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 this story, we get familiar with Lenny Hanson, Conservator at the Getty Images Hulton Archive in London. Lenny is one of the UK’s few specialists in photographic conservation.
What does your job involve?
An Art Conservator is responsible for preserving and looking after works of art, either a single item or large collections. Students have the option to specialize in paper, metals, or textiles. I specialize in photographic materials, and am responsible for the care and general housekeeping of the many millions of analogue photographs held at Getty Images’ Hulton Archive, based in London.
What is the primary aim of your work?
The essence of my job is to examine, monitor, report, propose, and treat any work that I think will benefit from conservation for the longevity of the object.
I have to balance the object’s level of deterioration against its aesthetic and historical value, all of which will determine the final conservation treatment. Sometimes this may just involve sleeving a collection of valuable photographs which will help support the prints when being viewed and protect them against fingerprint stains from careless handling. Even this simple intervention is highly effective in preserving our visual heritage.
I try to do a good job and not think about the value; perhaps it’s not a good idea to visit Christies too often!
What excites you about photography?
The fact that people are interested in others to want to photograph them, fortunately photographs do not die they outlive us. We eventually pass the baton on to the next generation.
How did you get where you are today?
I studied at Camberwell College of Arts, London, on their Paper Conservation Degree program, and also did a student internship at the British Museum (Prints and Drawings Department).
What are you passionate about outside of your work life?
Finding the time to play and listen to my record collection. I can still remember the excitement of buying my first record as a 8 year old.
How do you like to spend Sundays?
In bed with full waiter service, no not really I spend most Sundays travelling the country supporting my son’s football ambitions at Millwall football club.
What’s the best thing about the city you live in?
If you have a passion for something, you can connect with similar minded people in the diverse capital of London.
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