As an editor, you’re putting a majority of your trust into a photographer in order to make your personal and publications’ vision come to fruition. On day five of the RIT PJ Washington D.C. trip, we spoke with picture editors from Pew Research and The Smithsonian Magazine on what are some important things to keep in mind when contacting an editor and pitching stories.
Starting at Pew Research today, we were reminded that we currently live in a visually literate world, and we can not ignore that fact. Pew creates a quarterly magazine called Trust that is incorporating images alongside their financial models. Photographers find niches that they become well known in, which can be a blessing and a curse, so editors and publications can find the perfect photographer to cover an assignment. It is important to build good relationships with your editors, stay in contact, but don’t be annoying. Facebook is also a tool that photographers can use to stay on an editors radar. Contests are and will always remain as spaces for your name to be seen and heard. “It’s all about building relationships, seriously.”
Next up: Smithsonian Magazine
They emphasized that a photographer must be familiar with the place they are pitching stories towards. Why would x be interesting in something you’re pitching versus y? Editors will have your back in regards to supporting your ideas and interests, but always be certain that what you’re showing fits the publication and its audiences needs. Personal stories editors are always interested in seeing, and the more you have the better. When getting in touch with these editors on pitches, be creative with how you get in touch, it will resonate with someone. Picture editors double check on sites as well as photographers Instagram’s in search of these stories and to see if their is any overlap or variations in terms of what is being show on either platform. Lastly, we were reminded that this profession that we all desperately and passionately want to be apart of is on of the most noble career paths to get into.