With all the talk about the power of the Internet over print, it was great to hear W Photo Editor Nadia Vellam tell SPI students: “There’s something about holding photographs that changes the physicality of art. Print is essential to the quality of the photograph.”
Vellam clearly loves her job, from caressing photos to making them happen. When Brad Pitt wanted out-of-production film for an intimate shoot of Angelina Jolie, Vellam knew just where to turn: Ebay. She found a man in Israel who had a stash of the expiring emulsion coated rolls. With a few friendly phone calls, she was able to convince a contact in Israel to take off of work – with handsome compensation, of course – get on a plane and fly to France, where Pitt took loving snaps of Angie and the kids at home. You can check out the final project online here.
Whether it’s wrangling celeb photos or finding a hot air balloon for a shoot (Vellam did that not long ago), a photo editor’s job is all about persistence, organization and never taking “no” for an answer. “If you can produce something,” Vellam said, “you can do anything in the entire world.” Her staff goes to extensive lengths to recruit the best photographer for the job, and they don’t shy away from strange angles either. Photographer Dean Kaufman shot art curator Klaus Biesenbach’s entire New York City apartment from the ceiling, accentuating the minimalism of the space from a bird’s view. Of course, W also has a website WMagazine….just in case you’re not by now totally enamored of print!
by Phil Schillaci Kropoth