As part of Photojournalism Links’s relaunch, we’re introducing new and regular columns, with the goal of exploring further the inner-workings of the photojournalism community. One such column is dedicated to Photo Editors. Far from being a Hall of Fame-type of chronicle, it’s a way for us to introduce photo editors that are using photography in intelligent and creative ways. We’re also mindful that a lot of our readers are students and emerging photographers, who might not always know how photo editors work and how, and when, they can be approached. Hopefully, this column will help them, while informing others about the work of particular photo editors.
This month, we’re starting with Emma Bowkett, the photo editor for the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.
Photojournalism Links: How did you get started in photography? How did you end up being a photo editor for Financial Times?
Emma Bowkett: Graduating from Goldsmiths College in 2005 with an MA in Image and Communication, I took an internship at the Victoria & Albert Museum, archiving prints for their Word and Image department. Then I worked for two years as first assistant to an advertising photographer, before teaching on the degree course at Goldsmiths. This was a term-time position, so I started freelance picture editing at the Financial Times. I developed a good working relationship with the art director on the FT Weekend Magazine. She kept asking me back.
Photojournalism Links: How do you use photography for the FT Weekend Magazine?
Emma Bowkett: We re-launched the magazine in 2010 with greater emphasis on photography. Most of the photography in the magazine is commissioned. We are a weekly publication with a short lead-time. Stories are often timed to events and news stories, so we are able to commission photographers to work on assignments, as well as publishing photo essays, previews of photo exhibitions and books. I work closely with the AD’s, photographers and agents to produce concepts. Ideas are pitched to my editor, and usually run over six or eight pages. We are encouraged to be ambitious with both images and design.
Photojournalism Links: What are you looking for in the photographers that you use? What attracts you to a certain photographer over another?
Emma Bowkett: I’m looking for photographers with a sense of authorship to their work. I see a lot of folios, sometimes there’s just a special something that attracts me.
Photojournalism Links: Do you mostly use to local photographers for international assignments? Are there cases, when you would send someone abroad?
Emma Bowkett: Much of the photography I commission is international. I usually work with photographers on the ground. That said, there are circumstances where we fly someone in, if we are looking for a specific style [we’ll] use a specific photographer.
Photojournalism Links: How do you discover new photographers?
Emma Bowkett: Galleries, social media sites, magazines, blogs, agents, recommendations. I try to see two photographers’ books a week because I like talking to photographers about their personal projects face to face when I can. Attending private views, talks, and events are a good way to meet new photographers and build relationships.
Photojournalism Links: Are there one or several photographers that have impressed you in the past year? And why?
Emma Bowkett: I am continually impressed by photography. There are several photographers I could mention; many are regular contributors to the magazine. I’d like to mention Stan Douglas, who I recently discovered, and is this year’s recipient of ICP’s Infinity Award for Art. He recently exhibited in London and in New York. We ran his series, Midcentury Studio, in the magazine. I was lucky enough to see both shows. I’m interested in his concept of taking on the identity of a photojournalist, constructing scenes and narratives, challenging fact and fiction. I really love his work.
Photojournalism Links: What is the last photo book that you’ve bought?
Emma Bowkett: I have just bought WassinkLundgren’s Empty Bottles and Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs.
Photojournalism Links: If you could hire any photographer, who would it be?
Emma Bowkett: I was just in contact with Sølve Sundsbø’s agent about a possible cover shoot. It didn’t work out, but I’d still like to work with him. I have a wish list of photographers. The best thing about my job is working with photographers I admire.
Photojournalism Links: What are your hobbies outside of photography?
Emma Bowkett: I go to the movies as much as I can. I cycle and go the gym.
Photojournalism Links: How can photographers reach you?
Emma Bowkett: Email, Twitter or Facebook. The same way I find them.
Ed Ou on the front page of the International Herald Tribune (Europe edition) today with a photo from the village of Tannourine in Lebanon for an article about Iran trying to increase its influence over the country. Iran has for instance offered to build a dam in Tannourine, an idea that hasn’t pleased everybody in the solidly Christian village. You can read the article here. Obvious symbolism with the cross on the foreground, but I think it really works, making a photo of an otherwise seemingly unremarkable scene interesting. Certainly caught and pleased my eyes.
Caption in the newspaper: Tannourine, Lebanon, site of a proposed dam to be built with Iranian money. Many residents of the mainly Christian area are wary of Tehran’s effort to widen its influence in the country.
Received National Geographic Magazine’s June issue in the mail this morning. Includes David Alan Harvey’s brilliant series ‘OBX’ on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, that I was admiring already in last week’s Features and Essays. Great to see this in print. The online series is available on NGM Feature Hub here, but do check out the print copy. Always better.
