Photo Editor

Plan photo spreads for a magazine.
picture of Photo Editor

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $97,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Photo Editors do?

A Photo Editor typically works for a magazine, newspaper, or some other kind of publication. Photo Editors are the primary creators and conceivers of visual stories, and the bridges between a magazine and the Photographer. As a Photo Editor, each spread will be your baby; amazing photos can often be what sell a publication, and you are the one who visualizes the written material and makes it come to life.

As the Photo Editor you won’t actually be taking any photos, and your editing of individual photos will be something you delegate rather than going into Photoshop yourself. Instead, your daily job is to conceive of fresh visual spreads that will grab attention and tell a story. For this you have to be creative and innovative, and able to transcribe story ideas into photographic shoot descriptions.

You then use those extensive contacts of yours to pick the perfect Photographer for each shoot. One size does not fit all. Part of why they hired you is because you know what looks good where, and whose lens can make it look even better.


Should I be a Photo Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.

  • How to become a Photo Editor

    Most Photo Editors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:bff9ce&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2875%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,75
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