2013 – 2015: Photo Editor at World’s Largest Publisher of Calendars
Working as a photo editor at the world’s largest publisher of calendars is a dream job for a professional photographer. With a focus on licensed content, our executive producer wanted to learn more of the buyer side of the industry, so he accepted a position selecting photos for wall calendars for such names as the estates of John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, current artists like the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, television programs including Friends, Seinfeld, The Bible, Son of God and A.D., and brands including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, all officially licensed products.
Sourcing photos for more than 300 titles per year, images come from a variety of photo agencies, publicists, estate archives, direct contributors, and personal libraries. This often meant viewing as many as 20,000 photos in a single day! In this way, one learns to make quick evaluations regarding appropriate content for the subject at hand, composition, lighting, exposure, focus, and overall image quality.
As a photographer, one also learns the daily routine of a photo editor is grueling. If your photo is not on topic, well composed, lit properly, in focus and with proper color, forget it, the editor has already moved on. Processing anywhere from four to twenty different titles each day, if your image is not ready when a photo editor stops by to review, there is rarely time for a second chance. The title will have moved beyond the selection process before you have a chance to respond!
Working with this kind of volume of photos every day also entails detailed rights clearance and licensing. Having a good knowledge of copyright laws and an individual’s right to privacy/publicity is a vital qualification for this task.