Freelance photo editor and photographer Wendy George (pictured above) has been in the business for the past four years – two of which she spent as a full time photo-ed at the Huffington Post, and currently she’s freelancing for iHeartRadio as well as shooting for various publications. While her education from SVA and ICP created a solid base, her career got a kickstart while interning and assisting photographers at iHeartRadio.
As a photo editor, Wendy is constantly getting approached by photographers looking for work – but not everyone goes about it the right way. We talked to Wendy about what she likes to see in an email pitch, if she subscribes to photographer’s newsletters, and how she keeps tabs on those she wants to work with in the future.
Is email an appropriate way for a photographer to get a photo editors attention/introduce themselves?
Absolutely. Email, newsletters and mailers are great ways to introduce yourself – sometimes it takes a few days, but I’ll always take a look. I’m always interested to see what people are shooting. In an intro email I appreciate people keeping it simple: a short intro and a link to your work, as well as a few images within the body of the email are great. The most important factors in an initial pitch are a focus of your photography, where you live and a link to your work.
How do you keep tabs on photographers who have pitched you?
I always remember someone’s style once I’ve looked through their portfolio and will keep that in mind when I’m deciding on the right photographer for an assignment. I also bookmark sites of people I’d like to work with in the future and if you send an update I’ll definitely check it out. I also follow a lot of photographers on Instagram.
How often should photographer’s be emailing to update you about their business?
I would say a few updates a year that include new work and personal projects. I really enjoy seeing photographers’ personal work and think it’s a great reason to reach out. Also, if you relocate or expand the focus of your work, that’s always good to know.
Before pitching a story should photographers already have examples of the story, or worked with subject matter that is very similar?
I don’t think it’s necessary to have existing work in the subject matter but it would be helpful to see other projects that can reflect the style of the proposed shoot.
Are you a fan of newsletters? Should photographers be using this tactic?
Yes, I do like newsletters – it’s a great way to take a quick glimpse at your work if I don’t have time to fully review your portfolio at the moment. I would recommend sending them when there’s a few new projects you’d like to highlight.
If there’s one piece of advice you could tell photographers about approaching photo editors, what would it be?
Do you. Shoot what you love and reach out to editors that produce the type of work you want to make. Create your own assignments and introduce yourself through your vision.