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What Is a Photo Editor and How to Become One

Photo Editor

What Does a Photo Editor Do?

As a Photo Editor, you may find yourself working in a wide variety of industries, including news, book publishing, advertising, website development, and the arts. You may be asked to airbrush photos for advertising or select and edit images to go with a story. You may work with photographers to discuss the objectives of a project and collaborate to achieve it.

How to Become a Photo Editor

Many employers require a bachelor's degree in photojournalism, visual arts, photography, or a similar field to be a photo editor. You must develop your equipment knowledge and skill over time and compile a portfolio of your best work. You will need a strong working knowledge of publication programs such as Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and InDesign. A strong portfolio will be valuable in getting that first photo editor job and beginning your career in this field.

What Is Photo Editing?

Photo editing is adjusting, changing, or enhancing film, print, or digital photographs. While photo editing used to be done by hand, it is now nearly all done using computer software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. A Photo Editor reviews a photograph and makes adjustments to suit the purpose of the image and correct any errors in it, like red eyes or glare. Photo editing is also the process of selecting and positioning photos for digital or print publication.

How to Be a Good Photo Editor

Becoming a good Photo Editor takes creativity and collaborative skills, as well as technical skills and experience. A good Photo Editor knows their software and can communicate well with managers and photographers to understand the vision of the project. They know how best to achieve the project objectives in a timely manner. Great Photo Editors welcome feedback and are always learning and expanding their skill sets, as well as their portfolios.

Photo Editor Job Description Sample

With this Photo Editor job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Photo Editor role.

Job Summary

The Photo Editor is responsible for the visual presentation of content for a wide range of media. This includes, but is not limited to print, digital, and web. The successful candidate collaborates with the design team to create effective visuals that are on-brand, on-message, and on-target. The Photo Editor is also responsible for managing stock photography and ensuring its accuracy.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage the selection, resizing, retouching, and color correction of stock images
  • Manipulate and enhance images using Photoshop and other imaging software
  • Ensure accuracy and consistency of images in various formats
  • Provide creative direction to photographers
  • Monitor the quality of all images
  • Collaborate with other departments to ensure visuals align with brand and messaging
  • Stay current on industry trends and best practices

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design or related field
  • 3+ years of experience as a photo editor preferred
  • Expert knowledge of Photoshop, Lightroom, and other imaging software
  • Able to work within brand guidelines and standards
  • Strong eye for detail and aesthetics
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills