JENNIFER_PASTORE1. Can you tell me how you became Photo Director at Teen Vogue?

I started out as a graphic designer, working freelance for several years and ended up working on the first few issues of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to try photo editing for the magazine and I found that I enjoyed it more than design. After four years or so, I moved to Teen Vogue to be the Photo Director.

2. Who are your go-to photographers for the magazine?

TEEN_VOGUE_SEPT_2010_COVERWe work with several photographers who have been shooting for Teen Vogue and Vogue for years including Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort and Raymond Meier. Some other favorites include Daniel Jackson, Jason Kibbler, Sebastian Kim and Bruce Weber. For portraits we love Paul Jasmin, Tina Tyrell, Abbey Drucker, Poppy de Villeneuve and so many others. More recently, we have started to work with Alasdair McLellan, Ben Weller, Miles Aldridge and Paul Wetherell.

3. Where do you find new talent?

I spend a lot of time looking at magazines, gallery shows, student shows, reading blogs and looking at the portfolios that are sent in. Agents are also a great source of new talent, they often have a good sense of what will work well for the magazine.

4. What’s the best way for photographers to introduce you to their work?

The best way for photographers to introduce their work is to send in their book or a link to their website.

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring photo editors on how to break into the business and what makes a good photo director?

I would say that internships are great ways to start to build contacts and to learn how magazines work. The most important thing for an aspiring photo editor is to look at as much photography (and art, video etc.) as possible while simultaneously trying to meet people in the industry to build up a network. Photo editors need to have a strong contact base as well as a knowledge of what is going on in the world in general. I think that a good photo director should be able to remain calm in difficult situations (often with very difficult personalities) and work with the inevitable challenges that arise in photo shoots, including tight budgets and deadlines. It is also important to be able to put together a strong team which requires a good knowledge of the industry and an ability to identify talent.

Photographed by by Alasdair McLellan, styled by Havana Laffitte
Photographed by by Alasdair McLellan, styled by Havana Laffitte
Photographed by Miles Aldridge, styled by Lawren Howell
Photographed by Miles Aldridge, styled by Lawren Howell

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  1. Teen Vogue goes way beyond what any other youth-lifestyle magazine does in terms of photography. Loved what Frederike Helwig has shot for them in the past. Kudos!

  2. I agree, internships are a powerful way to build trust and gain credibility. Great article!

  3. What are some of the first things you look for in choosing a photo?

  4. what an insipid “insight”…

      • @A Photo Editor- Touche
        @Tellman Jhon- you are a loser!

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