What The New Yorker wants in a fiction photograph

Will Steacy, a photographer in New York, reveals some of the requests he's gotten from The New Yorker over the years for a photographic images to go with their stories: 

-A man walking a white pit bull in the city – ideally with one front leg missing
-A woman hiding behind a door – ideally with a red umbrella
-A charred grilled cheese sandwich – the bread is blackened, but the cheese hardly melted.
-A man smoking a cigarette outside looking at the stars
-A woman’s shoes covered with snow standing on a braided rug
-South end of the strip where there are cheap motels, fast-food, pawnshops, bail bonds, storefront churches, sprawling parking lots – kids hanging out there
-A table with handmade animals for sale – including a giraffe, and a Noah’s arc.
-A woman in her 40’s – details of aging skin on the face, pale, drawn, covered with too much makeup – heavy blush, dark lipstick – deep reds and purples
-A boat crossing a lake (ideally Prussian blue), either in rain & rough weather or good weather
-A chainsaw in a forest
-Details of female hands drinking coffee in a diner
-A cigarette extinguished under a silver high heel
-A sexy scene seen through a keyhole
-A woman’s hand extended with a blue pill
-A tall, skinny red head outside in the snowstorm in the beams of a trucks headlights – the snow catching in her red hair glowing in the backlight like a halo
-The hotel receptionist behind the bright green glow of the computer screen and with blue lacquered fingernails
-A woman in a wraparound red dress & red heeled toeless sandals on a dusty Irish road
-A Holiday Inn sign in a snow storm on the side of a road – both with and without a “No Vacancy” sign – dark or dusk
-Red roses on a coffin

Below, a snapshot from Steacy, cropped to fit this space…


Looks a little like a Hopper painting. 

As one can imagine, he loves getting these assignments.  

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

One thought on “What The New Yorker wants in a fiction photograph

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