My Photo Editor Mind - Take that off your website

I appreciate that you want to show your new work, and your first thought is to post it on your website, but for goodness’ sake, stop it, take it down. I say this for a variety of reasons, but this is the most important. Let’s say you have a great and new idea, you’ve done your research, and haven’t seen it before. Your intent is to sell it as something new and exciting, right? Well if it’s on your website, (and maybe you even posted it on social media), it’s been seen. It’s not new anymore. Now since this story is public and available to anyone, another photographer might think they could do something similar. Now you have competition for the story. If I’m an editor wanting to purchase this story from you, I don’t want it public until it’s on my site or in my publication. So take that awesome, creative, and unique story idea off of your website.

My Photo Editor Mind - You speak English?

I have a lot of international clients, and one thing that always impresses me is that they all speak and write English. These are clients from Romania, Germany, Italy, Iraq, and Kashmir to name a few. I took French in high school and college and quite honestly the only thing I really remember is how to ask where my aunt’s pen is. It’s on the table just in case you wanted to know. Maybe I don’t need to know another language; everywhere I travel people speak English. But mostly it’s a lazy American thing. Regardless, to all of those who speak a second language and third and fourth (and read it and write it), I’m impressed!

My Photo Editor Mind - Now is the time

Updating your website can be both overwhelming and intimidating, and just one of those things that can be easily set aside for another day, another month, or even a year. Well I’m here to help you, from just going over recent work that needs to be added to a full-blown overhaul. It might be just to talk over whether you actually need an update. I’m here to help, so let’s get started.

My Photo Editor Mind - Thank you postcard

Emails are great ways to say thank you, but considering some people get hundreds of emails a day, a postcard or thank you note is a keepsake. Maybe I’m old-fashioned and just like receiving notes or postcards in the mail, saving them and putting them on my bulletin board or on my desk.  But it’s something to think about when you meet an editor, client, or colleague; a postcard with your images, phone number, and email address might be something to think about when marketing yourself.

My Photo Editor Mind – Ouch, did that hurt?  

I always write these blogs about problems I see with photographers or websites or whatever it might be. And after I post something, I will later read it and wonder if it might have been too harsh. I hope I don’t hurt anybody’s feelings. I’m just trying to keep you from making the same mistakes I’ve made. As a photographer, I made a ton, so if sometimes you read a post of mine and it seems quite personal, it is. I made that mistake and I’m hoping to pass along some knowledge so you won’t have to.

My Photo Editor Mind - You know you know

Part of my job as a photo editor is to help and guide you to make your images better and tell you the truth if there is a problem. Lately is seems I’ve been telling a lot of truth. It’s actually really hard to do, and something I take quite seriously. The funny thing is, whenever I tell someone that maybe their project isn’t ready, or it’s not enough for a contest entry, the usual response is “I know.” Not one person recently argued with me. I guess you wanted me to tell you what you already knew deep down inside, I get that. That’s what I’m here for.

My Photo Editor Mind - The Way I Edit

I was talking to a client recently and sensed that he was somewhat hesitant as we were talking about his work. After a few more minutes, he finally said that he was afraid that my honest approach was going to turn into me ripping him (and his work) apart, breaking him down and building him back up. This is not the way I edit and coach. I remember as a photographer having that happen to me. It put me in a funk for days, and the recovery period was so long. Days would be lost in me thinking about my future. Eventually, I’d pick myself up and go and improve, but the editors that were really helpful didn’t crush my dreams and spirit. Nor did I lose days on self-loathing. Maybe that’s why I edit like I do now. I am honest but feel that by building on what a photographer does well not only strengthens the photography, it builds confidence, and with confidence comes positive thinking and success and general improvement in all aspects of photography.  

Let’s face it. For the most part, photography is not the best paying job out there. You are in this profession because you love it and bring a lot of passion and dedication to it. Different photographers have a different take on the world. You bring your experiences to the table. In the world of photography, there is a place for everyone. So go get ‘em!

My Photo Editor Mind - Be Quiet Please

You’d be surprised by what your images are telling me. I can see what your passionate about, how you arrange the content, and what lengths you will go to get a great photo. It’s almost like peeking into your heart and soul. What lens you favor, your understanding of light and composition, your ability (and desire) to have an intimate relationship with your subject – All of this is revealed in your images. I bring this up because when you sit down with an editor, some photographers talk too much, trying to explain every nuance about an image, what they were trying to say with the image. I’m telling you your images are saying so much, so the next time you’re sitting down with an editor, let the pictures speak for themselves. All that talking actually detracts attention from your images.

My Photo Editor Mind - David Saxe

One of my favorite things is to see a photographer grow and explore how they take images. I am looking at David Saxe’s recent work in Cuba, and he is doing just that. At the young age of 75, he’s the hardest working photographer I know. I started working with him a few years ago and through his travels, I’ve been taken to the many places he has discovered, from his home in the U.S to Brazil, Cuba and Chile to name a few.

I love how David explores a place through his images. David likes to discover a place and does this through his photography. He’s not a planner or researcher, but instead, with camera in hand, he learns about the people and culture. I love the chances he took. He really stepped out of his comfort zone, and the results are my favorite images that he has taken to date. Here is one of my favorite images. To see more of David’s work you can visit his website: