There used to be a service for photo editors where you could tell them what kinds of pictures you were looking for and they would blast it out to all their freelance photographers. It seemed like a good idea, but ultimately what ended up happening is you would be crushed by submissions, many of which had nothing to do with the request list and you had to wade through all of it to find your shots. I’ve often wondered if there was a better way to do this with technology that made it easy for the photo editor to review the images and vet the actual list and easy for the photographer to make the submission. One of the cool things I saw while working in NY was a system used by US Weekly and People where photographers could submit their images via ftp and they would be entered into an image database by a photo editor.

Anyway, I was wondering if I could post that kind of thing here and people would respond with their own work or point us in the right direction?

I have a photo editor looking for projects related to the economy: foreclosure, stimulus construction, homelessness, unemployment. It’s quite a big project so if you have a body of work in one of these areas or know where one exists leave a comment or send me an email with a link.

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  1. I work with adoptable animals at the local humane society and at the local animal control/shelter facility. The Tri-Cities (Washington) are faring better than a lot of the nation in terms of the economy but there are still people that have to give up their beloved pets when they sell their homes and have to move into apartments that don’t allow pets.

    My work might be a bit outside the scope of what you are looking for but the economy definitely plays a role. Except for the few photos of my dogs (the three on my splash page), all of the animals shown were photographed while they were looking for new homes.

  2. Wonderful Machine offers this exact service to photo editors and art buyers already: sharing stock requests via email, and solely with our assignment photographers.

    We’re careful to point out to our photographers that they should only send highly-relevant images, as we want to maintain a good relationship with clients — especially because we may also be shooting for them on other occasions.

    I’ll share this with our photographers asap.

    We welcome stock requests from other clients as well, and they can send me stock request emails any time at

  3. How about these:

    In these pictures, made in the offices of the Internet service provider AOL in June 2008, I hoped to offer visual signs of the 2008/2009 Recession. Although I had planned to document the sterile beauty of the workspace, AOL was in the midst of been refurbished. As I walked around, I began to notice a strong relationship between the deteriorating fabric of the office space and that of the global economy. The more news that broke about the recession, the more I saw AOL as a metaphor for the plummeting economy.


  4. We took a few slow hours one afternoon and did a short film about a Ninja who was downsized from their Dojo.
    Take one eager assistant, one left over ninja suit, FCP, and magic happens.
    If nothing else we had some great laughs doing it.

  5. Hi, I have photos of an immigrant try to sell something merchandise on a beach and of a group of “normal” people (in the sense that aren’t homeless) try to find something in a urban bin after a market. Aren’t linked on the web, so if need jpeg please contact me or give me the contact where to send. Thanks. MArio

  6. During the recession (up until the beginning of this year) I looked at the English High Street and noticed the pattern of closing businesses’ windows which spurned a project I called ‘BUST: The Art of Recession’ which is at Photoshelter:

    Among a few aesthetic features I liked, I also looked at the messages the last person to leave appeared to leave before turning out the lights on another failed venture.

    It was England, not America but it may some relevance. But thanks for looking all the same.


    Richard Baker

  7. I thought image banks were doing this pretty well. Or are you looking at something more creative than the typical bland image banks photography? I often get requests via email (I don’t have much stock photography, I work on assignments mostly) so there must be organised networks.

    If you make such a call, my very humble advice would be to limit every photographer’s submission to one picture! Shortlist a few of them & then ask them for more work sample. This way you won’t be deluged with irrelevant pics! As always, I might be wrong: this is just an idea!

  8. Lauren Greenfield at INSTITUTE has been working on economy related projects for a long time now.

    The crumbling of Dubai:

    Foreclosure Alley in Southern California:

    Wives of white collar criminals:


    Kids and consumerism:

    China’s economic boom:

    China’s nouveau rich: (Direct image licensing from INSTITUTE for Artist Management)

    • @Stefan Falke,

      Strong set.

  9. Hi Rob

    it looks like most postings have been about personal projects.

    However, we provide a service pretty much like you described. A picture researcher or editor submits their request here:

    We send it out to our photographers who have relevant collections, and they upload low res images to our site. We review the submissions, and if we feel they are relevant, they will appear on your lightbox for review. You can then choose any images you are interested in using, and negotiate direct with the photographer regarding usage and payment.

