It's not just our photographers that are helping to capture the world through photography, there are thousands of people working hard behind the scenes across the world to bring these images to you.

In this 'Who We Are' series, we look at the many job roles at a photography agency from picture editors, to sales and marketing to art directors.

In our second installment, we get familiar with Managing Editor at Reportage by Getty Images, Lauren Steel who is based at our New York office.

What does your job involve?
I oversee the North American photo editors for Reportage by Getty Images as well the photographers they look after – all of the editors for Reportage are assigned to photographers and own those relationships.

I also work with Brent Stirton, Shaul Schwarz, Antonio Bolfo, Marco Di Lauro, Katie Orlinsky, Robert Nickelsberg, Sara Naomi Lewkowicz and manage their careers including help with assignments, personal projects and marketing.

My average day is answering a lot of emails and hopefully looking at new work. I am collaborating with the assignment sales representatives to help them properly pitch appropriate photographers to their clients, which entails putting together custom portfolios and pitches.

Now that we are a well-oiled machine, I am currently working on larger projects with colleagues and clients and staying ahead of the curve with the ever-changing industry. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
This winter? My Alarm Clock!

How did you get where you are today?
I went to Boston University and received my degree in photojournalism at a time when digital photography was very slowly being introduced into the professional world.  I was fully trained on film and had a choice to either go back to school and learn the ins and outs of digital or find a new avenue with my skills and passion. 

I had an informational interview with a family friend at LIFE magazine and two days later got a call asking if I would like to be their art and photo internship.  I couldn’t have imagined a better opportunity than working there!  It opened so many doors for me and introduced me to the most incredible photographers, journalists and editors.

Five years later, a friend got in touch letting me know of an opening at Getty Images as an assignment edit for the entertainment wire.  I worked in entertainment for two years helping build the relationship with IMG for our full-on fashion week coverage. I later moved into the Photo Assignment division.  We created Reportage by Getty Images in 2007 to highlight the work of the incredible photojournalists that we represent around the world.  10 and a half years later I’m happy that I am still here and working with incredibly talented people.

Lauren Steel with her biggest fan, Justin Timberlake. (Editor's Note: This may actually be a cardboard cut-out...)

Is there a quote that you live by?
Not so much of a quote but more of a Mantra of taking control of my destiny.

Who is your favourite photographer/favourite photograph?
This is constantly changing as I am lucky to be exposed to so many talented photographers.  Right now I’m loving the work of Vivien Maier and her story.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Aside from seeing our talented photographers work published worldwide and the awards they are constantly winning, there was one assignment that I will truly never forget. In June 2006, I was on a secret mission to produce the highly anticipated first photographs of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt with photographer Brent Stirton. Though it was a lot of logistics and secret meetings, we produced and sold the set of photographs worldwide to approved publications generating the most money from an editorial shoot ever. The proceeds were then donated back to the Jolie-Pitt foundation.  I continued to build a relationship with them and we did numerous other projects, including photographer Marco Di Lauro following Angelina Jolie to Afghanistan to visit a refugee camp with UNHCR

What excites you about photography?
Passionate photographers.  I learn so much from each of them and then get the incredible bonus of getting a visual history lesson through their photographs.  I love also working with young and emerging photographers and mentoring them through the process of their careers.

What are you passionate about outside of your work life?
My family and the incredible friends that I have met along all my life’s journeys

Join the conversation. Leave a comment below of Tweet with #gettyinfocus

comments powered by Disqus