Why Photo Editors Matter

(Screenshot via New York Times.)

(Screenshot via New York Times.)

The New York Observer has just hired a new photo editor. She’s a talented photographer in her own right, with a great eye and an extensive network of photographers who shoot in all styles. These are all important traits. But the skill that makes a really great photo editor is the ability to select a photo that both illustrates the accompanying story and elevates it.

In Israel yesterday, one teenager fatally stabbed another on a bus. If I were the photo editor who worked on this story for The New York Times, this is not the photo I would have chosen to illustrate that particular story.