Magazine Editor Shares How He Hires Photographers

Starting in the photography field is difficult but this is one crowd I don't have to convince. For that reason, I've taken to surprise-interviewing friends in the industry for the most unedited answers to our questions. This is access to people I wanted during my first years, and now I am making sure other photographers have what they need (and what I needed when I started out).

For this video, I've interviewed the editor of Men's Fashion Post Magazine. The editor has single-handedly built an Instagram account bigger than more conventional periodicals, works with the top brands and now releases his own fashion magazine in the form of a newspaper.

Men's Fashion Post has created ads for a number of brands like Aldo, GQ Magazine, Four Seasons Hotel, Ralph Lauren, and Google.

Eff Ulloa (Editor of Magazine) invited me over to his office and I thought I'd give him a little surprise interview to help all the photographers who want to phonograph for a magazine. Ulloa was forthcoming and gave great insight into his process of picking some of his photographers. 

  • How he picks his photographers for his editorials.
  • Do they have to be a known photographer?
  • How can photographers better present themselves to stand out?
  • What should photographers avoid?
  • And a couple other tips along the way...

This is one example of many magazines. MFP is a growing brand and they've often reached into the community to discover new talent. Some magazines may not accept submissions the way MFP does, but one thing they all have in common is the request for solid work from a consistent photographer. 

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Rex Larsen's picture

I won't comment on the shaky camera work but was impressed you drove your car from both front seats.

Interesting but yeah more or less it´s very similar to my process of choosing photographers as editor-in-chief:

- they have to possess their own style, so it´s recognizable by me and therefore later on the readers
- they have to be genuinely interesting to work for Cool Korea
- they need to be smart as well as talented but it´s like a given but no self-centered jerk
- their model selection needs to be aligned with mine because it will show to me that they have a good vision of models and men´s fashion
- they need to know fashion in order to create a good fashion shoot, hence why if the photographer only shoot commercial jobs, and no matter how good they are or how great their style or photos are then I will pass
- they need to have a good portfolio regardless of their clients, they can be working with other good magazines or being newcomers

Walid Azami's picture

I agree with all your points! I'll take a look at your magazine also.

anttimutka's picture

His instagram 'success' does hurt his credibility in my opinion since most of the posts have a engagemt rate of under 2% which mean most of the followers are not real active accounts.

Walid Azami's picture

Antii I can respect your opinion on this and many have varying thoughts on Instagram. I researched your point and I agree, 2% is a very low engagement. However, according to SmartInsights the average engagement rate for accounts over 1 million is actually 1.5% which means Men's Fashion Post is doing about that or a bit more. I put the link below because I found the data interesting, and maybe you'd also find it interesting.

For whatever it's worth, I've known him for several years and I've seen the engagement grow from about 700K to now 3.4 Million. He's the one that told me about Socialblade and I've seen his growth. It was consistent.

Regarding Instagram engagement: He's suffering the same algorithms you and I are. Though I think it's hitting him and the other big accounts much harder.

anttimutka's picture

I wouldn't have brought it up but it is sounds like in the article that it is stated as a merit of success while I think the focus should solely be on the great work he is doing in the editorial space.

Walid Azami's picture

I see your point and it makes sense.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Turn up to my office with a camera and the phrase "I shoot surprise interviews - this is what I do..." and you'd not get the patience that this interviewee offered.

Truly an unprofessional approach to doorstep people this way and shame on Fstoppers to promote such an intrusion.

I shoot documentary interviews for broacast TV, and we don't have issues with getting people's real thoughts in an interview. We don't need to doorstep people to get their real opinions. And we've shot some amazing and insightful interviews over the last 20 years.

Fstoppers - don't you think or vet any of your features anymore?

Walid Azami's picture

Lee, I'm sure your work is phenomenal! Thank you for qualifying that. Respectfully maybe it wasn't clear, but I didn't just roll up on anyones house and force an interview on them. In future videos, I might put a disclaimer to avoid further confusion for those that may need it.

