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Welcome to the PhotoEdit blog!

Here we are proud to offer various in-depth stories featuring our photographers, including "Behind the Photo," book excerpts, extended interviews, and more. Additionally, we will be offering various articles and other information useful to stock photographers in general. Feel free to have a look around, and by all means, leave comments on articles you find interesting!

If you would like to be involved in our link-sharing effort or would like to be featured on the PhotoEdit blog, please contact Mike for more information.

PhotoEdit: your leader in multi-ethnic photos for over 25 years!

Image Rights Explained.

May 17, 2010

Helpful information about copyright and licensing stock imagery:


May is Asian Heritage Month

May 6, 2010

asian heritage month 2010

PhotoEdit is proud to be a sponsor of Khmer Girls in Action’s 7th Annual Yellow Lounge Event: Shift the Seen. Their inspiration to uplift the Khmer community through song, dance, short film, and photography is as much an act of love for their culture as it is a self affirming experience for the young women they are becoming. Visit them at and check out the wonderful work they’re doing.

View a gallery of Asian American images here.

March Press Release: Female Founded Agency Still Female Run

March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010 — (Costa Mesa, CA) PhotoEdit is pleased to announce that Raquel Ramirez has been named president of one of the leading stock photography agencies devoted to multi-cultural/ethnic images. Ramirez, who has been with PhotoEdit for over eleven years, takes the helm as the organization is transitioning into new target markets, including the non-profit, foundation, government and creative services sector.

Ramirez previously worked on the operational side of the business and was responsible for project management and recruitment of new photographers, among other duties. She will be leading new business development channels for the agency as well as implementing new work flow channels to increase efficiency and productivity.

For over 25 years, PhotoEdit has been a leading multi-cultural stock photography agency for some of the largest educational textbook publishing companies in the world. PhotoEdit has been a provider of diversity driven images to publishing companies such as McGraw Hill, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, Oxford University Press and Hampton Brown/National Geographic School of Publishing. PhotoEdit helps organizations and publishing companies convey accurate depictions of people from all walks of life. For more information on PhotoEdit please visit us at

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March 2, 2010

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How To Guide: Roller Derby Photos by Mike Margol (Part 1)

October 2, 2009

How To Guide: Shooting Roller Derby Photos by Mike Margol (Part 3)

Hello and happy Friday to you, PhotoEdit blog readers! Thank you for choosing to spend a bit of time with us today. Before we get into today’s new feature, I just want to mention that PhotoEdit is now on Facebook! Yes, it’s true: we have embraced social media! If it would make you happy to do so, please take a moment to visit our page at where you can befriend us and join a growing network of photographers and models. Even if you are not an official PhotoEdit photographer, we invite you to participate (and no, we will not be posting quizzes about which Disney character our company is most like). Alternately, if you hate text links with the fiery passion of 1,000 flaming suns, you can click this highly attractive logo that Raquel made:

Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son!

Anyway, now that our shameless self-promotion is over, let’s get down to business. To commemorate today’s release of the roller derby film Whip It! starring Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis, and Zoe Bell, I thought I would make a timely post about how to shoot roller derby photos. Roller skates! Amazing puns! Face paint! More violent than my guide on shooting band photos! Yes! Here we go.

Earlier this year I became one of the photographers for my local roller derby league: the OC Roller Girls. If you like derby, you may have heard of them or some of the squads they frequently compete against: the LA Derby Dolls, Prison City Derby Dames, etc. I had become a bit burnt out on the band photo scene, so I was looking for a new challenge, and I found it with derby. Sports photography offered me a new set of challenges completely foreign from those posed in the band realm: extremely fast action, subjects moving through multiple depths of field simultaneously, and atrocious fluorescent lighting (if you’re lucky; if not, you get a roller rink lit very much like a 70’s disco).

I struggled at first to adapt to these conditions. Sports photography is certainly no easy feat and I was unprepared in terms of equipment and technique to make an instant transition from my prior specialty. Making things more difficult is the fact that there appears to be no consensus on the best way to take derby photos: some photographers use no flash (my preferred method), some use externals bounced off the ceiling, and still others use intricate slaved flashes perched at various points around the rink to give a feeling of an all-encompassing lighting situation. As with band photos, I set out to find the best method for me personally; as such, the advice I give here might not be tailored to your specific shooting preferences, so don’t be afraid to try out your own methods!

