Could you be The F-Word’s first picture researcher/editor?

// 6 April 2010

We are in the middle of redesigning The F-Word (more exciting info on this very soon!). Images and photos are going to become a lot more important for The F-Word ‘magazine’ section – our features and reviews. At the moment, many of our features are not illustrated at all, purely because of a lack of hours in the day!

And so we are looking for a picture researcher/editor to take on this job in a more concerted way than I can. Everyone at The F-Word volunteers, and the picture editor/researcher will be expected to share their skills and time for free too.

Because The F-Word cannot pay for images/photos, the role will involve:

  • working with me and the contributors to creatively illustrate the features and reviews that we publish (approaching this from an intersectional feminist perspective, recognising the potent role that images and photography can play in reinforcing – and also disrupting – ablism, heterosexism, sexism, racism and other oppressions)
  • finding images which are under Creative Commons copyright, or are otherwise in the public domain
  • approaching copyright owners to see if they will let us use their images for free
  • commissioning original illustrations from artists and designers

The main work for the pictures researcher/editor will be to source images for one to three features a week, with a lead time of around four weeks in most cases. I estimate the role should not take more than two or three hours a week, although additional time may be needed at first as you settle in and as we move over to our new site design.

To apply, please email me at jess.mccabe@thefword.org.uk, with the subject line “picture editor” and a brief message about why you’d like to take on this role and a little bit of information about yourself. Also, please select a feature on the site and briefly suggest some ideas for illustrations. This is a volunteer role, you don’t need loads of experience, just lots of enthusiasm :-) Application deadline is 1 May.

Comments From You

FertileFem // Posted 7 April 2010 at 8:43 pm

Congrats on the redesign! I look forward to seeing it.

One (small) thing I’d like to put my hand up and suggest: when selecting a photo to accompany a post or feature about pregnancy or birth, try to avoid pictures in which only a woman’s bump is visible or where her head is cut off, as was done for my recent guest post. It can have the effect of dehumanising mothers and have a bit of a creepy ‘You are a vessel!’ feel about it. There are more ways to convey pregnancy than through shots of faceless women holding their bumps. I know I’m not the only one who has expressed this concern before so just thought I’d mention it.

Keep up the great work, The-F Word team!

Laura // Posted 7 April 2010 at 8:57 pm

@ FertileFem – I did actually think about that! But I was also worried about the ethics of using a woman I don’t know to illustrate a post without her knowledge (i.e. showing her face), and it was extremely hard to find an image of a woman that wasn’t white, so I decided to go with that image in the end – I thought that focusing on the ‘bump’ would be okay in this context in order to focus on the ‘fertile’ idea. But perhaps it wasn’t the best choice.

FertileFem // Posted 7 April 2010 at 9:25 pm

@Laura – I totally get that concern; I’ve used bump pictures on my site when nothing else seems to do! It’s hard to find photos that denote pregnancy that don’t fall into that cliché. Maybe that’s something your new photo editor could have a think about though? I’d love to see some new ideas on how to portray pregnancy and birth more respectfully and in a more varied way.

There’s a website called Offbeat Mama that centres around non-traditional families and I know they have a Flickr site where readers contribute pictures — maybe that’s something that they have a Creative Commons license on? Might be worth checking out because there’s a lot of great ‘offbeat’ mothers there, not the same ol’ ‘faceless white woman with hands laid gently on bump.’

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