Five Questions for Ronnie Weil, Photo Editor

Five Questions for Ronnie Weil, Photo Editor

Edited by 
Joseph Caserto

Ever looked at a magazine's masthead and wondered just what do all those job titles actually mean? What does a photo producer actually do? Does a deputy art director get a shiny badge? And why are some people creative directors and others design directors? 
Our blog series "Five Questions for..."  is here to help answer those questions and give you insight into working in the world of publication design. Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email  us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work.Read on to find out what being a Photo Editor is like for Ronnie Weil.

The Pro's Work




About the Pro
Ronnie Weil
Photo Editor, Features
Went to: Queens College
Degree Earned: BA, Fine Arts
Twitter: @ronnieweil 

1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?
I am a photo editor, a visual journalist. I assign, edit and research photography to accompany stories being published, often on tight deadlines. The goal is to keep a high level aesthetic while meeting the needs of editorial content. I work with photographers, writers, art directors, editors, PR people, models, stylists, celebrity agents, lawyers, and stock agencies to ensure the highest quality photography for publication.

2. What about your job makes you love it?
I love what I do because it's a constantly changing landscape. Each day offers a new challenge to me as a creative person. Whether it's collaborating with photographers on a specific project, finding the perfect photo after researching thousands of images, or brainstorming with art directors and editors on big concept pieces, it's all part of the process to achieve the strongest visual impact.

3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?
One pivotal moment in my career came when I was a researcher at BusinessWeek magazine, but wanted to move into a photo editing position, and Karen Mullarkey, who was then Photo Director at Newsweek, offered me a job as photo editor. I accepted. BusinessWeek countered with the photo editor position in charge of the International section and I opted to stay. But the vote of confidence from Karen was my big break.
4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?
I left BusinessWeek as Photo Director in 2010, and later accepted a position at Travelzoo as Global Photo Director. The salary was much higher than the editorial rates I had become accustomed to, but the creativity and teamwork I loved was almost non-existent. I learned a lot from that experience, and am now happily ensconced back in the world of journalism.

5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?
Stay in touch with the photographic community. Go to galleries and book signings, meet photographers and continue to nurture talent, check out the competition, look at magazines and websites, and volunteer for portfolio reviews. Our visual world is constantly moving forward: Keep pace with it.

Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email us at and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. 

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