    Examples here:

    Our regular clients include:

    National Geographic
    Dorling Kindersley
    The Guardian

    hope this helps!
    best regards

  10. Here’s a few, with a lot of emphasis on architecture, or the suburbs that are a sorry excuse for architecture … oh, and Detroit and Detroit and er… Detroit.,29307,1884100,00.html,29307,1882089,00.html

  11. We represent Agence VU in the US and one of their photographers, Guillaume Zulli did a story about California’s Inland Empire:

    USA, Los Angeles, March 2009 “Foreclosure Alley” is now the nickname for Inland Empire which is in the vast Los Angeles Area. Along the 15 freeway hundreds of gated communities were created with their adjacent malls in less than five years. What was the American dream is now a tremendous nightmare with an astounding number of foreclosures. Now “For Sale” or “Bank Owned” signs are the new landscape. Lock on Door, dried grass, obvious signs of abandoned foreclosed house.

    © Guillaume Zuili/Agence VU/Aurora Photos

  12. I would suggest you also review work by Robert Cohen on the homeless families living in motels in suburban America. This work was recently honored as a Pulitzer Finalist in Feature Photography.

    Here are some pertinent links:
    — an announcement of the award
    — an audio slide show of the work
    — a blog on the coverage
    — from the website of the Pulitzer Prizes

    It’s compelling work about a part of the economic crisis that is easy to overlook.

  13. A focus on how the economic downturn affected New Yorkers in 2009.

  14. I did a photo essay about the current socioeconomic state of Detroit City in the wake of the collapse of domestic manufacturing, the housing market crisis and the economic recession. It took me three years to complete and recently took 2nd place in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism 2010 competition’s Domestic Picture Story category.

    The contest link is here:

    …and the complete edit can be seen on my website, here:

    Thank you for your time and consideration.


    -Ian Willms

    Photographer, Toronto
    +1 416 910 0943

  15. In addition to Lauren Greenfield’s work above, there is also a multimedia piece that she did called “Foreclosure: Death of the American Dream”. This is also available alongside her still image work on the same subject


    Frank Evers
    INSTITUTE for Artist Management

  16. Hi, i have a story on homeless people sleeping in cars and a tent city called ‘Nickelsville’ in Seattle.
    Please follow this link and click on ‘nickelsville’ (second image on the right).
    regards, Jan

  17. There seems to be many potential projects for this mysterious “client” in need, who tells us he/she has a photo editor on point, but can’t seem to find what is needed. Does anyone care who we are addressing? Should we not be asking, “Hey, who are you?”

  18. Hey Rob,

    I am a documentary and freelance photographer in San Francisco. I have 2 projects that fit in your unemployment and homelessness request.

    First, Invisible City: a short multimedia documentary about living in a tent city in Nashville’, Tenn: http://www

    There is also a independent photo essay of Invisible City on my website:

    Second, and more recently, To Be a Farmworker on the Food Line, which is the first project in a series of investigative multimedia packages concerning food insecurity and drought in California’s breadbasket, the Central Valley. Our first piece is short, 1:40, it is narrated by a mexican field worker, Humberto, who has lived and worked in the fields of the Central Valley for over 30 years. The video was shot during a state funded food aid drop in Selma, Calif., where we met Humberto. Due to a 3 year drought, more than 80% of the Central Valley residence are unemployed, most are in need of food aid. ((This video is embargoed at the moment, but is available for viewing in a password protected vimeo account, please send me an email if your interested in watching the video.))

    Thanks for letting all of us present these interesting stories.

    Russel Daniels

    • @Russel A Daniels, Good work!

  19. Have a large body of work related to the property bubble and subsequent crash in Ireland,taken over a three year period.Don’t know if you are looking for something relating to the United States or not.
    Regards Kenneth

    • @Ben, good series.

  20. WOW. This is so awesome. Thanks for all the submissions and all the emails as well. I was thinking a little while back that I hadn’t seen too many projects addressing this topic and it seems that’s not the case. Maybe this will inspire more media outlets to take up the topic and hire some of you.

    • @A Photo Editor, Rob is your contact interested in the present or only interested what has transpired? Not knowing a point of view leaves it pretty wide open. Perhaps with a bit of collaboration, a body of work can be created to fit the request. You have assembled such a talented following that it is possible for you to suggest a direction for this and allow your contact to fulfill his/her vision. I keep hearing that the future is collaboration, perhaps this may be an opportunity to test the theory.

