Jonathan Hyams (Le. 1973-78) is an Archive Photo Editor at the world renowned Getty Images, an American stock photo agency with an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations, as well as stock film footage.
When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I wanted to work in the movie business so I moved to Los Angeles to join my family that lived out here. It took about seven years and various jobs in Production to realize that I didn't enjoy any aspect of it or the people in it.
What do you do now, and what does your job involve?
Since 1988 I have been an Archive Photo Editor, first for a small boutique agency and for the last eleven years with Getty Images. While most editors at Getty have a pretty limited job description, (that is dealing with photographers and selecting images to post to the website), the two of us in the Los Angeles office have a much broader definition.
The Archive in London has about 60 million images and they have staff to search for negs, scan, caption and post them. There are defined editors that work on each stage. In our office- with only two of us, we find the images, scan, caption and post them as well as oversee dozens of contributors that regularly send in images from their own archives. Over the years, I have dealt with many world famous photographers who shot some of the most iconic images of the Twentieth Century. Many have since gone but some are still around thankfully.
What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
Having long chats with the old timers who shot amazing images in WW2 and those who hung out with Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday. Most can talk my ear off for hours!
The most challenging aspect is the rapidly changing technology. The way I do my job is totally different to when I started in the pre-digital era. The programs we use change too. I think we only have one or two programs that we still use after eleven years at Getty. Every year it feels like we do something radically different. Sometimes it makes our life easier but often it doesn't
What are you most proud of so far?
Raising my daughter.
What is your fondest memory of school?
Hanging out with friends.
Who was your favourite teacher and why?
Simon Smith. I think he was one of the best teachers I had, and the most memorable.
What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst at Brighton?
Mr Alderton telling me to do up my top button and pull up my tie. It made me want to never have to ever wear a shirt and tie again.
What advice you give to your 18 year old self?
Don't waste time. It seems infinite at that age but it flies by in seconds.
Is there a book, song or film that changed your life?
No but certain people have.