I’m Emily, and I’m the President of RIT NPPA for the 2010-11 school year. This summer I have two non-shooting, photojournalism related internships in New York City. This post is about my life as a photo intern for LIFE.com.
At LIFE.com, I spend most of my internship days looking at stock images sites to find the week’s best photos, a segment we post every week. It is an important job for the interns to do, and it takes a long time and a lot of checking to find 20+ images that represent that week in news, sports, celebrity and cute animals with the LIFE aesthetic.
It’s surprising how many bad photos there are on these professional websites. It would make a lot of my fellow classmates feel better about their portfolios. While it is good for the editor or client, in my case, to have a lot of options to chose from, sifting through tons of crap takes a long time. Celebrity photos are the toughest because everyone loves them, but there are so many crappy “red carpet” photos of them, and not much else. I have to pay extra attention while looking through these static events to find one genuine moment.
Today I did the most research I’ve done in a single day. I looked through over 20,000 photos. I probably found about 50-100 that I thought were pretty good, and my boss selected 15-20 as maybes for the week. It’s exciting to see each Friday when the new gallery of the week goes up to see how my picks stacked up against my fellow interns and the other employees that contribute.
It’s not always the best photos that go in, and it’s not always the most important stories either. I have yet to figure out all of the intricacies but order and how things work together is a very strong component of editing galleries for the web.
It can be disheartening and aggravating to go through pages of pictures and not find a decent one, but I get excited when I find one that is different and good. I think spending a month looking at past, present and future LIFE/LIFE.com images helped me get the “LIFE aesthetic.” I’m still working on it but I know I have a better understanding of what to look for in a picture, and how it fits in with a certain publication. These two things may be equally as important as a photo editor.