The paper fills an open photo staff position. Unheard of in the recession! Welcome Chris Evans. I asked Director of Photography Jim Mahoney about our new Boston photo friend, a transplant from Springfield. If you haven’t checked out the Herald’s photo and media page yet – run to look. Showcasing more galleries and photographer work.

For those Fantastic Four fans, Chris Evans, the photographer, has a celebrity twin – an actor who was born in Sudbury, MA. Photo Chris is eclipsed online by his famous name twin. If you want to check out his images at evansfotos. Neither Chris belongs in my family tree.

Sarah Evans: What does Chris’ style bring the Herald photo team?
Jim Mahoney: What helped Chris separate himself was the total package. Like most of the candidates he is very skilled at multimedia and has a good command of working on the fly, is a solid shooter with a good mixed portfolio. His prior training as a desk man and his level of newspaper experience really may have been a key in our decision to bring him. Chris also has an interest in pursuing spot news. So his all around experience and our desire to fill a desk shift and night shifts really fit our bill. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do here after a nice run in Springfield. August 9 is his first day.

SE: How did you become aware of Chris? Any particular image or project that caught your eye?
JM: I got the word Chris had been laid off after 12 years from the Springfield paper and was very eager to see if he might want a shot at working here. His old boss Dale Ruff said he was great guy and excellent shooter. I’ve known Chris since he started at Springfield and used to see him at Pats games when I was on the street. So that was the easy part, he came in and tried out against a solid group of candidates and beat them out scoring a Page 1 pix along the way. Our other candidates put a great battle and we thank them for their interest in the job. Many are still freelancing here.

SE: As an editor, I’m both scared and inspired by the choice to use multiple extreme horizontals on the Herald’s homepage. The design definitely provides an adventure in editing. What strategy are you using to sustain the design and avoid composition repetition?
JM: I had input on the rebuild of the “Photos and Media” page but none on the front page. The front page design has evolved from the straight flat run to a design that looked similar to the NY Post to what we have now.  We’ve had good success with this page design so it has stuck. They have a couple of variations on it they use when we have the art or story that demands it.

SE: I’m very keen on the tab name “Photos and Media.” Celebrates the importance of the still image while incorporating other mediums. How do you decide what gallery goes in the top spot on the page?
JM: The photo page is about 2 months old and we’re very excited by it. It is a combination of features from other sites we liked and some in-house design. The huge gallery of galleries was a Dallas concept that you can scroll over and get the gallery or movie to pop into the player.

The still galleries are good sized and we are looking at a full screen option soon. The movies can be played full screen with a click. You can search by shooter, video and still and get the show you want. The galleries are by time loaded and have no particular sorting beyond last in. We also have the “photo of the day” idea and that is a select either by me or one of the web editors. You can also get linked to all the stories that go with the pictures and should have a link to our blog “Freezeframe” We don’t do enough blogging but it’s there.

SE: As the director of photography, what do you like best about the Photos and Media page? Flexibility? Showcasing talent?
JM: The opportunity to showcase all the various pictures and talents of the staff has been the best by product of the redesign. What a morale booster it’s been and soon we’ll be adding Pictopa for ecommerce purposes. As any photographer desires is to be publish that’s what we do!

Thanks to Jim and the Herald for doing their part in the recession.

-Sarah Evans

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