  21. […] • And, similarly, on A Photo Editor’s blog, there’s a (different) photo editor looking for “projects related to the economy: foreclosure, stimulus construction, homelessness, unemployment.” Leave a comment or send links in an email. [A Photo Editor] […]

  22. Have you seen Help a Reporter Out (HARO)? You should connect with Peter Shankman and pick his brain. I think you could replicate his journalist/source social model to create something similar for the editior/photographer set.

  23. Hey Rob,
    I have been working on a project titled ” There are no homeless in Heaven.” It has to deal with hope and what keeps people going in hard times. As a Christian I wanted to ask homeless people how God helps them get through their time on the streets. The link is

  24. After being laid off from Hearst where I worked as a photo editor for 10 years, I created a series of images titled “After the Fold” which you can view on my website I took them mostly during the last two weeks while we were cleaning up the office, and a few when I snuck back in a few weeks later. I also have a project titled “After The Crash” which you may also find interesting for which I have invited the fellow unemployed into my studio to perform a pure gesture of artistic angst towards the image of the building in which they used to work. Enjoy and Thank you for taking this on!

  25. Hi, you can have a look at my site in the portfolio page, at the top:

    – Don’t Shoot research;
    – Alcoa Workers;
    – Crisis and Bad Business.

    All works are in Italy.


  26. Hello, I have been photographing the forgotten or left to decay landscape of America for the past few years. Ranging from run down landscapes, shut down store fronts to abandon amusement parks. Images are heavily based on geometry and isolation. My last trip had backers with last 9000 miles and 34 days. Almost all images are shot large format and printed in my personal color dark room. My work is represented for usage from Gallery Stock.

    Please take a look at my landscapes gallery on my website… there is a GREAT deal more… if you are interested.

    Also, the sponsor page for my most recent project:

    Thank you for your time


    Brandon Schulman

  27. Hello,

    Last year I did a portraiture project entitled After Redundancy, that may be of interest to you.

    In March 2009, at the peak of the recession it was estimated that 1/3 of all architects in the UK were out of work or working reduced hours, making them the worst affected profession. After Redundancy documents the different directions taken by 24 out of work architects.

    You can view the project on my website –

    Kind regards,


  28. Hi Rob,

    I have a project I shot last year in Wilmington, Ohio. It is about the impact of DHL decision to close its domestic hub in the town. Despite its small size, Wilmington hosted in fact the largest private airport in the world, owned by DHL, and being the major hub for DHL in the USA, when the firm decided to end its US domestic freight operations it was a major shock.

    You can check it here:



  29. Is this a photo journalism project or commercial?

  30. Hi Rob,

    For the past 6 years I’ve been living in and documenting the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where the Atlantic Yards development would (may?) be constructed. This would be one of the largest development projects in New York history: $5+ billion, 22 acres, 20,000-seat basketball arena, 16 skyscrapers. It would create the densest census housing tract in the nation. The state is threatening the use of eminent domain to take possession of private property for “economic development” and “blight removal.” Many residents and businesses have already moved, many buildings have already been demolished.

    Progress on the project has been stalled for years due to opposition, and more recently due to the economy. The developer has drastically scaled back the scope of the project, among other measures, to cut costs.

    I have amassed an extensive archive of images, a portion of which can be seen here:

    For background on the Atlantic Yards project, a good starting point is Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards Report:

    Tracy Collins
    Brooklyn, New York

  31. My ongoing project entitled Satwa: In a Changed World – documents one of the last remaining walkable neighborhoods of “Old Dubai.”

    At the peak of the real estate boom villas were being razed and land prepped for encroaching monolithic high rises. A small demographic of working class laborers faced eviction. More pressing, was the deed of finding affordable housing in Dubai to replace their current living quarters.

    However, in the past year as the economy in Dubai has suffered, construction has come to a near stand still. For now, Satwa is saved.

    Thanks for looking…

    also a little more about Satwa on my blog at:

  32. The Recession Nation Project is a book of photos, short essays and poems about the recession.

    Recession or no recession, the current economic situation is stirring up dust all around us. This project is meant to capture and share a multi-perspective, mixed media, insightful, shared and visual response to this dust and its consequences.

    If nothing else, this project will be an interesting experiment about what happens when technology, social networking, modern on-demand printing, art, design and social responsibility come together.

  33. My TARP(s) project plays on the relationship of the Troubled Asset Relief Program to human scale assets. The thought of obscure financial instruments wielding power over these mysterious blue veils creates a sense of wonderment and awe. What are our real assets?

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