What Editors Want: A Lesson From Roman And Garcia
When war broke out between Spain and the United States, a letter to Garcia was needed.
Garcia was the leader of the insurgents, hiding somewhere in Cuba. No one knew where. No one knew how to reach him. So the President sent for Rowan.
Rowan was a normal guy. Slight in figure. Not too tall but also not short. At least that’s how I imagine him when I first read this story.
Everyone knew he could find Garcia if anyone could.
Rowan took the President’s letter, sealed it in a pouch, and strapped it to his chest. The next day he disappeared into the jungles of Cuba. Three weeks later, he emerged on the other side having traversed a hostile country on foot and delivered his letter to Garcia.
The important thing to note about Rowan is that he never asked how to complete his task. He didn’t ask who Garcia was or where he was hiding. He never complained about the size of the job nor asked for more tools nor criticized the tools he had with him.
He simply accepted the job, got it done, and carried his message to Garcia.
I read this story years and years ago. Today, Rowan and Garcia are surely dead. Still, what editors want—and photo buyers too—is a Rowan.
As an editor, photo buyer, and employer myself, I just want people who can get the job done. Period.
I don’t care what you look like or how much experience you have. I don’t care what kind of camera you use or how far you’ve traveled. I just want good photos and good, true, unique stories.
Most photo, video, and travel story clients will tell you the same. So GO!
If you’re devoted, you’ll come out on the other end having found your Garcia.
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