Top 13 Ways to Piss Off a Photo Editor

Top 13 Ways to Piss Off a Photo Editor

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When photographers get together, they tend to talk about two things: camera gear, and working with photo editors. But what many photographers don’t realize, is that when photo editors get together, they talk about YOU.

There are only two proven methods that you can use to ensure that your name comes up in a conversation. Do something really amazing, or do something that pisses them off. You really don’t want to find yourself part of their conversation for the latter.

What are the things that will piss off a photo editor? I decided to ask a panel of really talented photo editors. They were kind enough to share what really gets under their skin.

My trusted panel is:

    Nate Gordon, Picture Editor, Sports Illustrated
    Roberto De Luna, Photo Editor, Time Out New York
    Hali McGrath, Photo Editor, LiveDaily
    Whitney Lawson, Photo Editor, Travel + Leisure
    Leslie dela Vega, Photo Director, Essence Magazine
    Ryan Schick, Editor, Redux Pictures
    Jim Merithew, Photo Editor, Wired.com
    Phaedra Singelis, Supervising Producer – Multimedia, msnbc.com
    Stella Kramer, Photo Editor & Consultant


“Remember that photo editors know other photo editors, and a good photographer will be recommended, while a photographer that blew a shoot, was a pain in the ass to work with, or was just generally unpleasant for the photo editor and the subject to deal with will find themselves without work,” said Stella Kramer. “A bad reputation is not a plus, especially in this economy.”


Top 13 Ways to Piss Off a Photo Editor

1) Don’t do your homework.
The most immediate and universal tactic you can use to piss off a photo editor is to avoid doing any of your own research. In fact, you should treat a busy photo editor as your own research assistant whenever possible. This will ensure your spot on his/her shitlist.

“Asking me to call photo editors of OTHER magazines on your behalf, to recommend that they meet with you.” - Roberto De Luna

“Sending me work that is not appropriate for my magazine.” - Whitney Lawson

“Contact me saying you love Wired and would love to shoot for the magazine. Do your homework. I am the photo editor at Wired.com. After I tell you I am not the photo editor at the magazine, then have the gall to ask me who is.” - Jim Merithew

2) Be disrespectful.
It’s totally OK to be rude and pushy just as long as you get what you want out of the assignment, right? Absolutely! If you want to piss off a photo editor and everyone else that he/she works with, you should be as disrespectful as possible to all of the people that the photo editor depends on to do their jobs.


“Don’t burn bridges– just because you’ll only be shooting someone or something once, doesn’t make it ok to piss off PR people, subjects, security… we have to work with these people all of the time. Photogs working for SI represent SI. End of story.” - Nate Gordon

“Pissing on Junior Editors (ie. Not paying attention to them or giving proper respect to lower staff.)” - Ryan Schick

3) Don’t keep your word, or follow a plan.
Before the assignment, be sure to develop a plan of attack with the photo editor – and then, without warning, change that plan on your own and let the photo editor sort it out after the fact. They’ll get good and pissed off, especially when you hand them the resulting images that they (and the rest of their staff) are totally unprepared for.


“Check with me before abandoning our pre-determined plan. If you’re gonna try to get a high risk/high reward type shot, give me a heads’ up before hand.” - Nate Gordon

“Follow our pre-arranged workflow. If we decide you’ll ftp, ftp. If I ask you to send your whole take, don’t edit it down.” – Nate Gordon

You could also employ a smoke-and-mirrors plan after the assignment, and hope that the photo editor doesn’t notice that you didn’t follow the plan. This could be a nice way to waste his/her time and add a bit of frustration as well.


“Sugar-coating” – If you didn’t get the shot we were going for, let me know right away, before launching into your rant about how great some completely different shot is.” - Nate Gordon

4) Make it difficult to contact you, and lack communication skills.
Here’s a great way to get a photo editor in a pissy mood – make a game out of contacting you. Hide your contact information somewhere in your website (or don’t include it at all), and make it a challenge for them. Since they don’t have any free time at all, they’ll get angry fast when you’ve effectively wasted their time.