Caption in the magazine: “Do you need a fish that bad?” I shouted at this boy as he repeatedly cast a line into the heaving sea. “Do you need a photo that bad?” he shouted back. We ended up agreeing that we were both a little crazy for being out on the Nags Head during a nor ‘easter.
In celebration of the Egypt’s first free presidential elections, today’s tearsheet is a Moises Saman double spread from Cairo in the latest Newsweek Int’l dated 28 May 2012. The photo opens Dan Ephron’s article ‘The Irresistible Islamist’.
Caption in the magazine: Egyptians go to the polls this week.
You can see the photo also in a slideshow on Newsweek here.
Moises Saman is currently covering the presidential elections for The New York Times. A slideshow, ‘Egypt’s Choice’, was posted on NYT website two days ago.
His November 2011 series ‘Cairo Undone’ on the New York Times, narrated by the late Anthony Shadid is really worth having a look if you haven’t seen it before.
Marco Grob has the Time cover and a double spread inside with photos of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The cover itself is rather uninspiring black and white head shot (you can see it here), but I really liked Grob’s double spread photo opening the Richard Stengel piece, ‘Bibi’s Choice’, showing Netanyahu on the backseat of a black limo only lit by some of Grob’s strobes, in a scene that – to me – portrays him, even with that expressionless face, as a somewhat shady character or some kind of a dark force (of Middle East politics). I might of course be reading some of my own not-so-positive views on the prime minister into the photograph. I wonder what Michael Shaw would think? Anyway, you’ll have to make up your own mind. But I’m sure you’ll agree… It’s a terrific image.
Marco Grob (b.1965, Switzerland) is a well-known portrait photographer. He is a regular contributor to Time as one of the magazine’s seven contract photographers. One of Grob’s recent notable series for the magazine was the Beyond 9/11: Portraits for Resilience project.
Mikko writing here. Was browsing through Saturday’s Telegraph Magazine at a coffee shop this afternoon. Found this Lorenzo Meloni photograph of militiamen patrolling streets in Benghazi, arresting. Opens ‘Tug of War’, an article by Peter Oborne and Richard Cookson on parts of Libya being at the mercy of rival militias.
Caption in the magazine: Militiamen patrolling the streets of Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. In March, tribal leaders unilaterally declared the formation of a new state in the oil-rich east of the country with its own parliament, police, and courts. Benghazi would be its capital.
Meloni’s name didn’t ring a bell, but having look at his work now, I do remember seeing The Streets of Yemen At Night feature that was posted on Lightbox last year.
Olivier writing here. This is my first post for Photojournalism Links. I’ve been a long-time follower of Mikko’s work, which has, over the years, proved to be an amazing resources for photojournalists and photo editors. It’s my pleasure to help Mikko update and develop the site further, and we’re already planning new things for the site. Stay tuned.
Let’s get started.
First things first, if you happen to be in London this coming week, head for the Frontline Club, which is holding a series of photography events, including VII Photo’s seminar (Hint: if you’re looking to buy the agency’s latest book Questions Without Answers, you’ll get the opportunity to get it signed by a lot of the their photographers!) Reportage by Getty Images will also be there with a couple of events, including a discussion with Peter Dench, Tom Stoddart and Aidan Sullivan. Finally, on 24 May, there’s the Panos Pictures Networking Party.
Washington Post: Vogue’s flattering article on Syria’s first lady is scrubbed from Web. The images used by Vogue were shot by James Nachtwey. A copy of the article is hosted by a website called President Assad here. In the Washington Post’s article, it’s mentioned that Assad’s children aren’t actually his but decoys planted for security reasons.
Walk Your Camera: Perpetuating the Visual Myth of Appalachia – or how a photographer reacts to a very bad edit, done by CNN, of her work.
Martin Parr: Too Much Photography.
Photobooth at The New Yorker: Will Steacy’s Photographs Not Taken continues to make the rounds, this time with The New Yorker publishing Nina Berman’s story of Cathy, who she met in London in the 1990s.
“Video storytelling is different in execution than still photography, without a doubt. But it has been well-established that very talented still photographers can make the transition back and forth between the media and enhance their visual reporting,” says Sean D. Elliot, president of the National Press Photographers Association.
A Photo Editor: Is it Time to Eliminate Stills From Your Shoot?
A lot of talk about Hipstamatic, Instagram, and all-things Lomography in recent weeks, especially since Facebook paid $1.2bn for Instagram, so here we go:
NYT Lens: Benjamin Lowy: Virtually Unfiltered. The article that brought back the whole Hipstamatic debate on the table.
