5 Minutes With... / Terri Coates / Picture Editor

This month we spent 5 minutes catching up with Terri Coates, here's what she had to say... IMG_5898 © Terri Coates/Pashley

- Could you tell us a bit about yourself Terri? I’m a picture editor & photographer. I studied creative advertising at Lincoln University and I’m originally from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Photography has been a passion of mine since I can remember, so I moved to London after finishing university, to pursue my career. I got a job at WENN, a news and celebrity picture agency. I always dreamt of art directing photo shoots since I was a little girl due to my slight obsession with the TV show ‘America’s Next Top Model' so when the position of Picture Assistant came up at IPC Media (now known as Time Inc. UK), I jumped at the chance. I have now been Picture Editor here in the Creative team for 4 Years.

- For people not in the industry, could you explain what being a Picture Editor entails? A picture editor at a magazine manages a team of picture researchers. They search for and clear all rights on any images that will be used for the publication. My job differs slightly from an editorial picture editor as I work in the Creative Advertorial team, which works with both, editorial teams across varied magazines and our advertising clients. Advertorials are editorial content that is paid for by an advertising client. Our team researches and shoots all the images, which are to be used across all 24 Women and Lifestyle magazine titles at Time Inc. UK.  My day-to-day work is extremely varied due to working on various campaigns and for various advertising clients. I could be in the office researching images, casting models and researching locations one day or attending client meetings and art directing a photo shoot the next.

- What are the best and worst things about your job? I love my job! My favourite part is art directing the photo shoots. We work with such varied clientele, which means some days I could be on a fashion shoot and another times photographing celebrities or magazine readers, bloggers etc. on a location shoot. I would say the most challenging part of my job is to keep both sides happy, the editorial teams as well as the clients. Sometimes they might have a slightly different vision of what they would like from the advertorial, so great communication skills is a must.

IMG_4573 © Terri Coates/Pashley

- Who would be your dream photographer to collaborate with on a shoot? I love fashion shoots so my dream photographers to work with would be David LaChapelle or Ellen Von Unwerth. Along with the fashion element, I’m obsessed with celebrities. I love the way both of these photographers manage to capture celebrities in a totally different way, pushing the boundaries with their celeb subjects. This is something I always try and bring to my shoots.

- What’s the most unusual shoot you’ve worked on? I have had a few but one of the most unusual ones actually happened recently. We are currently working on campaign with the Army, which will feature in four different women’s titles, to inspire professional women in considering to join the Army. We went to visit their Royal Artillery base in Larkhill, Wiltshire for a day and met some amazing female soldiers amongst others, we got to see and try out various gunning equipment and see what it’s like for those who join various Army regiments.

- You’re also a photographer yourself - we’re often asked if it’s possible to juggle another career whilst still shooting, do you have any advice on this? I have always loved photography and always have a camera in my hand so working with some great photographers on our shoots has given me more knowledge and confidence. It gave me courage to pursue my own photography career, working on my own projects. I actually believe they both compliment each other perfectly, art directing helps me refine my photographical skills and always look for the details in the shots and my photography helps me understand the photographers I work with when art directing. It really helps that I’m able to talk to them about technical side of taking good shots, what I would like to change in an image and how it can be improved.

Who are your favourite photographers/ illustrators? We work with such a broad range of photographers here at Time Inc. because we cover so many different subjects areas, so it’s impossible to pick a favourite one! In terms of illustrators, a fellow picture editor & dear friend of mine, Sarah Smart does beautiful fashion illustrations.

IMG_7469 © Terri Coates/Pashley

- Any pearls of wisdom to any aspiring Picture Editors? Just love what you do! It sounds obvious but if you don’t LOVE photography it’s probably not the right role for you. It’s quite a competitive industry so your passion for the role is the most important thing. Also having attention for detail and what looks best in a page layout.

- What can you never leave the house without? It may be obvious but it’s my camera. I’m known amongst my family and friends for always having a camera on me. I document anything and everything. I think it's so special to have a record of all the small things and the big things in life.

- If you were invisible for the day, what would you do? I love celebrity gossip so I’d probably hang out with some celebrities and find out the truth behind the headlines. Find out what really went on between Solange, Jay Z and Beyonce and just what it’s really like to be Kim Kardashian.

If you would like to find out more about life as a Picture Editor & Photographer follow Terri on Instagram at @terribelle, on Twitter @terripashley or on her website www.terripashleyphotography.co.uk

IMG_4021 © Terri Coates/Pashley