SNAPSHOTS: Photo Gigs
PDNedu: When did you join The FADER, and
what falls under your role as the DOP? How big
is the photo team?
Emily Keegin: I joined The FADER in summer
2015. My first issue was FADER 100, with a
double cover of Drake and Rihanna.
The photo team is just me. Hi! (Shout out
to Frank Seidlitz and Yael Malka, who took the
wheel while I was on maternity leave this summer and fall.)
PDNedu: How would you describe the photog-
raphy the magazine publishes? How has it
EK: In a nutshell, FADER photography is “
intimate portraits of famous people.” We mix documentary photography with standard portraiture to give our readers a glimpse into artists’
lives and creative processes. My aesthetic is
slightly different than my predecessors—I
have a heavier editorial hand—but I am carrying on a long tradition of portrait-driven
PDNedu: What are your top three favorite shoots
that you’ve directed at The FADER?
EK: Rihanna, photographed by Renata Raksha;
Christine & The Queens, photographed by Alice
Rosati; Zayn Malik, photographed by Francesco
PDNedu: Has social media impacted the way
you direct a shoot? Do you plan for content for
Snapchat or Instagram, for instance, in addition
EK: I don’t think about “content” for other
platforms because I think it muddies direction and concentration. I let shoots unfold
and then work with the resulting art across all
platforms. Great photos do well on any medium. The real difference is that now we have
more outlets to show photography—which is
PDNedu: How do you keep a pulse on new pho-
tographers? What do you look for in their work
EK: Instagram. Blogs. Word of mouth. Constant web scrolling (scrolling, scrolllllllling
forever). I’m looking for creative thinkers who
have a unique voice and who find art and quirk
in the banality of everyday life.
PDNedu: Is all of the work in the magazine pro-
duced by The FADER, or do you publish existing
work from photographers? What about online?
EK: All magazine photography and 98 percent
of the web is produced by The FADER. I am,
however, beginning to pick up existing photo
essays for the web, so…pitch me!
PDNedu: If you’ve hired someone who doesn’t
have a ton of professional experience, what are
some things you do expect from him or her?
EK: I hire people who don’t have a ton of ex-
PDNedu: What’s got you excited in music pho-
perience all of the time. My expectations are
the same for young photographers as they are
for seasoned vets. Pre-shoot: Communicate
clearly and respond promptly to emails. Be
open and responsive to creative direction. On-
set: Be present and prepared and don’t lose
your artistic voice—I hired you to be you. Post-
shoot: Deliver high-quality files (at the correct
dimensions) on time. Overall: Don’t be a jerk.
tography? Is there anything you want to cover
more of, or a new type of media you want to
work with more?
EK: In my graduate work I focused on music’s
historic and emotional heft and asked the
question, “How do you make music visible?”
The answer I came to was that you can’t—at
least not easily. Music gets in deep. It shakes
you and evokes feelings that photography
on it’s own is far too clumsy a tool to render.
There is nothing less musical than a still photograph of a dude playing the guitar. At The
FADER, despite being a “music magazine,” I try
to show everything but the music.
I want to work with old media, paper, scissors, film, tape, paint, glue, glitter, crayon.
Art is born out of mess and mistakes. SMASH
YOUR COMPUTER! [Ed. note: PDNedu is not responsible for computer damages.] EDU
Interview by JACQUI PALUMBO
Q&A with the photo director of The FADER, the music-lifestyle
mag that sets the curve for photography and design.
THIS PAGE: Emily Keegin (above left); Singer
Zayn Malik on the cover of The FADER Dec
2015/Jan 2016 issue (below).