Photo Editor Job Description Template

A photo editor works in his studio.

Every image tells a story. Though photo editors are not typically holding the camera and taking the picture, they need an exceptionally good eye to select the image that will best tell the story your organization is trying to convey to your target audience. So, how do you find these image experts? A carefully worded photo editor job description can help you entice a seasoned photographer or designer with the leadership skills and management experience to inspire creative professionals to achieve the results you need.

Demand for this simultaneously creative and technical role is expected to grow 9% in the next decade, higher than the average growth rate for other professions. That means there’s likely to be plenty of competition for top performers. To secure the photo editor who can deliver what you’re looking for, consider using the template job description below. For even more ideas on what to include in your job description, you can browse through the current jobs posts for photo editors.

A photo editor works in his studio.

Photo Editor Job Description

Intro Paragraph: Your job description should start with a concise paragraph describing the opportunity your organization is offering. Writing this position summary will help you focus on the most critical qualifications you are looking for in an ideal candidate. For example, you might phrase this section of your photo editor job description as: Seeking a design professional with photographic know-how to lead a team of top-performing staff and freelance photographers. The right candidate will have a strong visual sense, an eye for detail, and a vision that aligns with our brand image and organizational mission.

About Our Organization: In this section of your description, focus on the qualities of your organization that make it a welcoming, exciting, and rewarding place to work. Will your new hire be selecting technically masterful images for a beautifully designed publication, enticing pictures aimed at stirring consumer interest in a brand, or instructive materials aimed at increasing reader knowledge? Do you run a small business that fosters professional autonomy for creative workers or a part of a large institution with ample room for advancement?

Whatever makes your workplace stand out needs to be mentioned early on in your job post, because the more clearly and accurately you can describe your company culture, the more likely you are to attract good-fit candidates.

Photo Editor Responsibilities: The following list of job functions may vary significantly depending on the size of your publication or photo staff and the types of mediums and platforms your photo editor will use.

  • Selects, curates, and edits images to provide readers, users, and potential customers with a rich visual experience aligned with the editorial mission and brand image.
  • Conducts online image searches, licenses images, and ensures that proper attribution and use guidelines are adhered to for all selected photos.
  • Creates content in collaboration with writers, editors, designers, and the technical team.
  • Nurtures rewarding collaborative relationships with clients, team members, designers, and service providers.
  • Negotiates fees and monitors the quality of services provided by printers, freelancers, and other vendors.
  • Hires and supervises staff and freelance photographers, models, prop masters, hair and makeup artists, set dressers and designers, and lighting professionals.
  • Builds, archives, and organizes the image library using an image management system.
  • Scouts locations, procures props and other materials, and manages photo shoots.
  • Works with developers, designers, and information architects to optimize image impact, grow and serve target audience, optimize search results and audience penetration, and achieve the organizational mission.
  • Manages photo staff and studio operations.
  • Creates and maintains image guidelines for the organization.
  • Reviews photo assignment requests from other departments and determines resource allocations to meet photographic needs.
  • Keeps current with the latest advances in digital photo editing and design enhancement tools and fair use and copyright standards.

Work Hours & Benefits: Here, you’ll want to include the required hours, as well as the salary range, perks, and benefits that come with the job. If you’re uncertain how much money to offer your next photo editor, use a salary calculator to determine the high, low, and median range according to job title and location. Keep in mind that this job can likely be filled remotely, which means that you may be able to expand your talent pool and save money on wages by offering a remote option.

One of the best ways to use this section of your photo editor job description is to use it as a way to highlight your most popular benefits, particularly perks that are most likely to appeal to photographers, such as state-of-the-art equipment, a highly qualified design team, the opportunity to undertake photo assignments, direct photo shoots, and travel, and ample opportunities to update and improve their craft.

Photo Editor Skills and Qualifications: Keep in mind that candidates from historically underrepresented groups are less likely to apply for a position if they don’t think they have every single listed qualification, so be careful about drafting too long a wish list of desired “must have” qualities or risk undermining your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. Instead, consider dividing the skills and qualifications you’re seeking into two lists, one labeled as “highly desirable” and another, shorter list marked as “essential.” For example:

  • Digital research skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Team leadership and management
  • An understanding of social media and search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Creativity, vision, imagination, and visual discernment
  • Attention to detail
  • Project management and organizational skills
  • Technical problem-solving skills
  • An understanding of visual design principles
  • Web design, UI, or UX experience
  • Publication design background
  • Video editing experience
  • Familiarity with content management systems, such as WordPress, Drupal, or Squarespace
  • Prior experience developing and overseeing budgets and creative resources
  • Ability to prioritize among multiple simultaneous deadlines
  • Critical reading and thinking skills
  • Flexibility, an open mind, and the ability to pivot and come up with alternative approaches

Education, Experience, and Licensing Requirements:

  • BFA or MFA in visual art, design, or photography or BA in communications or related field
  • Previous experience as a staff photographer, photo editor, publication designer, or creative director
  • Previous management or supervisory experience a plus
  • Experience using such digital tools as Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop and Lightroom, InDesign, or Bridge

Call to Action: End your photo editor job description with a call to action that encourages qualified candidates to apply by sending a resume, sample work, or a digital portfolio.

Shed Some Light on Your Newly Drafted Photo Editor Job Description and Get the Word Out

Now that you have a clearer picture of what to include in your job description for a photo editor, it’s time to post your job opening and start recruiting candidates. Select a recruitment plan that fits your needs and extends your reach to find the creative professional you need.