I promised to tell more about my summer job when it’s topical, but it’s more complex than I thought because there’s so much to learn and to remember. Now that I’ve worked over a week I finally start to realize a bit more of what’s my job really about. Every newspaper deals with their photographs and images differently and all papers don’t have photo editors (they probably have something equivalent though), but where there are, I’m sure they are needed. Or that’s how I feel after my busy week and a half as one.
My feelings at work have ranged from pure panic (how can I survive and remember everything?) to the joys of searching, finding and feeling responsible of the pictures and outcome. So what does a photo editor do? I can’t give a more compressed answer: everything [that has something to do with pictures]. We book the gigs for photographers and freelancers, come up with photos to the stories that can’t get photographed; in other words find and choose images that get published (in paper or online), make bookings for the newspaper’s studio, file photos to archive and search them there,figure out picture plans when there isn’t one, print some copies to editors and sometimes to corporate purposes, check if pictures sent in by readers can be published and so on… One night I even got to play photographer with Canon 1D Mark III when all the editorial photographers had gone home and we needed a picture of nose spray online.
Sometimes the job is easy: journalist wants to book a photographer for a gig next week, no problem. But sometimes they want the photographer no later than now. Or sometimes, there’s 30 minutes to the final deadline (meaning, to the moment the next days paper is sent to press) and you need to find a picture that’s taken like 5 minutes ago, if it has been taken at all, somewhere over the world. Yes, I already had to call to Norway one night… Of course everything is done keeping in mind the price; that the outcome would look good but that the pictures wouldn’t become too expensive.
Now that I’m finally starting to remember all this, it starts to be fun! I mean, who wouldn’t like the feeling when you find the perfect picture it looks great in the paper? Or sifting through photos of soccer players, trying to find the hottest ones? 😉 And I’m sure seeing and handling the picture flow at work will give good ideas to my own photographs too. It remains to be seen. I’m still so new to this business that first I’m taking a day at a time, trying to concentrate on and survive the everyday life of a young photo editor…