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Photo Editing Job Description

by Alejandro Russell, studioD

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, editors in the United States, including photo editors, were getting an annual median pay of $52,000 in 2011. Editors working in the motion picture industry were the highest paid, with an annual average pay of over $71,000. As a photo editor, you can find employment in various places, such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals and websites. Being involved in photo editing comes with numerous responsibilities and requires a good grasp of photo editing software, such as Coral Draw, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

Purchasing Stock Images

Your role as a photo editor includes purchasing stock images after conducting comprehensive research. You can obtain these images from a variety of sources, such as record companies, online magazines, agencies and newspapers. Stock images are usually not for editorial stories, but you can attach them to shorter stories or blurbs. Using images from a stock photography site allows you to access royalty-free license, which permits you to use the pictures as many times as you wish. As a photo editor, you can also utilize bulletin boards to access free digital publicity shots.

Contracting Photographers

Photo editing places you in charge of contracting photographers for photography assignments. To fulfill this obligation, you need to have a roster of photographers. The choice of a photographer for a particular photo shoot depends on your vision for the story; his work must be in tandem with your vision. Furthermore, you should hire the appropriate models and earmark a suitable location for the photo shoot. You must provide guidance to photographers about the shots you're looking for, and sometimes supervise them in the field. You may take some photos yourself when you are working in a small organization.

Image Editing

The editing of images from other photographers is an important task. You can edit the photos by making adjustments or recommending any rectifications to improve the picture quality. Photo editing also entails ensuring the accuracy of captions in relation to the story. It is vital that the photo selected brings out the facts of the story; as a photo editor, you choose the photos that reflect people’s reactions to the events of the day.

Generating Ideas

Being a photo editor, you can also generate creative ideas for stories or photos. Editorial meetings normally provide the perfect platform for you to propose these ideas. Here, you discuss with other editors or reporters the suitable photos for a particular project. You can also help fellow editors to arrange the format and layout of copy. In addition, they would need your input in compiling an editorial calendar, which assists you to plan for future photo shoots. Reporters also require your assistance when writing up photo assignments.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images