Fiona Shields, Picture Editor
Introducing the Selectors for the MA/MFA Phase of Graduate Photography Online 2015: we talk to Fiona Shields, Picture Editor at The Guardian.
What is your core role in the job that you do?
My core role is to illustrate stories and engage readers on a daily basis by selecting or commissioning pictures in all areas of the news.
How do you decide on what makes an interesting photograph or photographic project?
Topicality/newsworthiness is a priority but something unique or original can be equally appealing. A key ingredient in all cases is integrity. Our readers and viewers expect the journalism we produce on The Guardian to be truthful and genuine.
As regards the artist's statement, what is important for you to know about the work?
On a very basic level it's hugely important for the photographer to supply a note of what, when and where as it can be difficult to decipher an image without context. Often we may publish a photographer's personal experience of making their work, giving an insight into the challenges of or inspirations behind a project can really add value to the piece.
What advice would you have for someone interested in working in your area of photography?
Be truthful. Be careful not to overwork an image in photoshop as it can cast doubt over its authenticity. Look around for original ways to approach a subject - be creative but not obscure as you risk disengaging the viewer.