Anthony Smith

Heidi: How much did you shoot for Bike while you were the Photo Director?
Anthony: A big part of my workflow while I was Photo Director was studio work actually. In each issue of Bike Magazine, a fairly large percentage of the pages are gear coverage, and I would shoot all the studio images for those pages. With 8 issues per year, it was a pretty substantial workload, but in a way, it put me in a fortunate position to be selective with the editorial pieces that I shot.

How did being a photographer inform your editing?
Being both a photographer and a mountain biker was paramount to being an effective editor for Bike. Understanding the moments that are going to tell an authentic story was an incredibly important part of Bike’s success over the years.

Do you find it easier to edit your own work?
It’s incredibly difficult to edit my own work. It can be really hard to look at images objectively if there were challenges to capturing them. Perhaps an athlete is battling a trick, or your battling weather, light, or just can’t find that magic angle. When you get the image it’s hard not to let the journey of making the photo influence your perception of its worth. It’s much easier to look at a contributor’s work and make those tough decisions I find.

What do you miss about the office life?
I miss the collaboration the most. Working with the team at Bike was the most satisfying creative time in my career. Everyone on the team had so much to offer to our creative process, and when we nailed it on a piece, that feeling was hard to beat.

Being on my own and out of the office has given me more time to focus on my creative process. I’m able to shoot work outside of my comfort zone and see how those explorations inform my work.

What do you think photo editors could do better when working with photographers?
It’s always been really rewarding when I feel as though I’m being asked to look past the obvious and capture images that will challenge the audience. Knowing that the easy image won’t cut it and that they trust you and the audience to engage the images on a deeper level. That relationship and trust is key to creating meaningful work.

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