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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Women Changing India – Exhibition

Women Changing India is an exhibition currently running at the Saatchi gallery in Sloan Square, London. It was a fantastic exhibition which was curated to highlight the impact that women are having in today’s India.

Everyone has potential to excel and just need the right opportunity, and opportunities are slowly opening up for the women of India. In the past there has been a perception that women should stay at home and cook and clean – that’s it.  However, there is nothing to say that females cannot can do the same, if not outperform its male counterparts in society. I’m not talking about a male/female divide.

Certainly in the West we have seen women taking pivotal roles in society.

There was an interesting paragraph which I would like to highlight about the importance which is placed on women in the Hindu faith.

..By Tarun J. Tejpal.

“In India we always knew better. Well we spotted her as the Devi, as Shakti, the divine female principle. Not merely the equal of the male, but without whom the male principle is cosmically sterile. She was Durga, saviour of the gods when the demons were laying them waste. She was Saraswati, in whom vested all language, learning, art, culture and music. She was Lakshmi, the wealth that men never cease to crave. She was Kali, destruction: Parvati, creation: Sita devotion; and Radha, timeless in love. In the greatest epic of the world she was also Draupadi, the pivot of five great heroes, singly their equal in courage, vision and armour.”

“We remembered the clay goddesses; we forgot to connect them to the living ones”.

The importance of  women in the Hindu faith has been there from the start and recognised during the annual festival of Navaratri, where each of the main female deities are worshiped over nine days.

From the exhibition we are given an understanding into how women are beginning to impact in various fields within modern India. India’s bustling film industry, or the empowerment of women though microfinance, which provides opportunity to save for the future or start a small enterprise, to roles which see women in uniformed positions. Security guards, barristers or store workers, for example. It’s simple really, women are key to the future and growth and success of modern India.

I would highly recommend a visit the exhibition. Some great lessons to be learnt and some great photographs on display showing the changing and diverse role women play in modern Indian society.

Below: a few pictures from the exhibition.