It became apparent to me from the beginning of my career the importance of the photo 'edit'. often the events that happen during a portrait session can be spontaneous, exciting and therefore subjective. the edit comes later and is more objective, the decisions made in editing are based on a distance from the session and reflect that. I think its refreshing to get this perspective, to sleep on things if you like. The idea of editing whilst making the images, which is common today for me personally would disrupt the place I am with the sitter. Time changes your perspective on sittings, whether its 24 hours or 24 years. the edit i can make whilst revisiting past work can be radically different from the edit made at the time.
Working at The New Yorker always involves my photo editor, also the creative director; Elisabeth Biondi. Often certain images on a contact will stand out and its the easier choice to take. But its also the case that we see different elements in the session and pick differently. Working with good editors who have involvement and input into the final edit is an imperative part of the creative process.
I recently worked with Fader magazine who were devoting an issue to David Byrne. I had photographed David in London in 1985 and there were two images I edited that became iconic of Bryne at this time. Phil Bicker the creative director at Fader wanted to revisit the session and maybe find something else there. there was an image we found which appears on this cover that was very powerful, yet was completely overlooked at the time. looking back in 2009 at portraits i had made in 1985 other images spring out, why had i chosen this image at the time over this new one? its all to do with getting a perspective which to me seems inevitably linked to time.
Steve Pyke NYC May 2009
Fader Cover May, 2009