Magazine Industry Pros Dish on Marketing

This article first appeared on ASMP

Ever wonder how photo directors & photo editors are using social media these days to find talent? Do you want to hear about their preferences on receiving marketing materials? Curious if magazines have separate staff handling their social media? I was able to get the inside scoop from Playboy’s Photo Director & Multimedia Producer, Rebecca Horn Black and ESPN’s Photo Editor, Nick Galac.

Rebecca Black PHoto Director Playboy

Playboy Photo Director & Multimedia Producer, Rebecca Horn Black

AM: Do you have a preference on receiving email promos or print promos and do you have any “Do’s” & “Don’ts”? 

Rebecca Horn Black: First preference would be email. I look and see if their work appears relevant before bothering to open. If you do send a print promo, it’s very important to have your contact info on the promo. Front is best! I don’t have time to search for someone I may never book.

Nick Galac: E-promos and print promos are both great to receive. The avenues for being exposed to new talent or a refresher on someone’s work you know or have worked with are always great.  I enjoy receiving photographer newsletter promos the most, especially the ones that outline 3-5 recent projects they’ve shot and include a little brief/insight about the assignment, a few images of each and maybe a BTS photo. At the end of the newsletter they also mention some personal work they’ve been working on recently and some images of the personal work.

AM: Are there separate teams for social media that actually assign shoots for both still and motion for the magazine?

RHB: There are numerous departments including a social media team and separate digital team who commission original work. I always try to incorporate all mediums (video & BTS stills) to my shoots so most of what I produce lands online and across the brand. Sometimes even in other countries!

NG: There is an ESPN social team that handles the still and motion used on the ESPN Instagram feeds, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. The images and content generated for the print magazine are channeled through the social team onto the various platforms.

AM: Do you use social media such as Facebook or Instagram to find new talent photographers as well as follow photographers?

RHB: I use Instagram, a lot!

NG: I’d say 90% of the people I follow on Instagram are photographers, and some photographers I’ve started following just from getting a promo. It’s a great way to stay current with their work.

Nick Galac ESPN PHOTO Editor

ESPN Photo Editor, Nick Galac

AM: Have you ever hired someone based on their Instagram posts?

RHB: Yes! I constantly look through Instagram for leads to new talent and to keep up with photographers whose work I’m well versed in. It’s a great tool.

NG: I can’t say its been based on their Instagram posts alone, but I’ve discovered new photographers through Instagram.

AM: What social media do you typically use for your job?

RHB: In addition to Instagram, I use Pinterest to get a vibe for someone’s style. It really depends on the assignment and what I’m trying to illustrate.

NG: Sometimes we will order an outtake or alternate photo (that won’t necessarily work for the story) for use solely on Instagram, or take behind-the-scenes photos at shoots for use on social platforms.

Have you used social media in an assignment recently and if so how? Was it a combo of shooting for print and Instagram or other social media within your company?

RHB: We had models shoot ‘selfies’ while we were shooting them, so that we could promote the magazine issue when the shoot comes out.

NG:  It depends on the story and if it’s a sporting event, and if it’s an online or print story.

Much Gratitude goes out to both Rebecca Horn Black, Photo Director for Playboy and Nick Galac, Photo Editor for ESPN The Magazine for sharing their insider tips! If you want to follow Nick Galac on Instagram, his handle is @galac_. Check out Rebecca Horn Black’s Twitter at @RebeccaHBlack.

Andrea Maurio is a Creative Consultant/Photo Editor with Agency Access, visit her website at

Andrea Maurio

Andrea Maurio, prior to joining forces with Agency Access as a creative consultant/photo editor, has spent the past 15+ years honing her skills as a both a photo editor/photo shoot producer. Andrea has worked for some of the top ranking national magazines, including Runner's World, Shape, M & F Hers, Maxim, Stuff, Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine. She earned her BA from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and currently lives on the NJ Shore with her chocolate Labrador named Nalu!

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