From the Editor – November 2016

Debra Hershkowitz

Greetings. I’d like to introduce myself. I’ve been the copy editor of The Picture Professional for several years and have now accepted the challenge of becoming the digital version’s Editor in Chief. I hope not to disappoint.

I was a long-time photo researcher/editor, having stumbled into the stock photo world by chance. At first, I researched at a natural history–based photo agency, and after seven years shifted from selling to buying. I freelanced—researching and licensing images for all major publishers—for 20+ years at an award-winning, K12 book packager (possibly the first one ever). I also freelanced independently on college textbooks. Finally, I enjoyed one glorious year—as well as annual short-term, freelance stints—as Graphics Researcher at the American Museum of Natural History: for this NYC born-and-bred kid who visited AMNH regularly, it was a dream come true. With the banking and housing debacle came lay-offs, and, being “last in,” I was “first out,” and on the road again.

I’ve always been a street shooter at heart, but I now earn my keep with words as well as with photos.

With this first digital edition of The Picture Professional, we celebrate ASPP’s 51st year as a photo organization. We’ll be adding some new features, including: video interviews with key ASPP leaders around the country; a Letters to the Editor section; a newsfeed; more business and technology news; and on occasion a “this month in history” image or two.

Our first Portfolio highlights the incredible work of stock veteran and world traveler Michael Yamashita. With the presidential election coming up, our second Portfolio takes a brief look at historic election coverage over the years and across continents. Our Feature reviews the PHOTOVILLE phenomenon.

Please let us know your thoughts, inspirations, and suggestions for future stories. Tell us what you’d like to see more of, less of, and what excites your eyes and hearts.

Debra P. Hershkowitz
Editor in Chief
The Picture Professional
editor@aspp.com


Debra P. Hershkowitz wears several hats: photo researcher, photo editor, photographer; copy editor, editor, writer; karateka and karate instructor.

Having wandered into a stock photo library by chance encounter in the ’70s, she discovered a job, a career, and an industry that she eagerly embraced. She researched every conceivable subject, while photographing mainly for herself and to fulfill the “suggestions” list for the agency. As a stock shooter, her photos have appeared in textbooks, calendars, greeting cards, on street banners, and on TV.

After 35+ years, Debra turned more toward words, becoming the copy editor of ASPP’s The Picture Professional, as well as copy editor for the APA National’s (American Photographic Association) Awards booklets.

Photo: © James Porto

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