As you are, I'm also very professional but I'll deliver to my channel the method which makes me content. I thought it was understood that these are friends of mine from the banter back & forth, being INVITED to his place, and from being invited to a future photo shoot.

When I do my "surprise interviews" with my FRIENDS in the industry, I do make sure they have a sense of humor to appreciate it. I also throw in some common sense for good measure. I had 2 meetings today where I would have LOVED to film it, but I would never because it's the wrong time, wrong place, and wrong people.

The people you see in this video and future videos are friends of mine who are generous with their knowledge. They also thankfully have a sense of humor. Rest assured that I don't do this to just anyone!

On a personal note Lee, as stated in the video I didn't have access to this type of information when I started. It was impossibly hard to get my foot in any door and few helped me. I always promised myself that I'd give back when I could. This is my method of giving back. I don't get paid to write these articles or to create the videos.

It might help some, and others may find it rubbish. My intentions are always good and these take a lot of time to create. On my own channel and website, I've received many positive notes about this video. I'm sure on your own channel, your methods of contributing to the community is different and that's also okay!

It's a different approach to what you may prefer and offer, but there are many who did like it and got a couple pointers. Please remember that we all learn differently and what works for one person may not reach the next. It's DIFFERENT than what you prefer, it's not bad and it's not wrong. It is however, very unfortunate you felt the need to diminish my contribution. As I said, I'm sure your work is phenomenal. I don't need to insult your work to elevate mine.

As long as the intentions are good and the subjects are willing, I don't see the harm. You might as well avoid any future videos of mine, because I've "surprise interviewed" a few others and nearly all my videos have some form of sarcasm.

As for Fstoppers vetting or thinking anymore, I think they're doing a phenomenal job covering a wide base of photographers and photography styles. They're providing a free service to the community. That's no easy task and I have looked up to this site for many years. That is the reason why I've chosen to contribute articles to this website over others.

heikoknoll's picture

search for a post "youtuber shares how he creates watchable videos". Avoid making this kind of "video". It would probably more worth while just transcribing the videos and posting them as plain text.

MEN'S FASHION POST MAGAZINE qualifies as "vanity publication" or it really hires someone?

Walid Azami's picture

Alexander I can't say for everyone else, but I've been hired by them.

>> MEN'S FASHION POST MAGAZINE qualifies as "vanity publication" or it really hires someone?

A vanity publication is one you have to pay for. In between that and a job where you get paid is working for free or much less than the commercial rate - which is where a lot of editorial work lies. It can still make sense to the photographer, stylist and models to take the work, because they're getting REAL exposure - if the magazine is a good one. Careers are made by shooting for free or damn all for Vogue and Harpers. Lower down the ladder, shooting for a lesser publication can be a step up to the shoots for the big glossies. Whether MFPM is paying cash or not isn't the question a smart photographer will ask - magazines always pay dirt compared to the real clients. What he or she will consider is whether valuable clients or editors of glossies will be influenced by an editorial shoot they see there.

brittany reinhard's picture

I love Fstoppers but am really turned off by all of the demeaning comments on nearly every article and video! Take a chill pill...its just photography! Not every article is for me but this site has been very helpful in my photography journey and I havent had to pay a dime. Thank you Fstoppers, thank you to the admins and all the writers, I for one appreciate your hard work.

Walid Azami's picture

PERFECTLY SAID! I've found it's the same across the board, the first ones to attack are the ones doing the least. Read the article, if it doesn't pertain to you...move along or create your own Fstoppers.

Lui Cardenas's picture

Brittany, I agree 100%. I've been following F-stoppers for a couple years now, and have had very good insight on so many different types of articles and videos, and even if I don't like all the articles, that's fine, I'm thankful.

If an article is not up to your "standards" that's ok, move to the next one. It makes me think of the fb "Photo critique groups or blogs. They are on that same mindset and think they have to critique everyone's work, and tell them how they could have done it better... LOL.