Photo editors work for publications to select and prepare photographs for particular projects. They might manage a staff of photographers or, in a smaller organization, work as a photographer as well as the photo editor.
A career as a photo editor usually requires previous experience as a photographer, as well as a bachelor’s degree and classes in photography, visual arts or digital media. Relevant master’s degree programs are also available for those seeking advancement opportunities; they might lead to positions such as photography department supervisor or editorial chief.
Photo editors often work for a website, newspaper, magazine or book publisher. They’re typically responsible for selecting, editing, positioning and publishing photos to accompany the text of a publication. Photo editors also might supervise staff photographers, give photo assignments and make sure that others complete their work on time.
The duties of a photo editor differ depending on the type of industry. Photo editors might meet with managers to discuss what types of pictures are needed for a certain project and then give out photo assignments to their staff. After the pictures are taken, the photo editor typically looks the pictures over and if changes are needed, alters the photos accordingly.
In large corporations, photo editors have a photography staff to take photos. However, in smaller organizations, photo editors might be responsible for taking their own photos or use photo stock agencies to purchase pictures to meet the needs of the project. Additional duties of a photo editor might include training new staff members, ordering supplies for the photo department and making sure that the cameras and other equipment are working properly.