Too Cool for School

Students at SI editorial meeting

Okay, all the workshops and speakers were great, but getting out of the classroom and inside some of America’s top publishing companies was one of the highlights of the week for SPI students.In groups of 20 or so, they visited the offices of Good Housekeeping, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure and Self.

I was lucky enough to go to SI, where students were invited to sit  in on two staff editorial meetings and briefly experience a typical day at the publication.  The hot topic was what would be on this week’s cover. (Sorry, we were all sworn to secrecy!)

By the time we arrived, SI’s reporters and photographers were already out on assignment at the NBA and NHL finals and ready to get down to business.  Back at the office, the staff double-checked that both arenas were completely wired – cameras had been placed on top of the backboard in the Staples Center and inside the nets at the hockey game.

Senior Editor Richard Demak guided the tour through the magazine’s three floors.  Most of the walls were covered with pictures of amazing sports moments like soccer player Mia Hamm’s famous jersey-less goal celebration and Mohammad Ali triumphantly standing over one of his many punch-drunk opponents.

One of the highlights of the tour was a stop at the photo department, where the editors showed off their imaging prowess, explaining the process of creating top-notch pictures and illustrations. Ever wonder, for example, how they fit professional hockey player Sidney Crosby inside an ice cube for the cover of SI Kids? All is took was a little ingenuity…and Photoshop. What’s a photo editor to do if he loves an image, but the subject’s eyes are closed? Carefully insert any open pair from another frame.   In the blink of an eye, problem solved.

by Phil Schillaci Kropoth


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