Donna says, “I enjoy this event as it allows me to encounter new photographers’ work, and in the past I have forged professional relationships with past winners who have shot for The Times.”
Donna tells us more about what she is looking for, as a Picture Editor, and gives helpful tips to photographers looking to create relationships with commissioning Editors:
“I have always been immersed in photography. From an early age I can remember my father was always taking photographs. After this there were evenings, sometimes weekends, spent squirreled away in his darkroom. During my early teenage years I became intrigued with magazine design and photography, an interest which I further developed with a degree at St Martins.
“My career so far has included picture editing posts at The Daily Telegraph, The Times and BBC. This autumn will mark a decade at The Times, where I have created and sourced images across the arts, features and literary pages.
“This will be my fourth consecutive year as a judge for the London Photographic Association, specialising in the portraiture award. I enjoy this event as it allows me to encounter new photographers’ work, and in the past I have forged professional relationships with past winners who have shot for The Times. Sukey Parnell’s series displayed a disquieting elegance.
“Freelance photography has always been a tough, highly competitive field, even before the current economic climate. As a picture editor you are always looking for new and different approaches to portraiture, although it is not always viable to have the time to look through any number of photographers’ portfolios on a regular basis. The LPA awards are an excellent platform for any new or established photographer to showcase their work. Any photographer entering the group category should make sure that he or she looks at their collection of images very closely. Don’t let one or two weaker submissions let down the strength of the entry as a whole. The series entry images should work as a collection and make sense when viewed together. A helpful tip for a photographer is to imagine their series running in a publication over a number of pages. Look closely at any images that jump out as looking weaker than the rest.
“If I was to give one piece of advice to photographers wanting to get commissioned, it would be to call picture editors to make initial contact and email examples of your work. It’s beneficial if you have your own website, but not essential. Some picture editors have the time to meet photographers, but it’s not always possible, so email contact as a gentle reminder is good. Be warned, though” being pestered once a week by phone is off-putting!”