“Do not respond in a timely matter…sometimes, DO NOT respond.” - Leslie dela Vega

“Make it difficult for me to get in touch with you, like not having your contact info on the front page of your website.” - Jim Merithew

“Don’t have your contact information easily accessible (not just a link to email you – I might need you right now.)” - Phaedra Singelis

“Change your phone number without telling me – or move or go on vacation or on a out-of-town assignment without notification. I need to know where you are.” - Phaedra Singelis


Here’s a tip for extra help in pissing them off: Don’t use the normal, typical, boring methods of communication. Email is far too effective, and won’t piss off an editor. Instead, find new ways to send them a message.


“Using Facebook for professional email correspondence (additionally, spamming someone multiple times to join your Fan Page.)” - Ryan Schick


Why bother letting a photo editor know about something if you know that they’ll eventually find out about it later? A good way to piss off an editor is to put them in an embarrassing situation when they first learn about problems encountered during a shoot from someone other than you.


“Have a problem (miss a flight, lose your equipment, argue with the subject, etc.) and not notify the photo editor immediately.” - Stella Kramer

5) Hound and harass them with phone calls and emails.
You should do whatever it takes to make extra double sure that you’re top-of-mind with a photo editor in the most annoying way possible. Making non-stop phone calls and sending a steady stream of emails can be an effective way to get under their skin.


“Don’t hound me on the front end of a shoot when you need me to get credentials, parking passes, photo positions, assistants, equipment, etc.. and then disappear when I need something from you after the shoot… I hate it when a photographer drops a barrage of calls on me before the shoot and then goes into hiding after. Give me a recap. Don’t disappear. Don’t hound.” - Nate Gordon

“Be high maintenance–I don’t want dozens of calls from you while you’re on assignment, or after I’ve met with you and reviewed your portfolio” - Stella Kramer



“DO NOT continue to call me and leave messages on my voicemail, If I don’t answer, you know why!” - Leslie dela Vega

“Call too much or keep me on the phone too long  – we’re all short of time, so be brief.” – Phaedra Singelis

6) Lack professionalism.
To get your relationship with the photo editor off to a most awkward start, you should immediately treat them as if you’ve been friends for years. Send them messages that contain jokes, use all lower-case letters, and typing shortcuts. (“yo! i m here 4 u 2!”)


“Addressing me as if we have met before when we haven’t (“Heeey, how are ya’?!”)” - Whitney Lawson

“Trying to be ‘cute’ in an email. (Be professional, first and always!)” - Ryan Schick


You could also keep them in the loop by sending them not just portfolio images, but also personal ones. They’ll get really pissed when they waste some time looking at pictures of you on the beach in a bathing suit.


“Sending me vacation photos!” - Whitney Lawson

7) Have a bad website, or no website at all.
Everyone knows that a website is a really important tool, and photo editors have come to rely on a photographer’s site. So another quick way to piss them off is to put an ineffective website between you and a photo editor. Make sure it loads slow, is built entirely in Flash and has plenty of animations all over the place. Make sure your navigation is cryptic, and make it really difficult to find your contact information.


“Using really elaborate flash animations on your web site. I’ve never met a photo editor who likes this.  Clean and simple is best.  Sorry, tough love.” - Whitney Lawson

“Make me watch auto-playing slideshows on your website instead of being able to click at my own pace.” - Phaedra Singelis

“Have bad website navigation.” - Ryan Schick

“Don’t list the city you live in on your website.” - Phaedra Singelis

Or, better yet, save a few pennies and don’t have your own website. Using a free service as your portfolio will surely put them in a pissy mood.


“Using Lightstalkers/Flickr as your portfolio.” - Ryan Schick

8) Don’t supply important information, but if you do, make sure there are plenty of errors.
Make sure you create extra work for the photo editor. Leave it up to them to get caption information and other things of importance. You are being paid to take a picture, not write a caption or gather information – right? Maintaining this attitude can be a fantastic way to piss them off to your heart’s delight!


“Don’t be a journalist. Don’t collect information. Don’t ask questions. Don’t get quotes. And please get the facts all wrong.” - Jim Merithew

“No caption information, and misspelled names.” - Leslie dela Vega

“No location information in intro emails or on your website. (Really, really!!)” - Ryan Schick

“Make caption errors that I will later have to write corrections for (Always write down your subjects’ name, then show them what you’ve written. You’ll never get it wrong if they see what you’ve written).” - Phaedra Singelis

“Metadata M.I.A.; With so many files to deal with at any given time, metadata (specifically IPTC core data) is crucial. It looks pretty unprofessional if the photographer doesn’t know how to include a “©” and copyright notice – let alone the subject ID and details.” - Hali McGrath

“Simply providing a link in an email with little to no context, “Here is some recent work”… (of what!?  do we really have to discuss the necessity of who/what/when/where..?)” - Ryan Schick

9) Send a non-personalized form letter or email.
All photo editors are the same, and they do the same job, so you might as well save some time and send the same email to many photo editors. It saves you time, and since this tactic is blatantly obvious, it will give them a less than favorable impression of you right away.


