How To Become A Photo Editor
Career Video: Photo Editor
The photo editor of a publication (newspaper, magazine, website, etc.) is responsible for the selection, placement, context, editing, and the overall use of photographs within those publications. They also manage the photography staff. Photo editors hire, assign projects, and direct photo shoots. Some of their other tasks may include writing captions and being the point person of communication between anyone and the publication’s photographers.
Why Become A Photo Editor
Photo editors are creative people who have a keen eye and vision of how photographs complement the text of a publication. Not only are they able to identify a great shot, but they can deliver what other people want. They meet with other editors and hire the right photographer for the job. They can provide the perfect photograph(s) for someone else’s vision and advise regarding that decision. This job requires strong management skills and background knowledge of photography. Photo editors are able to build an extensive network of contacts, consisting of photographers, journalists, and other editors/managers.
Photo editors should have strong communication skills, attention to detail, ability to work within a team, proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and other photo editing software, and an in-depth knowledge of photography and photographers.
Photo Editor Work Environment
Photo editors can work for large corporations or small firms. Their work space can be in an office building, studio, or even at home. Their daily duties may be to ensure photography equipment is working properly, purchase supplies, supervise and train photographers, edit photos, purchase photos from stock agencies, and take photos. Although it is rare that a photo editor participate by taking photographs, every position will have different requirements for its employees.
Photo Editor Salary
The salaries of photo editors vary depending on the publication and duties. For websites and smaller publications, they can make about $33,000, annually, and for larger, better known publications (Los Angeles Times, New York Times) can make as high as $98,000. The median pay, based in the East Coast, is $55,290.
Photo Editor Career Outlook
Photo editors’ career outlook is synonymous with photographers, at 4% above all other professions. Because of the changing market of print media, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a decline by about 36%, in the next decade, for newspaper photo editors and photographers.
Photo Editor Degree
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is a requirement to become a photo editor. Degree programs in photography and photojournalism should provide aspiring photo editors with the knowledge they need regarding matching photographs to text. Courses should include reporting, multimedia, staff management, how to use editing software, how to capture subjects, the technical aspects of photography, and how to shoot various subjects.
Web skills, online publishing, and internships with publications will aid in the experience and educational process.