Despite being a keen photographer, I had never heard of the role of picture researcher or photo editor until I was in my first job as a journalist.
Our small title did not have a picture editor but designer and the news editor had both worked on bigger publications in the past and it was a casual conversation between them one press day about picture researchers that made me realise that it was the job I wanted.
Having studied zoology rather than photography or media at university my route into picture research was not typical but I got a lucky break at the Wellcome Collection image library where my science background was considered desirable.
Since then I have worked at charities, picture libraries and magazines.
For those of you who don’t know what a picture editor does, here are some links.
This blog post from an art director in the fashion sector shows how mush she depends on picture editors: In Praise of Picture Editors
This video gets some influential Photo Editors together to discuss how they find new photographers:
Here is a basic Photo Editor job description.
And some interviews with picture editors working at iconic organisations:
The Smithsonian Magazine – Molly Roberts
The Observer and the Telegraph (freelance) – Joe Plimmer
Bloomberg News – Gem Atkinson
National Geographic – Sarah Leen