Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guest Blogger: Rhonda Reinhart, Managing Editor of D Weddings, D Home, and D Beauty

We asked Rhonda Reinhart, Managing Editor for D Weddings, D Homes and D Beauty, a few questions on behalf of our Fashion and Photography Students. Here's what she had to say:

I got into the business in a very traditional way. I majored in journalism in college, got my fist newspaper job while I was still in school (way back in 1997), and stayed in newspapers until 2005, when I got a job as the xxxxxxx (photo credit: Matthew Shelley)
managing editor of Spirit, the in-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. After that, I started working at D, where I’ve been the managing editor of a wide variety of publications. And I do mean wide. There was even a golf magazine, some medical directories, and a real estate magazine in the mix at various times.

In the editorial industry, what is your opinion about the Dallas scene as it relates to opportunities for photographers? Publishing-wise, Dallas has a lot going on. Of course, there’s D and all of its sister publications. But American Airlines Publishing is based in DFW, too, and so is Cowboys & Indians. There are also all those D competitors whose names I won’t mention. Plus, there are lots of opportunities with Neiman Marcus. That’s not editorial work, but it seems like a lot of people we work with got their start there or have some sort of previous relationship with the company. Photographers have opportunities with all the non-glossies around town – the Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, etc.

How important is networking and relationships, when stylists and photogs are ultimately hoping to work within the editorial industry? Networking is important in getting to know the right people, but relationships are important in getting those people to hire you more than once. The best way to build a good relationship is don’t be difficult. If you’re given a deadline, meet it. If you’re asked to change direction at the last minute, do it. And don’t whine about it. That’s the way the magazine is going, and they’ll do it without you if they have to.

How do you coordinate working with writers, stylists, photographers, and your subjects to create the end-product? Is this challenging – how so? Well, it is challenging as far as scheduling goes. Sometimes I’m amazed we pull it off. There are just so many moving parts. Luckily, we have a good team of people who know what they need to accomplish and when, and a lot of tasks are highly compartmentalized. The art directors oversee and hire the stylists and photogs, the editors work with and hire the writers and fact-checkers, etc. Basically, we all have to be on top of our game as individuals. While I’m writing a honeymoon travel story for D Weddings, our art director might be on a photo shoot for a D Home feature. There’s a certain amount of teamwork in play, but we don’t always work together as a team.

What are your favorite job duties? I love writing headlines and copyediting. But that’s just the word nerd in me. The most fulfilling part of my job is when I can hold the finished product in my hands and flip through the pages and know that just a few weeks before, that magazine didn’t exist. We made it out of nothing. That never stops being a cool feeling.

What are the most difficult aspects of your job? Deadlines! Meeting them and getting others to meet them. Creative types are just the worst.

Who has been a real DREAM to work with (can be co-workers, your subjects, other pros, etc.) and why? Jamie Laubhan-Oliver. She’s the art director for D Home and D Weddings, and she is awesome. She’s been with us for less than two years, but she has already made such a difference. Besides being amazingly creative and more than willing to put in long hours, she also just absolutely loves what she does -- and it shows. Her excitement is contagious. Plus, she’s tough. I like that.

If someone wants to break into the industry as a stylist or photog, what is the best advice you could give as an Editor? First and foremost, do good work. Without that, nothing else matters. But, assuming you do good work, I would say the next most important thing is knowing your audience, so to speak. If you want to shoot or style for a particular magazine, for example, then buy that magazine and actually read it. Learn that publication’s style, its tone, its overall message. Then read the staffbox. Find out who is in charge of hiring photographers (usually the creative director or art director) and who is in charge of hiring stylists. You have to get your name and portfolio in front of the right person. Magazines, for the most part, are short-staffed and hectic. You don’t want your stuff ending up in the wrong hands and getting lost in the shuffle.

Did you realize that your first and last name begin with the same letter? Are you a fan of alliteration? I am definitely a fan of alliteration. It’s one of my favorite headline-writing techniques. And you know what else? My middle name is Renae! Sorry if I just blew your mind.

If you had to share your Twin-Pop Popsicle with someone in the industry, to whom would you give the other half? I have this editor friend who always seems to know all the juicy gossip. He seems like a good choice for my Twin-Pop. But, knowing him, it would also have to come with a side of Maker’s Mark.

1 comment:

  1. Good post! Very informative and advice that will definitely be put to good use!