To shoot derby, first of all, you are probably going to have to invest in a new lens (but when isn’t the case?). If you don’t want to drop $2,000 on something that is just a hobby for you, investigate stores that rent lenses, which is what I did. Like the flash situation, every derby photographer seems to have a different lens preference, but all of the photos on this page were taken with a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR. This is a beast of a lens and it is quite heavy–very few derby photographers use monopods or tripods so you will probably end up holding your equipment for an hour and a half–but it is exceptionally fast in terms of focus and holds a nice f-stop throughout its entire focal range. Having a lens that can’t hit a constant f-stop is asking for trouble, as I discovered early on; you’ll have to compensate by increasing your ISO to insane levels, which in turn will just create more noise that you will have to try to cancel out with your internal noise reduction software.

Vibration reduction is not a necessity when shooting a moving subject, because it is assumed you’ll probably be moving the camera to track the subject anyway, but it can come in handy when you want to take a shot of a girl standing at the side of the track or getting ready to go on a jam, so if your lens can implement VR or the Canon equivalent, all the better (as a reminder, I shoot with a Nikon D300 and I only use Nikon lenses). You can always switch it off, after all, so why not have it just in case? But I would say the most important thing is to get a lens, regardless of brand, that can hit the constant aperture; the action happens so fast and you will be zooming in and out so frequently that trying to compensate for a shifting aperture is going to cause you nothing but headaches (and possible death!). You can trust me on this, because I know from experience.

So now you have your lens and you have your camera and you are ready to roll, except for one thing: you need to make some derby contacts! This is a lot easier than trying to build band contacts for a couple reasons. First, derby is still trying to regain the popularity it once had, although I imagine Whip It! may help with that, so there aren’t legions and legions of photographers vying for the same spot. It’s normal to have more than one photographer per squad, but generally it’s more of a collaborative effort than any kind of competition, unlike with bands, where the mood has never been what I would call “friendly.” Secondly, each derby squad has many members, so it’s easier to talk to them either in person or online and let them know you’d like to help as a photographer. All derby leagues cut it pretty close in terms of their money; the cash they make goes into making merch, renting practice facilities, and so forth, so any help is usually appreciated. Find your local team’s website and usually there will be contact information on there that you can use to get in touch.

Once you have approval to help with photos, get out to the track and go for it! I should mention that photographers do get pretty close to the action and do get hit from time to time when skaters come careening out of a corner, so be safe: if you see someone flying at you, tuck your camera to your body to prevent an injury to the skater (and your equipment) and just take the hit instead of trying to scurry away like a coward! The crowd will love you and the announcer will commend you for being brave and not foolishly attempting to escape your fate; trying to outrun a girl on roller skates isn’t going to work anyway, according to my college physics textbook. And don’t worry: should you receive a concussion or suffer a broken bone, the EMTs are always standing by to help you. Right?


Next time in this series I’ll talk about focus issues and getting accurate results when dealing with action that crosses multiple depths of field, but I hope all of you potential derby photographers found this first installment somewhat interesting. I highly recommend derby photography, as it is a challenge and will improve your skill set in many other areas behind the lens. If you’d like further help or advice regarding derby, email me and we can talk it out, or just comment this thread and I’ll get back to you. Have a blog idea you’d like to discuss? Want to become a PhotoEdit photographer and make some money selling your work? Email me with those questions, too, but no, I will not be answering any messages claiming that Winger is the greatest band of all time. And of course, if you’d like to see more of my work on my personal portfolio, let me know. Until next time!

“From the Corners of the Earth” by Bill Aron (Part 1)

September 18, 2009

Book Excerpt: From the Corners of the Earth by Bill Aron (Part 1)

Hello and happy Friday to you, PhotoEdit blog readers! Mike here once again with another post full of intriguing images, insider information, and other vaguely clever uses of alliteration. Today PhotoEdit is glad to announce the return of our popular Book Excerpts series. Our new author is Bill Aron, who has been with the agency for many years and has an amazing eye for catching special, personal moments on film. He has been kind enough to allow us to post some excerpts and images from his book From the Corners of the Earth, an exploration of Jewish culture around the world in the 1970s and 1980s. In this first installment, Bill discusses his travels and experiences in the Lower East Side of New York City from 1974 to 1984 and presents stunning photographs that convey the Jewish spirit and traditions.

