Forbes Magazine Sr. Photo Editor Michele Hadlow is no stranger to great editorial photography, having served as a photo editor at Forbes since 1998. In this time, Michele has seen the industry change dramatically and has continually adapted to maintain the signature aesthetic we've all come to expect from Forbes. As is the case with many magazines, the staff at Forbes was also downsized, distributing ever greater work loads to fewer staff. Thus, the process for finding new photographers to hire for assignments has also had to adapt to the changing times and dynamics.
When we sat down to chat with Michele about her process for finding new photographers, she made clear that a sacrifice of the increased work load is the opportunity to meet with photographers up at her office as she once did. While it's an extremely valuable part of her job, it's also easy to put off with looming deadlines. She has found that her attendance to the FotoWorks Portfolio Reviews has provided a good alternative for the opportunity to meet with photographers face-to-face. She finds the convenience of simply blocking out several hours to meet with a dozen curated photographers a highly valuable service.
Being at Forbes, she is regularly shown portraiture work from photographers she meets with, as that is typically what she would hire someone to shoot. However, Michele is quite direct about how much she enjoys seeing a photographer’s personal work. This provides her with greater insight into who they are as a photographer, where their inspiration lies, and what their personal vision and aesthetic looks like. She finds when photographers are passionate and more personally invested in the work they are showing you, ie these personal projects, the conversation is more inspired and she’s able to discover more about the photographer and their process.
When it comes to the ubiquitous printed promos photographers send or left behind, Michele used to make a habit of digitally archiving the ones she liked for her future reference. She would even go to the extent of cataloging them by the year and season in which she met the photographer. This too has been lost on the chopping block of doing more with less. However, when we rolled out our Boulevard Artists Dashboard last year at the Fall FotoWorks Portfolio Review, Michele was relieved by the convenience of having all this information archived for her.
She says that the dashboard also helps her plan for jobs and assignments. By being able to create custom folders and notes, any photographer she finds on Boulevard Artists, she can easily save for future reference. She says it’s enjoyable to watch a photographer she met with last year progress and update his/her profile with their latest work, all of which she can easily access from her own personal dashboard.
She makes it clear that the best way to find new talent is through face-to-face personal interactions. But having a tool the keep all those photographers organzied, both those she's met with as well as those she has yet to meet, has given her an invaluable tool.