Robyn Fay-Perkins, Photo Director
Photo Director Robyn Fay-Perkins has been responsible for organising or selecting most of the pictures published in fashion and lifestyle magazine Marie Claire over the last ten years.
After starting out in journalism, Robyn soon began working for a picture agency selling photos to magazines and newspapers before moving into magazines herself.
Following stints at New Woman and then OK! Magazine — her first taste of the “fast-paced and relentless” weeklies — Robyn moved over to Marie Claire’s monthly publication.
“It's a whole different ball game to a weekly which is nice. My day-to-day is I set up photoshoots for the fashion and features side of things — booking photographers and teams that are working with talent. So celebrities and also people who have never been photographed before. It's a good mix,” she says.
“[I do] picture research too, so working with the agencies and talking with photographers to get pics.”
Having witnessed many trends over years in the industry, Robyn says the biggest change recently has been in representation.
“The changes that have occurred over the years have been really positive in the sense that we're now seeing a more diverse range of people in print.” she says.
“It's a lot more inclusive, which is really important, especially for a magazine like Marie Claire. We want to be as inclusive as possible, and open to all people. So that's been the biggest change, and the most positive.”
When it comes to selecting photos for publication, Robyn says generally the most important aspect is finding something that is “expressive” and representative of the story.
“That old saying that 'a picture tells a thousand words' is exactly right. You want to be able to see the photo and know exactly what the article is going to be about. So that's usually the mission every time,” she says.
“I'm not a photographer myself, but I absolutely appreciate the effort that goes into creating perfect imagery. And for me it's also about getting the right team working with the talent, whoever we're photographing. Having a photographer who's really mindful of someone who's maybe been through a tough situation, and having just an understanding, thoughtful team is really important to me,” she says.
“With each issue, there are always challenges and things that we come up against. So I think the biggest joy is what I get from overcoming those challenges and seeing that creativity in print in the mag. That's such a boost, and it makes all of the effort worthwhile because you've got there to that endpoint.”
Graham’s pitching preferences:
“I get pitches all the time for articles that are both photo based and also not, and I send them on to the [appropriate] teams — the features team or the fashion team or the art team. So yes, I’m absolutely open to pitches.
“[The most important part] for me is the visual side of things, because the features team always work their magic with words, but beautiful pictures are really the key thing for me.”