Rabbi Eisenbach works on a massive scroll in the Lower East Side of New York City.

The Lower East Side of New York City is an important landmark in the life of the American Jew. It was, in its time, the source of a variety of Jewish cultural institutions: yeshivot, synagogues, Yiddish newspapers and theaters, as well as the restaurants and coffee houses depicted in the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer.

The Lower East Side was one of the principal areas of settlement for Jews as they immigrated to this country. By the turn of the century it contained the largest Jewish community in the world.

In its heyday, East Broadway was a kind of Jewish promenade where a revered generation of artists, entertainers, politicians, businessmen, and intellectuals flourished. The neighborhood was bustling and vibrant, full of immigrants from many lands working to attain the American dream, or, at least, hoping that their children would. The whole range of Jewish life could be found there, from the pious Hasidim to the socialist Bundists, from the artists and scholars to the entrepreneurs.

Tiferet Yerushalayim Yeshiva reads a manuscript in the Lower East Side of New York City.

For many Jews, however, the Lower East Side was only a stopping place. Financial success was usually followed by a move away from the old neighborhood. Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, Jacob Javits, and David Sarnoff are but a few of those who came out of the Lower East Side. They started here, and when they began to “make it,” they left.

The neighborhood that remains bears testimony to the struggle of that first generation of Jewish immigrants. Hundred-year-old tenements still stand with their shabby ornaments and fire escapes. Practically every doorway shows the signs of a former mezuzah. On nearly every block stands the remains of at least one synagogue, many of them only shells of their former selves.

There is Seward Park, the place where thousands of Jewish workers celebrated May Day. Across the street from the park stands the old Forward building, once the home of the large Yiddish daily newspaper. Pushcarts with knishes and kosher food can still be found. People still come from all over the city to shop on Orchard Street and to buy religious articles, also stopping off for a supply of Gus’s extra sour pickles before returning home.

The Cheshinover Rebbe shops for food in the Lower East Side of New York City. Hasidim always seem to have stepped out of another century.

The ethnic composition of the Lower East Side is changing. Although the once-populous Jewish community is but a fraction of its former size, a young, modern Orthodox community has been slowly growing in the area around East Broadway. Several synagogues have been renovated in an effort to attract and hold on to these new residents. The number of social services has increased, and street festivals have inspired a new pride in both the old and the new residents of the Lower East Side.

There are many elderly Jews who either remain on the Lower East Side from immigrant times or have recently returned. In spite of the obvious difficulties of their circumstances, the old people fight to survive — not just to stay alive but also to remain strong and independent. Their spirit and their dignity are an inspiration.

For better or for worse, these old Jews are wedded to their neighborhood and are determined to stay. In my photographs, I have tried to capture and preserve their community.

Rabbi Eisenbach's son works on a manuscript in the Lower East Side of New York City.


This concludes the first excerpt of From the Corners of the Earth by Bill Aron. We thank Bill for allowing us to offer these valuable and informative excerpts about Jewish culture. If you are interested in ordering From the Corners of the Earth or any of Bill’s other fantastic books, please visit his website by clicking here. To see Bill’s complete collection of worldwide multi-ethnic images on the PhotoEdit site, you can browse through his entire portfolio by clicking here.

Are you a photographer with an idea for a blog? Want to link-share with PhotoEdit? Looking to join our agency and make some money? Interested in the finer points of Imperial starship design? Email me and let’s talk!

Economic Crisis Photos

September 11, 2009

Economic Crisis Photos

Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like more people are losing their jobs, houses are being foreclosed on, and businesses are shutting down. Educational publishers will want to document these trying times in history, economic, and social studies books, and PhotoEdit has lots of images to choose from. We have pictures of people filling out job applications, people protesting budget cuts, foreclosure signs, going out of business signs, and empty buildings where business once thrived. Clicking on the picture below will bring up a nice selection of just those images. But we have lots more, so just search our website for keywords like “recession” and “unemployment” to see the full array of what we have to offer.

Studio shot of a collage of newspaper clippings pertaining to the economic crisis