On March 14, 2012 the School of Visual Arts hosted a panel titled, PDN’s 30: Strategies for Young Working Photographers, organized by Photo District News (PDN), the monthly magazine for the professional photographers. The panel moderated by PDN’s Editor, Holly Hughes included 2012 PDN’s 30 photographers Sam Kaplan, Peter Ash Lee and Ryan Pfluger, as well as Andy Katz from Sony Artisan of Imagery, and Clinton Cargill, Associate Photo Editor of the New York Times Magazine.
The young photographers discussed how they got to where they are today, including how they got their first job and how they structured and financed their first promotional efforts. Clinton Cargill talked about working on the magazine story from an editor’s perspective and explained how a photographer gets chosen to shoot a story. He also presented a number of stories that were shot by photographers for the New York Times Magazine Magazine as their first assignments.
Among recommendations for emerging editorial photographers given by the speakers were:
- Choose the range of themes or subjects you like to photograph.
- Develop your style and esthetics through practice. Look at work of photographers you like for ideas, but always try to create something original.
- Create a portfolio/book, and show your best work.
- Design your promo materials. Have a clean, clear and concise website. Be consistent in your design and pay attention to every detail – it is your brand!
- Research the magazines and people you would like to work with.
- Try to show your work to these magazines. Send promotional materials, go to portfolio reviews, make connections. Don’t be intrusive.
- Even if you don’t get jobs at the very beginning, keep working and let other professionals see your work.
- Be consistent in your work and persistent in promoting it. Be patient and your clients will come to you.
The panel was followed by a reception with a possibility of beginning to make professional connections right there.
More: PDN’s blog