Tuesday, March 6, 2012


In 2011, I was contacted by Jason Houston of Orion and asked to participate in the beta version of a new website of which he is a co-founder, Access2Editors. The premise is simple: photographers pay a relatively small, affordable fee and have access to the critiques of nationally and internationally respected photo editors, such as Whitney Johnson of The New Yorker, Jamie Goldenberg of Bloomberg Businessweek, Jason Houston of Orion, and Rebecca Horne of the Wall Street Journal. If you've never gone to a portfolio review or dropped your book off at an agency, you might not see the value of this service. But, if you have like I have, you know that paying a small fee to have an editor of this caliber review and critque your work is priceless and actually cheaper than flying down to an editor to show your portfolio; with Access2Editors, you receive feedback in a short amount of time and you can be absolutely anywhere in the world. (And, of course, you actually receive feedback, unlike the silence that sometimes follows a book drop-off.)

The only cons from my personal experience are the obvious: without face-time with an editor, you have no ability to ask questions or clarification. And because the editor is most likely unfamiliar with your work, they might miss something integral to your personal art. (My critique included a comment that questioned my use of medium-format for a particular story, but if my editor had known my work, she would realize that I almost exclusively photograph with medium-format.)

All in all, Access2Editors is filling a need in the photographic community and incredibly useful; it allows professional photographers to pay for the advice of the editors to whom they're pitching stories and images so that they can better understand how to get their work out into the world. (That's a key reason why we make photographs, isn't it?)

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