Kate Osba, Associate Photo Editor at Inc. Magazine, is also the brains behind the popular photography blog This is the What. We caught up with her to get her unique perspective as a photo editor and blogger.
You work as a photo editor at Inc. Magazine. How did you get that job, and what’s your approach to finding and using photography?
I am the Associate Photo Editor at Inc. Magazine and have been there for four years this December. I saw the listing for the Inc. job on Mediabistro and applied like everybody else. Guess I got lucky!
My approach when hiring a photographer is to first read through the story and go through my mental database (followed by my actual Excel database) to consider who would be the best fit for what my editors are envisioning. Many times, I also consider what the photographer’s personality is like if I have worked with him/her before. For example, if the photo should be fun and energetic, I lean towards people I know who have that attitude in real life. I am always looking for new photographers, either from promos, searching around the web, or looking up photographers’ websites from photos of theirs I’ve seen in magazines. I have a stack of magazines with pages dog-eared all over my apartment. I am constantly searching.
What made you decide to start your blog “This is the What”?
I started my blog mainly for myself to keep track of the pictures and photographers that I am interested in. I also started it to give myself a homework assignment to do after work that I actually enjoyed, unlike real homework. I love finding new photographers and great old photos and I love being able to interview some of the people I admire and post their thoughts on the site. It’s completely selfish.
What have you learned about the photography industry by blogging?
I’m not sure how much I’ve learned through the blog about the industry, but I’ve become even more overwhelmed by how much is out there. Once I challenged myself to look into different outlets to find photography, the options seemed endless. You realize that you’ll never see all of the good stuff, there is just too much.
How do your professional life and your blogging life intersect?
Well, I work full-time looking at pictures, working with photographers and editing shoots, so my professional life is pretty inundated with photography. Which is heaven to me. When I’m at work I am usually looking for a more specific type of photography but often come across photographers that don’t necessarily fit that type but I still love their work, so it takes some of the frustration out to be able to go home and post about their work that I have stumbled upon and love.