Talk by Hugh Pinney, Senior Director of Photography, Editorial at Getty Images

Last Wednesday I attended a talk by Senior Director of Photography, Editorial at Getty Images, Hugh Pinney. It took place at IdeasTap, London Bridge. It was an interesting talk giving an insight into the role of photo-journalists today and how they can make their mark in the industry.

Pinney graduated in geography, but built his experience in photography after developing a passion for it. He worked with a number of local agencies in South West England and later moved to London. He has worked for Reuters and currently holds the position of Senior Director of Photography, Editorial at Getty Images

He wanted to create images which documented conflict to change the world.


He talked about photographers of today and how the industry has changed. A few observations he had on todays photographer included:

  • Less emphasis on formal training
  • Fewer staff jobs
  • Less turnover for photographers
  • Reduced budgets
  • More competition
  • Freelancers dominate market

Pinney explained that photographers need to live and breathe photography. Those who want to be photographers, should freelance. Both a strong portfolio and personality will create awareness of the work you do. He had a few points including:

  1. If you are a business, get established and then understand the customer
  2. Treat every assignment as if it were the most important, never underestimate a job
  3. I need you to shoot xxxxx for me, can you do it? Say yes!
  4. Keep your problems to yourself
  5. Bring stories/ideas to the table. Be proactive
  6. Nobody is interested in excuses. Be honest if it goes wrong
  7. First impressions count. Vital to get right. Keep something smart in the car
  8. Make sure you have the right kit. Understand your kit, have confidence in the kit you have

I think the points highlighted by Pinney cross various industries, however, it was interesting how these were applied into a photography context.

Have a long term goal, vision, become a brand!

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