Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Reviews of photography products that enhance the enjoyment of taking pictures. Published frequently but irregularly.

Of Editing & Editors Tweet This   Forward This

20 August 2013

The N.Y. Times Lens Blog is always worth a click. Not only (as you might expect) are the images worth a peek but the text is just as illuminating. Today's story, though, transcended the usual fare.

In Photo Editors Who Made a Difference, authors Yunghi Kim and Kenneth Jarecke give photographers (themselves included) a chance to "recall and pay tribute to the photo editors who most influenced their careers. The people who pushed, pulled and occasionally strong-armed them into producing exceptional work. The people who believed in them when nobody else did -- who recognized the photographer's strength and took the time to develop it."

While echoed in many of today's vignettes, that characterization of an editor's work, we suspect, reflects Jarecke's experience. He laments in his own vignette that it's in stark contrast to how editors work today:

The editor/coach is largely extinct. We now have the editor as curator -- super-aggregators who don't have the time or resources to invest in the development of individuals. Instead of cultivating talent, they grab images from the cheapest source. When they assign, they find the closest warm body or someone who is currently "hot." This is unsustainable but also sad. We've lost, or discarded, our teachers and are quickly losing our ability to help good photographers become great.

Many of the stories honor editors for just that: helping them develop into better photographers. But many also acknowledged their editors for protecting them, fighting for them. As Carol Guzy said of Michel duCille:

Michel has always cared and had my back. Without his role as editor, many stories would not have been given the time and depth that I believe our subjects deserve. He is the consummate journalist and at the pinnacle of his craft. His ideals are what others could certainly strive for through his example of honesty, honor and grace.

These are moving tributes, all the more so because you would not otherwise know the names of these mentors: Mike Davis, Wil Haygood, Robert Pledge, Michel duCille, John G. Morris, Jimmy Colton and another batch tomorrow.

But they changed the world.

BackBack to Photo Corners