We hire editorial photographers that have extensive previous experience shooting for magazines, key art, event, interior, or celebrity portraiture.
I work 260 days a year. I have a 401k for retirement. My income hasn’t changed in the last few years because my company does not give raises.
My job consists of helping the photo director/producers with budgeting, invoices, sourcing everything for a shoot (photographers, stylists, locations, catering, permits, etc). I go to almost every shoot as both producer and assistant. I produce shoots as well but tend to stick to photographers who have worked for us in the past. I would love to find newer, untapped talent but my job likes to hire the same, safe options, unfortunately.
If you want to work as a photo editor, administrative experience is super important and will go a long way. I know it’s the tedious part of a creative job but it’s necessary to know how to invoice, fill out forms, stay organized, communicate via phone and email, troubleshoot, etc.
Also, consume art as much as you produce it too! We cannot get stuck in our own little world, consume art out of your comfort zone, art that you don’t understand, etc. You never know where you’ll draw inspiration from and I think it helps cultivate your own unique creative eye.
Best Advice: Be polite and treat every job no matter how big or small as important.
Worst Advice: “Don’t respond to photographer’s emails when they reach out if you don’t like their stuff, they are annoying” – I just think this is a disrespectful way to think about reach-outs. YES, I am SUPER busy and I do WAY more than photographers think I do, but they are equally busy and I can give them the respect they deserve of giving them a simple yes, no, maybe later. On the flip side, photographers please do not take “no” personally; just because you are not the right fit for us, doesn’t mean you are not perfect somewhere else. Photo editors especially tend to be constrained by higher corporate people who heavily constrict our creative vision and we have certain aesthetics and brands that we have to stick to.
Work email is the best way to reach me! Attach a link to your website and portfolio. Some people can be very verbose when sending reach out emails, but I don’t mind if you just get to the point and be polite. Personally, I think it’s okay to repeatedly email and check in every once in a while, especially after your portfolio has new additions that you think would fit in with the style of our publication. Instagram, art galleries, other magazines, agencies.
We use Instagram, art galleries, other magazines, and agencies to find photographers.
Here’s my advice:
-People are more willing to talk about their job/how they got there than you think! If you’re considering transitioning from freelancing to photo editing, don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask them if they have any free time to talk about their career. Worst case scenario, they decline and you ask someone else. But people love to talk about themselves so just try!
-As someone who came from a different field prior to entering the photo world, I’ve noticed that there can be an us vs them mentality amongst photo editors and photographers. I understand that this stems from years of industry BS and some jaded photo editor’s attitudes, but I really hope that my generation can bridge the gap and fight for the rights of freelance artists as much as we can. We can be limited by the corporate overlords we work for, but we can TRY to make change happen. I try to show photographers/crew I care and respect them wherever I can and I try to share their work widely and often. I think sharing creatives work is a small thing we can do show our support. I really hope you can get 5 other jobs from the job you did with us!
-Similarly, can we PLEASE credit everyone?? It’s not hard and it’s the tiniest thing you can do to help someone out and acknowledge their hard work. There is no shoot without them!
-I love my job but the pay is unacceptable, especially in one of the most expensive cities in the United States (for reference I had multiple years of relevant job experience prior and I have a BA). I want to stay in this field, but unless I find a job that provides a livable wage, I will have to pivot which is depressing because I love working with photographers. 40k in 2005 is NOT what 40k is today…i’m drowning and my job thinks it’s okay because it’s technically “entry level”….That being said, the stability of just having consistent income and insurance is a privilege.
-Be respectful to everyone on set. I’ve worked with amazing photographers/hmu/stylists who I will never hire again because they were incredibly entitled and rude to other crew members for no reason. It’s 2023, basic respect is COOL! Along those lines, perhaps consider having a public-facing social media page with your work, and a private one for friends/family.