Conscientious: On the Hipstamatic Journalist. Joerg Colberg wonders how The New York Times can publish Hipstamatic images without it violating its strict rules about photo manipulation.
NYT: Everyone’s Lives, in Instagram Pictures. Karen Rosenberg tries to answer the question: “Why do we want to tweak our pictures so conspicuously?”
Time Lightbox: Lomography and the “Analogue Future”.
San Francisco Chronicle: Hipstamatic Founders Lucas Buick, Ryan Dorshorst. An interview with the founders of the controversial app, and their plans for the future, including the release of an iPad magazine with interviews of star photographers using Hipstamatic.
Slate: In Defense of Instagram: Why News Photography Goes Well With Vintage-Filtered Cat Pic. An older article (March 2012), but felt it was needed in this context.
PetaPixel: IKEA Cardboard Camera Called KNAPPA To Land on Store Shelves Soon. Even Ikea is going into the cheap digital camera market.
Even about Instagram and Hipstamatic. Last week, there was an auction to help the family of Anton Hammerl, who was killed in Libya a year ago.
BBC: War photographer Anton Hammerl remembered at auction. A video of the auction and interviews with family, friends and colleagues.
NYT Lens: At Christie’s, an Auction for Anton.
Time Lightbox: Robert Capa, Friend of Anton.
Talking about Robert Capa…
The Guardian: Robert Capa and Gerda Taro: love in a time of war.
In Spain, Capa soon developed a reputation for taking photographs whatever the risk, setting the tone for war reportage as we now know it. Taro, too, was often seen running across the battle lines with her camera, her bravery matched by her recklessness. She travelled back and forth to the frontlines, shooting what she saw, often driven by a mixture of humanity, political commitment and a shrewd understanding of the power of the photograph to shape public opinion.
Time Lightbox: Overseas Press Club Award Winners Announced. Including the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, which went to André Liohn.
Channel 4 News: Death in a time of life. Jon Snow remembers Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria earlier this year.
NYT Lens: Parting Glance: Horst Faas.
Panos Pictures: Robin Hammond Released From Prison in Zimbabwe. After being held for two weeks in Zimbabwe, Robin Hammond has been released and is back in Paris, safe and sound. I’m looking forward to seeing the images he came back with after spending two years documenting this country.
NYT Lens: A Ride Cloaked in Secrecy. I love this kind of articles, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the news, especially when it has a West Wing kind of vibe. Here, we get the background on how a photographer reported on President Obama’s secretive trip to Afghanistan.
NYT Lens: The Eddie Adams Workshop’s 25th Year.
NYT Lens: Touring the Nanny-Photographer’s Past. Yet another article about Vivian Maier.
Chicago Tribune: The Great John H. White.
The Guardian: Richard Mosse’s best shot.
The Guardian: Saatchi captures the confusion of contemporary photography.
“The title, Out of Focus, may have been meant ironically, but it takes on a more pointed meaning if you approach the show as a mirror of the fractured world of contemporary practice.”
Wall Street Journal: The Surreal Selling of Man Ray.
PhotoShelter: Photography Through the Eyes of Art Directors.
PhotoShelter: The 40+ Items Every Photography Assistants Needs Now.
A few articles about photographers’ rights and copyrights:
Time Lightbox: Fight for Your Right: Resources for Photographers Covering Protests (note: it’s mainly for US-based photographers).
Nancy L. Ford Blog: Why NOT to give away your copyrights.
The Russian Photos Blog: Agence France Presse vs Morel: “AFP Got Caught With A Hand In The Cookie Jar And Will Have To Pay” Out of 200 pages of legal documents filed by both Daniel Morel and Agence France-Presse / Getty Images, this sentence, written by an AFP employee is by far the one that caught the attention of the industry. I’ve used it in my standfirst as well, and A Photo Editor picked up as well.
And to finish, a 100-minute documentary about Helmut Newton from Frames From The Edge. Of course, it’s best watched in full-screen.
And a 60-minute interview with Michele Hadlow, Forbes’ Senior Photo Editor on How to Shoot Powerful Portraits of Powerful People.
Finally, congratulations to photographers Karim Ben Khelifa and Finbarr O’Reilly. Both have been selected as International Nieman Fellows for the Class of 2013 at Harvard. Ben Khelifa will “conduct research on journalist-audience engagement, analyze the behavioral economics linked to crowdfunding and study new business models promoting the diversification of visual storytelling.” While O’Reilly will “study psychology to better understand how the human mind and behavior is affected by personal experience, with a focus on trauma and conflict zones.”