After having worked at many magazines in New York City, where I currently am the photography director at Ladies’ Home Journal, I have read and continue to read a lot of manuscripts, some of which are at times serious, moving and often extremely sensitive. People who have suffered huge setbacks in life but have somehow overcome whatever happened to them willingly share their stories and lives with a magazine in words.
In all these situations I look for a photographer who not only can take an amazing picture to help illustrate those words but also someone who can get that great picture in a small window of time or in a situation or environment that might be technically difficult or nettlesome. Of course, one of the main assets in these kinds of photo shoots is someone who as a photographer can make people feel at ease and open up and trust the photographer. David Burnett is one of those photographers. As one of the founding members of Contact Press, and as a photojournalist who has traveled the world many times over, David takes amazing pictures.
I have worked with him at LHJ on stories ranging from a tour with President Obama, political asylum seekers, adoptions and a photo-essay on poverty in Appalachia. Every time he travels on these shoots for me, the subjects fall in love with him and realize what a genuinely good soul he is. And of course I get to run an amazing picture that I can be proud of.