“Generic promos (not personalized, emails that contain text with formatting that was cut and paste from a previously forwarded email, inconsistent formatting.  You are presenting yourself to represent our brand.)” - Ryan Schick

10) Miss deadlines.
Let’s face it – editors are locked away inside of an office and have no idea what it’s like out there in the real world – so deadlines are flexible, and based on YOUR schedule and circumstances. This kind of attitude will put you directly at the top of their shitlist.

“Be on time, and don’t ask for a deadline extension unless your appendix bursts.” - Roberto De Luna

“Miss the deadline for filing.” - Phaedra Singelis

11) Complain.
You should complain about everything possible, and expect the photo editor to fix everything. Be as negative as possible, and blame everyone else (including the photo editor) when things go wrong. Bring nothing to the table on your own, and never solve any problems by yourself.


“Complain about the way your photos were used in a story.” - Stella Kramer

“Argue with the photo editor–it will give you a bad rep.” - Stella Kramer

12) Be a flake.
When you agree to take on an assignment, and a photo editor is depending on you – treat it as if it was “optional.” This way, if something else comes up that’s better, cooler, pays more, or is more fun, you can go in a different direction right until the last minute. Don’t worry about them – it’s their job to have a backup plan!


“Assignment Flakes; either bowing out the night before an assignment (leaving no option to reschedule) or bailing after arriving on site.” - Hali McGrath

13) Have a huge ego.
If a photo editor comes to you, and wants to hire you for a job, it is perfectly acceptable to use this as an ego boost. Photographers are creative individuals and it’s totally fine to be picky, demanding, and rude. After all, they came to YOU so they should work extra hard to make sure you’re happy.


“Be difficult to work with, uncommunicative and egomaniacal.” - Jim Merithew

If you have no experience in a specific area required for an assignment, it’s OK to pretend that you do. After all, you’re super talented, and can shoot anything.


“Lie about your abilities–this will kill your career.” - Stella Kramer

Once you’ve completed the assignment, make sure the photo editor knows just how brilliant you are, and how you saved the day with your brilliance.


“Don’t tell me how hard you worked… that’s what’s expected of you.” - Nate Gordon



If you’re not interested in pissing off a photo editor, then you should make sure to come back tomorrow when I’ll publish the the next story: Top 10 Ways to Make a Photo Editor Fall In Love With You.



Grover Sanschagrin is co-founder and Vice President of PhotoShelter. Follow him on Twitter at @heygrover.

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There are 45 comments for this article
  1. 33photo at 3:10 pm

    Very insightful. The bottom line is common sense which is usually not very common nowadays with “rockstar” photographers and super egos.

  2. Michael R. at 3:54 pm

    Pretty funny list, but someone ought to make one of these about photographers for editors. 13 ways to for an editor to piss off a photographer: 1. Don’t respond to a personal email 2. Don’t call me in for a portfolio review if you haven’t at least looked at my website 3. Be flippant and disrespectful when looking through my book 4. Pretend like you are going to give me an assignment when you know you aren’t: be honest! 5. Have a huge ego 6. Ask me to send you examples of a specific style of work, and then never write back 7. Make it difficult to contact you 8. Complain about photographers promos, but don’t offer any public information whatsoever about how to formally contact you, or if you are even interested in looking at new work. Right now the only way for photogs to get in touch with most editors is through a PAID database, which is a disservice to both editors and photographers. 9….you guys finish the rest!!

  3. D.A.Wagner at 6:01 pm

    I think the buyers have it right. 13 Ways to Piss Off A Photo Editor looks like a great opportunity to clean up a few rough edges on my business model. What’s funny is, photographers are already checking in with complaints about this posting. They should be listening instead. I get it. It’s not just about the photography; it’s about managing people and resources, it’s about time and money, and it’s about being graceful under pressure in order to get the job done and meet everyone’s expectations. And no matter what happens at a shoot, we do represent the client at all times. Holy shit! Photography is a business. Who knew? So. if you don’t like the situation, make it work (as Tim Gunn might say), because making it work is what professionals do.

