Portfolio Events: June 19, 2019

Jul 3, 2019
Portfolio Events

Last month, members of our production team – Jemma Dilag and myself – had a chance to present work of Wonderful Machine’s photographers to two renowned New York publishers: Reader's Digest and Penguin Random House.

Producer Nadia Kiyatkina hauling a suitcase with portfolio books of Wonderful Machine member photographers.

We started our day in the Reader's Digest headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, where we met the Creative Director Courtney Murphy and Photo Editor Matthew Cohen.

Published in 21 languages and distributed in more than 70 countries, Reader’s Digest is one of the most widely read magazines in the world. It reaches 10.5 million readers globally. In the US alone, it boasts a healthy four million subscribers.

Reader's Digest, which is owned by Trusted Media Brands, commissions work for several dozen other magazines.

The company, which is owned by Trusted Media Brands, also commissions work for other magazines, including Taste of Home,  Family Handyman, and Birds & Blooms. Recently, their health and wellness titles have grown increasingly popular, so the editors we met were keen to look at the portfolio books of Wonderful Machine photographers, paying lots of attention to lifestyle imagery.

Reader's Digest editorial team looking at portfolios of Wonderful Machine photographers.

Impressed with the diversity and quality of our members’ work, they were particularly drawn to the images of Elizabeth Cecil, a Massachusetts-based photographer specializing in lifestyle, food & drink, as well as travel photography.

The inventive, often humorous portraiture of the Brooklyn-based duo HollenderX2 also drew a lot of praise. We learned RD’s photo editors seek portraits for their monthly “Everyday Heroes” series. Even though they sometimes use studio work, they tend to find environmental portraits more impactful. They also mentioned their monthly “Photo Finish” series, where they accept submissions from photographers on an ongoing basis.

Our next stop was the impressive office of Penguin Random House, where we met Art Researcher Jenny Pouech.

Producer Jemma Dilag showing portfolios of Wonderful Machine member photographers at Penguin Random House editorial offices. ouse art researcher Art Researcher Jenny Pouech.

As a parent company of some 250 publishing divisions and brands, Penguin Random House oversees the production of 15,000 titles annually, both in print and in digital forms. These span from fiction to non-fiction and include works for children as well as adults. The publisher, therefore, needs every kind of photography.  

We had a chance to look at a dozen member portfolios, including Julia Lehman’s underwater images, Joseph Escamilla’s still lives, and Starboard & Port’s lifestyle photographs. 

Jenny, who mentioned that Penguin Random House editors rely almost exclusively on stock photography, was happy to learn more about Wonderful Machine’s stock request tool and said she would be using it in the future.

We always encourage our member photographers to keep an eye for and respond promptly to our stock request emails. Do this, and hopefully, your work will be featured in one of Penguin Random House publications.

Producer Nadia Kiyatking browsing books at Penguin Random House

Our visit ended in their free book selection area.  We were lucky our portfolio suitcases were generously sized since each of us left with a handful of hardcover volumes, including "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman and “Permission to Screw Up” by Kristin Hadeed. 

If you’re looking for photographersproduction services, or want to get in touch, email us or call at 610 260 0200!