From photojournalism to fashion photography edited by Kathy Ryan

For more then 30 years, The New York Times Magazine has played a determining role in photography in the media, via commisions and as well as publications of work of all types, from photojournalism to fashion photography.

Maya Arulpragasam
Maya Arulpragasam by Ryan McGinley


With the book Photographs of the New York Times Magazine, Kathy Ryan, director of photography for the NYT Magazine, presents the behind the scenes of her work as well as those who accompany her.

Kathy Ryan, captured by Damon Winter


Her analyses are of a crucial importance : she decides on images that influence the masses and the preception of an event, must channel her emotion, she plays an role in the evolution of photographic trends.



Assigning a shoot is in many ways, the most important aspect of what photo editors do. Pairing the right photographer with the story is what yields the surprise and delight when the pictures come in.
Kathy Ryan, the Director of Photography at The New York Times Magazine, is famous for cross-assigning—hiring a war photographer to shoot celebrities, or commissioning a large-format landscape photographer to capture news close up. In 2008, Ryan asked photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin to create the Times Magazine’s annual Great Performances portfolio, which offered an intimate look at celebrities who are often highly controlled by publicists. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Kathy’s news instincts led her to look into a larger, more global view of refugee camps. She sent Simon Norfolk, a large format, landscape photographer, to record displaced people in three different countries with his 8×10 camera. Any number of photojournalists could have executed that assignment, but Simon’s unique eye found incredible detail in each of those scenes, and distinguished the work from other news pictures.

There’s always a risk in cross-assigning that way, and Kathy’s success in getting provocative but thoughtful pictures is a testament to her remarkable vision. But she’s still a journalist at heart, and aims to portray the world in a surprising way for the viewer. Which is why her more straight-forward, documentary-style commissions are equally as remarkable.

Kathy’s editing style is impeccable. Her nuanced eye leads her to always find the heartbeat in each frame, pulling out incredible compositions and revealing dramatic tension in the image.

Skyline: Check Out the View, Note the New Proportions by Rodney Smith

Charlize Theron by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

James King, backstage at Karl Lagerfeld by Nan Goldin


Read the full article by Kira Pollack here
From photojournalism to fashion photography edited by Kathy Ryan From photojournalism to fashion photography edited by Kathy Ryan Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 4:14:00 AM Rating: 5

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