There are some major differences between being a photo editor at a newspaper and a freelance photo editor. As a photo editor at a newspaper, I could be much more honest with photographers, telling them when their work was subpar and pushing them. I could be honest because the day before, I had told them how awesome their work was on another story, or because we had worked so long together that they knew my criticism was only meant to make them better. Now, when someone hires me, I have to ask myself if I’m holding back a little just so they will hire me again. In addition, with a newspaper, I was usually in on a photo story from the beginning, working in unison with the photographer, able to guide them and make them think of the story they were trying to tell, helping them focus. Now, many clients come to me with the photo story planned and maybe done, needing only me to edit, and even if I do flesh out a story with them, when we’re done, I hang up the phone not knowing if I will hear from them again. In the end, I’ve learned two things. One, I have to be honest. If I’m not, what’s the point, right? Two, I have to learn to let go. Oh, and one more. Three, breathe.