowboard. I love that area. Wolf creek is another favorite ski area just down the road.

    So I’m thinking how did you do it and I guess it’s simple you just make it happen, you change your priorities. I agree – if you love the outdoors, nothing beats the western US, if you’ve been there or grew up there.

    Being in New York though does open the doors, is essential to be here for awhile and is a great experience. I still live here most of the time, but like you, before, keep thinking about getting back west to where being on a limitless horizon on a big mountain is the best thing in the world, where life is simpler and doing outdoor activities is on a grander plain. You actually appreciate it more after being on the east coast.

    Warm wishes to you and your family in 2010.

  150. […] a few weeks of hard graft, with wonderful support from Rob Haggart and his team at A Photo Folio, I am pleased to announce the launch of my new website [insert […]

  151. Hi,

    I am in a journalism class and I was wondering if I could have an interview? The interview would be short and would take hardly any of your time!


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