PDN: What’s the division of labor at Out for
GG: Are you asking: Do I have a massive
staff? No. I have a great assistant photo editor,
Gabriela Landazuri. Gabriela helps with the
research for the front of the book and on
smaller photo productions.
PDN: Do you care if a photographer is known
for regularly shooting for another magazine?
GG: If someone is the right photographer
and I want them, I’m not going to get pissy
if they shoot for Details or some other men’s
magazine. There’s so little work out there, it’s
not nice to do that.
PDN: Do you try to hire photographers who
are in the LGBT community?
GG: Not necessarily. There’s no affirmative
action. I try to be supportive of the
community but I don’t try to base [my
selection] solely on that.
PDN: How do you usually find
GG: I follow a lot of photography Tumblrs.
I look at photography blogs, and PDN,
especially PDN’s 30—not to kiss your ass—and
other magazines. I tend to look at smaller
European fashion magazines, because those
photographers are doing it for the love of
I have a good reputation with
photographers so they send other
photographers to me, especially when they’re
in New York from out of town. I’m like the
Statue of Liberty, they all want to see me.
PDN: What is your reputation?
GG: I think I’m fair and fun to work with and
you get good work out of me.
PDN: What is the freelance work that you do?
GG: I do my own advertising stuff on the
side. I did an ad for Kmart that was only on
Instagram, which is a little bizarre to me but
that’s where the kids are going; they’re not
looking at print or TV any more. I did a few
ads and websites for liquor companies.
I have both hired photographers to do ad
and e-commerce shoots, and been brought in
by photographers to work on their shoots. I’m
usually brought in by photographers because
I’ve worked with them editorially; then when
they get an ad [or e-commerce] shoot, they
bring me in to style it for them and art direct.
I also write for Out, Candy (a trans fashion
magazine out of Spain), and other publications.
PDN: How do all the creative things you do fit
GG: It’s all telling stories. Words tell stories,
photos tell stories. I like going in with a blank
slate and seeing if magic happens.
PDN: What do you wish photographers
understood better about magazines, or
about your roles?
GG: The best thing for photographers to do
is keep on shooting and honing their esthetic
and becoming as good and original as they can
be, and then photo editors and art directors
will find them. If you shoot cool projects and
keep people aware of them, I still believe
talent will rise to the top. I think that’s our
job: to match that talent to the right stories
and make it as easy as possible for them to
PDN: You believe a photo made on
assignment can be art?
GG: It can be. You don’t have to be pedantic
about that, but make something new. Though
I’ve been going into studio shoots every day
since God was a boy, it’s still exciting to me.
The potential for greatness is always there.
Never get jaded: I think that’s good advice
ABOVE: Edie Windsor, winning plaintiff in the Supreme
Court case United States v. Windsor, photographed
for last year’s Out 100 by Danielle Levitt, who
photographed all 100 portraits for the issue.
BELO W: M Sharkey photographed Boy George for one
of four covers that appeared on the December 2012/
January 2013 Out