  4. John Q Photo Editor at 6:47 pm

    Don’t often share…but please don’t have a blogsite! Last thing I want to do is scroll through posts or try to figure out how to use the blogsite, worse yet see a post with your recent trip images! A nice portfolio site with easy navigation and your direct contact info would be great. I will look at the first few images in each portfolio and if I see what I need for he project, I will contact you. IF your work is great and not for the specific project I am looking for, I will book mark and come back often.

  5. Mike at 7:15 pm

    9….you guys finish the rest!!…… 10 Offer ridiculously small amounts of money for a job or stock sale…. 11 Make a grab for rights you will never need without offering an appropriate fee for the extra rights. 11a Require a “buyout” 12 Give a vague and unprofessional assignment 13 Screw up the credential request 14 Don’t pay me 14a Don’t pay me after I have spent large amounts of my own money on expenses for your shoot. I love to hear the editors whine. The bottom line here is that very few editorial outlets pay an amount of money that would allow an adult to survive on the most basic level. Ask the MSNBC editor how much she pays to the photographers who “Make me watch auto-playing slideshows on your website instead of being able to click at my own pace.” Watching those slideshows is revenge for the pennies that her site spends on assignment photography…. What a joke. Thank god for real commercial clients, and the magazine editors who realize that reasonable expectations should come along with microscopic pay!

  6. JoeM at 10:14 pm

    11a Require a buyout when you don’t have the budget to pay for it and then whine about not getting your way. 14 + 14a Don’t pay me on time Don’t bullshit me about when you are going to pay me or sign off on a contract with specified payment terms when you know you are going to ignore them. Don’t pay me until after you have received three late payment notices. Don’t get your knickers in a twist when accounting asks you why they have to pay a late payment penalty on the 90 day invoice they have just received when they only got the original invoice a week ago. 15. Don’t use my images in ways that are outside any agreed usage and then ask me about it afterwards. 16. Don’t use an image in a “journalistic” piece and then flip it because your designer thinks it looks prettier. Especially when all the text on the side of an aircraft will be reversed… 17. Don’t ask me to go and photograph a building exterior north of the Arctc Circle in mid-December, when the sun won’t rise until some time in late January. Yes – it’s a business alright. It pisses photographers off when you deal with them as if it’s a hobby or amateur hour.

  7. Tristan Wheelock at 2:02 am

    Really, really great info. There’s just one comment I didn’t understand. “Contact me saying you love Wired and would love to shoot for the magazine. Do your homework. I am the photo editor at Wired.com. After I tell you I am not the photo editor at the magazine, then have the gall to ask me who is.” – Jim Merithew So is Jim trying to trick photogs into thinking he’s not the photo editor when he really is to see if they did their homework and then getting frustrated when they fall for his lie? Or am I missing something. Completely possible that I’m just slow on the pick up :)

  8. Patrick Baldwin at 5:12 am

    Number 14: Making photo editors jump through hoops on Photoshelter to get their images when it could be one click from an email invite. And don’t suggest ftp because we are working to the photo editors plan/preferred delivery method remember!

  9. Linda Epstein at 10:56 am

    14. Need your hand held throughout the assignment. If I hire you to shoot something, I don’t expect that I have to make your plane tickets, hotel reservations, obtain a fixer, etc. etc. Ask all your questions when given the assignment. An editor doesn’t then need to be there every step of the way for your shoot. Thanks Grover. Right on the mark.

  10. yunghi kim at 11:31 am

    All these are good points. But respect goes both ways. A good photo editors knows photographers work, knows what they want from an assignment, lets the photographer run with the ball, and does not try to micro manage them. And experienced photographers knows when a photo editor is green…as we say. I have worked with amazing photo editors, I will give 200 percent for them, but I will also not work with other photo editors/publications because i felt they didnt know what they are doing or having lack of respect to the photographers. Yunghi Kim

  11. Yunghi Kim at 11:47 am

    14. Need your hand held throughout the assignment. If I hire you to shoot something, I don’t expect that I have to make your plane tickets, hotel reservations, obtain a fixer, etc. etc. Ask all your questions when given the assignment. An editor doesn’t then need to be there every step of the way for your shoot. Thanks Grover. Right on the mark. Linda, They should not do this.. An experienced photographer would not do this and assuming you are paying fair fee, with no rights grab…these things matter in attracting quality photographers.

