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Interviews

Dieser Artikel ist leider nicht verfügbar auf Deutsch
November 2008

The wave of digital camera technology that has pumped new life into photography during the past decade has also thrown up a raft of new opportunities for photographers to tell their stories in print and online. Here, in a series of exclusive CPN films, four photo industry experts – Stephen Mayes (VII), Maria Mann (EPA), Volker Lensch (Stern) and MaryAnne Golon (Time magazine) – with decades of experience editing photos offer invaluable advice on a variety of topics including how to approach picture editors, selling your photography to magazines, and telling a strong photographic narrative online.

Stephen Mayes has clocked up over 25 years in many disciplines in the photo industry in a number of roles. These have included being a newspaper photographer, senior vice president of content for Getty Images, director of the Network Photographers agency, archive director at Art+Commerce, and CEO of Amana America. Earlier in 2008 he became the new managing director of the VII photo agency working out of the agency's Los Angeles offices.

 

Click here to watch a film of VII photo agency director Stephen Mayes explaining the rise of digital technology and how to ensure your vision is seen.

Mayes says: “There’s a difficulty in the industry in that people think in silos – photojournalism doesn’t feel connected to commercial and commercial doesn’t feel connected to art. Actually they all are because essentially they’re all communication media.”

He adds: “It's never been an easy industry to get in to, and it isn't easy now. Start with some kind of vision, get your name out there and get yourself known." Mayes enthuses: "Today imagery is being used in a much more dynamic way and the (photo) industry is as exciting as it has ever been.”

As photo editor of the mass circulation (around one million) German news-led weekly Stern since 1996 Volker Lensch has been instrumental in shaping the pictorial coverage of the publication for over a decade. He came through the ranks at Stern after joining in the magazine back in 1992, becoming deputy photo editor in 1994, and then taking over as picture editor 12 years ago.

Lensch advises: “If you go to see a photo editor – whether it be for Stern, Spiegel or Paris Match – you should be well prepared. You should know what you’re talking about, you should know very much about the magazine, what they stand for and what kind of stories they publish – that’s very important.”

 

Click here to watch a film of Stern photo editor Volker Lensch offering crucial advice on selling photography into magazines.

He adds: “If the photo (desk) guy doesn’t know the photographer, then they don’t know each other personally, so it’s important to get to know a photo editor. This is a basis for co-operation in working on a story, on any assignment. They should feel comfortable if they work together, otherwise it won’t be a good assignment at the end.”

Starting off as an intern at UPI in 1970 Maria Mann’s career in photography has been a long and highly successful one. It has included working for a newspaper in Canada, plus a 19-year stint at Agence France Presse where she ended up as international editor-in-chief based in Paris. For just over 18 months she has been based in Frankfurt, Germany as the managing editor of the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) – an international wire serviced that’s only dedicated to photography – with a remit to coach and build up the quality of the photography and photo editing within the company.

 

Click here to watch a film of EPA managing editor Maria Mann explaining how to engage readers and use documentary photography as a powerful tool for change.

Mann says: “The first thing a photograph has to do is to make you feel something whether it’s good, bad, ugly, happy. It can be nothing in the way of indifferent – if it’s indifferent, you’re lost. The photographer must also not be indifferent – he has to have a passion for what he is doing.”

She adds: “What I’m looking for most, more than in the photography, is in the photographer. You have to engage the reader right away. You want to make people understand a situation; you want to make people see that there’s a change possible through documentation and documentary photography.”

After being director of photography at the world famous news weekly Time magazine, MaryAnne Golon is now consulting editor at Time and was recently announced as the chair of the 2009 World Press Photo jury. She led the team that produced the famous black-bordered edition of Time in the wake of 9/11 and the Hurricane Katrina special edition of the magazine – both won National Magazine Awards in the USA for single-issue topics.

 

Click here to watch a video of Time magazine consulting editor MaryAnne Golon advising on the best route to take when approaching photo editors.

Golon notes: “There’s been a big change in the photo industry in the last few years – primarily from technology, but also there’s been a change in the way people deliver their pictures.” When sending to picture editors Golon advises: “I always say to photographers that it’s better to include one small picture within the mail, just as a reference, with a link and a very brief description of what the storyline is and the work that you are trying to do.”

Golon adds: “The more specific you are to the client – be it Time magazine for any other magazine – the more likely you are going to get the attention of a photography editor.”