  12. Linda Epstein at 2:03 pm

    Yunghi- You would be amazed at some of the inexperience there is with experienced photographers. I’ve been through this with well-known photographers. That being said, I would go to the ends of the earth to help those photographers who not only respect the job, but the photo editor as well and their images are amazing. I am daily in awe of the work that a lot of these photographers produce. Linda

  13. Brett at 3:32 pm

    “When photographers get together, they tend to talk about two things: camera gear, and working with photo editors.” I’m glad I’m a nature photographer, when I get together with other photographers we talk about nature and how beautiful and interesting the world is!

  14. pfunc at 6:00 pm

    I could easily make a site without flash that loads slow and has crazy animations. I could also make a site with flash that is simple and elegant and loads really fast. It’s all a matter of whether or not the person building your site knows what they are doing.

  15. Anonymous at 7:05 pm

    Very informative and one-sided. Just like the business relationships that pass for the norm in the editorial world these days… Good advise for most part. Picture Editors are stressed for time and I appreciate brevity when it is needed. I have made a few of these mistakes and learned from them. However, there are picture editors who abuse their relative position of strength and are disrespectful toward photographers and time. There are also star chasers who think just because they shoot with a name that the shoot will be incredible. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. (Hopefully more yes than no) Picture editors screw up when they don’t reply to important requests such as basic subject contact info or insist on over art directing an image that is supposed to be purely editorial. If someone is rude or condescending, I finish the shoot, always act professionally, but make myself unavailable when they call back. There are picture editors that I will go to the ends of the earth for (Kim and Sasha…you know who you are) and a few others. There are also picture editors that the experience was so distasteful that I don’t feel like I created great work or would want to work with them again. (Brian..who is not a stand up guy)

  16. Why Can't We Be Friends at 8:19 pm

    “Top 13 Ways to Piss Off a Photo Editor” …#14. “When I say jump, you don’t ask how high!…but then you do ask how high, but not when I wanted you to or through medium I wanted you ask me through!”…joke, of course. I am glad Photoshelter is doing this. It’s definitely stuff I want to know as photographer and I have great respect for photo editors. Can I also suggest that this whole relationship doesn’t have to be so confrontational? Perhaps after the second installment of this series, Photo Shelter could write the same two columns aimed at photo editors about how to piss off/ingratiate photographers? Or maybe even a regular section/column to facilitate productively building this relationship? It could be like marriage counseling. I have plenty of gripes against photo editors, which, in the spirit of #6 and others, I will keep to myself. I also fully appreciate that making a PE happy with me and my work is a key to being successful in this business. I do however want to point out that photographers are almost always (unless you’re in really high demand) in a fundamental imbalance which is most often exploited to the advantage of the PE/Publication. I am glad the second installment is coming to round out the discourse/make it positive, but I get really exhausted sometimes…You get mad when we call (#5), you get mad when we don’t call(#4), you get mad when we call, but don’t use the words you like (#6,9) or don’t make you feel special (#9), etc….the whole thing is worse than dating. It goes both ways, but the PE/publication is usually the one that wants to pay for hamburger and demand steak.

  17. Me Again at 10:18 pm

    “Don’t have your contact information easily accessible (not just a link to email you – I might need you right now.)” This works both ways. I’ve received phone calls from Picture Editors asking for a return call without leaving a number and my Caller ID say’s “blocked” when I try to scroll back through my calls in an attempt to find the phone number. Also, calls from NYC photo editors who are use to the rush of leaving numbers spoken so quickly that I’ve had to replay a message several times in order to decipher the phone number and return their call. Last but not least….. “Make it difficult for me to get in touch with you, like not having your contact info on the front page of your website.” This works both ways. If I am in the field and receive an email from a picture editor, I expect to be able to call them back to discuss their email. Many art directors and picture editors do not have signature’s added to their email and I then have to go to my call sheet to find their number to respond. Not a big deal, but if a Picture Editor wants a photographer to list their contact information on the front page of a site, then the courtesy should also extended by the picture editor. I know you are busy and I am not going to call just to chat. But if you send me an email and ask me to call you, please include your phone number in the email. AND not some cutesy design with bars between the numbers or euro style with periods. My iPhone reads standard North American phone numbers and I can click on the number and respond right away.

  18. Anonymous at 10:37 pm

    “Don’t tell me how hard you worked… that’s what’s expected of you.” – Nate Gordon Then don’t tell me every five minutes how busy you are

  19. Lynn Donaldson at 12:23 pm

    If I were a photo editor, it would really piss me off that photographers post assignment details and outtakes on their Facebook pages & blogs–well BEFORE the stories run. I would think it was common sense NOT to do this, but a colleague of mine posted a shot from a New York Times assignment 3 weeks before the story ran…and not an outtake. DERRR!!!! I’m constantly reading posts like, “Heading to Nowheresville to shoot for SUNSET.” I’m sure magazines like SUNSET, who have year-long lead times or more, would LOVE to know their editorial calendars are being broadcast a year in advance. When I signed BUSINESS WEEK’S revised contract last year, they included a letter specifically stating that assignment details, outtakes, etc. are NOT to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, websites, blogs. I think they were smart to spell it out and not assume that everyone is bright enough to figure out basic protocol.

  20. Frankie at 1:30 pm

    http://blog.photoshelter.com/2010/05/top-13-ways-to-piss-off-a-photo-editor.html I wish these following those rules worked to get bookings, but they just don’t. How much integrity do editors really have in actually walking the same lines they are drawing? For instance, when they are actually doing the hiring, are we really to believe that it’s the photographer with the fantastic images and beautifully edited business letter that gets a call back? I just don’t think so. If that really worked then a there would be a VARIETY of photographers shooting ALL THE TIME. Instead we see the same ones in the magazine month after month. Lord knows there isn’t a lack of talent out there. There’s a reason it’s the same photographers getting booked month after month. It’s called the “cult of personality” and those photographers aren’t usually lauded for their professional business letters. They are the ones that are able to build themselves into a brand. And that means distinguishing yourself from the pack. As we all know, being something other then status quo of course not only gets you noticed; it also puts you in a position of being critiqued. And more crudely, it puts you in the vulnerable position of–either unintentionally or in the case of Terry Richardson intentionally–pissing people off. If done correctly, you come out looking like Arm & Hammer and not like Redux’s energy drink debacle (named, “Cocaine”). What these editors are really talking against is utilizing a variety of marketing tools recently available thanks to new modes of technology. And asking people to not use these new tools is just silly. Unfortunately Miss Manners was long since planted by the time the internet got really buzzing so there are in fact no doctrined rules of decorum in place that we all can look to (ie. cover your mouth when you cough, send thank you notes after gifts, etc). I can go on, but for now–Photo Editors, try to cut people some slack now and then, will you? I’m sure they have the best of intentions.

  21. amajchrowicz at 1:58 pm

    Unfortunately directing them to Photoshelter to access and or download images has been an embarrassing one for me. Some editors I work with are frustrated with the site not being as user friendly as it should be. I ended up making my own set of instructions to send people who have trouble.

  22. Fred at 5:46 pm

    “Contact me saying you love Wired and would love to shoot for the magazine. Do your homework. I am the photo editor at Wired.com. After I tell you I am not the photo editor at the magazine, then have the gall to ask me who is.” – Jim Merithew Wow, talk about pretentious Jim, trust me you’re not that important and will likely be replaced by a robot or monkey soon anyway. We have to constantly attempt to contact hundreds of potential clients and to make such a simple mistake as to confuse you with the web version of your magazine is innocent. I mean seriously who do you think you are? Get over yourself. “Make it difficult for me to get in touch with you, like not having your contact info on the front page of your website.” – Jim Merithew Wow again Jim! How difficult is it for anyone to find the right people to contact at Wired? Is it on your front page of the website? Do you lack the capacity to click on the contact or info link on a photographer’s site?

  23. Anonymous at 7:45 pm

    I agree with Grover, Jim’s tricky Wired vs. Wired.com nonsense was confusing. I think WL’s suggestions were the most useful, otherwise the lists seems like a benign list of common sense in business rules and regulations. Adding to the Photographers list however… “Yes, please continue to lose my invoices at least 3 times, and NEVER pay me before 90 days. We all love that from you photo editors.”

  24. CAM at 5:01 pm

    Picture Editors – PLEASE don’t rename your files and then ask a photographer to find a file for a rush order. Many of you ask for integrity in captions and metadata but ignore the principle and change a file name. You then expect a photographer to find an image in their file based upon your new name for the image. Think about it.

  25. AndyL at 2:07 pm

    JoeM, sounds like you have a lot of experience. :) I can add a few: 1) Expect me to return you calls 24/7 when the story is hot, and then fail to return even a courtesy email when your Managing Editor decides its yesterday’s news. 2) Fail to give guidelines about what you need, and then complain when what I give you something else. 3) Send me to photograph a story for which a key element is no longer possible to get., ie assignment impossible.

  26. randy at 1:12 pm

    I think this is very revealing of the quality of editors nowadays. Of course everyone should be courteous and some photogs are more difficult to work with than others, but at the end of the day stop saying you’re too busy to reply emails from photogs or look for someone contacts, IT IS YOUR JOB. I love that editor of essence magazine who pesters against photogs who don’t reply to her calls and then says:”DO NOT continue to call me and leave messages on my voicemail, If I don’t answer, you know why!”, like if you were a little girl and you can’t face photographers?…totally unprofessional, if that’s the case then maybe you shouldn’t be a photo editor. Or the guy from Wired.com who could not pass the contact info of his colleague at the magazine, I’ve been a photo editor, this is your job mate, you should always be on the lookout for new talents, don’t let your ego get in the way of that. The rates aren’t great nowadays, editors shouldn’t really be the ones complaining, at the end of the day, they get their salaries every months sitting comfortably all day sipping lattes using the creativity and hard work of someone else they’ll try to squeeze as much as possible for as little money as possible.

  27. Cartoon Pictures | Images For Licensing at 9:24 pm

    I’ve never pissed off an editor (at least I don’t think so)….however, if they contact you first, don’t you feel you have carte blanche over the project? I normally offer images that already exist, i.e. an actual online library of cartoons. I think the worst I would hear is “your cartoons are no good” LOL! Good seeing the comparison though, to what I offer!

  28. Andrew Sheppard at 1:40 am

    This is BS , too negative. Instead write an article about how to impress a photo editor. Photoshelter seems to be run by some bitter and angry people.

  29. Patrick Downs at 4:59 pm

    Replied a long-time freelance photo pal, who was a photo editor for several years too:

    “So this is the number #1 thing that pisses me off about photo editors >> “Sending me work that is not appropriate for my magazine.” – Whitney Lawson

    As if we should all custom tailor our portfolios to each magazine instead of simply showing what we are GOOD AT. This is an example of lazy photo editor thinking. When I was a photo editor I wanted to see new thinking with photos that took me some place new that my publication hadn’t tried. ~Walt

  30. Ruth Eichhorn at 4:04 pm

    Desperately looking for the “I don’t like this” button. I have a great deal of respect for photographers. Photo Editors have to deal with all kinds of personalities. That belongs to their job description.

  31. Doktor at 6:02 am

    List doesnt work, well it works on a very false pretense. That photographers are there for photo editors. (or the other way around that ohoto editors are there for photographers) . Photographers are there for taking pictures. That involves doing a lot of things. A lot which are more important than most of the stuff on the list. Its the same wiith the editors they have a lot to do besides calling photographers. I love editors but in this list they sound like some whining bunch. I beg every novice reading this list to believe me: I have ignored a lot of the stuff on the list a lot of times and have succesfully completed jobs and made photo editors happy. I know a lot of more succesful photographer who practically ignore every point of the list and I have seen young photographers trying to be perfect about the things touched here and they dont get a job. YOUR JOB IS NOT TO CLIMB IN THE ASS OG THE EDITOR. We have to work together yes (there are actually a lot of photographers who never talk to an editor) but 100 % of our real work and talent is elsewhere.

  32. John R. Fulton Jr. at 9:50 am

    #14 Photographer won’t shoot verticals. I stopped using a ‘name’ photographer when he didn’t shoot any verticals. It was in the assignment letter. That leads to…

    #15 Photographer doesn’t read the assignment letter and then calls for info that was in the letter.

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