The New York Times made a big announcement today about their revered photography blog, Lens, and they shared it with News Photographer magazine.
Ten years is a long time in the era of digital and we celebrate that resourceful endeavor with the founders of Lens. There are changes ahead that will help Lens evolve into an even better position within the New York Times and for the photojournalism community.
"Lens will go on a temporary hiatus at the end of this month," Meaghan Looram, director of photography, said in a memo to the staff today.
"We want Lens to evolve into an unrivaled source for those who want to read about and think about photography. We want to create a dynamic space to highlight more of the incredible photography that all of you produce on a daily basis," she said.
Looram noted that "the annual portfolio review that Lens helped launch with the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and United Photo Industries will continue. Pitches to The New York Times are still encouraged! We will always find places to publish great work."
May 18 is the 10th anniversary. Let's applaud the work of its founders and the work we have seen in Lens as we standby to see what's next.
The following is the memo sent to the staff on Monday, May 13, 2019:
"May 18 marks the 10th anniversary of Lens.
Over the course of that decade, James Estrin, David Gonzalez, David Dunlap and Josh Haner introduced New York Times readers to a world of photography — and photographers — that they had never experienced. As one of the first photo blogs at the time, Lens set out to showcase work that risked getting lost in the digital blizzard, as well as to highlight themes and issues in the world of photojournalism. From the serious, like the dangers of modern-day conflict photography to the lighthearted, like the overlooked delights of daily life, Lens chronicled the vast range of human experience.
Just as importantly, Lens took the lead in guiding the public conversation on the increasingly critical issues of diversity and representation with stories that showed how digital technology has empowered a new generation of photographers and helped to change the entire narrative.
Lens helped found The New York Portfolio Review — an annual event that attracts hundreds of photographers and editors from around the world. The highly anticipated free event has sparked many fruitful professional collaborations and resulted in countless stories being published and exhibited.
Along with its talented producers over the years — Anjelica Bartkowiak, Matthew Sedacca Levine, Kerri MacDonald, Matthew McCann and Whitney Richardson — the Lens team worked tirelessly to present thoughtful, diverse, sometimes difficult and generally extraordinary visual journalism to the world. Lens has a devoted following as a result of these efforts, an achievement to be very proud of.
Lens was founded during a different era. Digital platforms were presenting new challenges to the industry, and Lens provided one of the few dedicated showcases for photography. But since then, the means of consuming photography have changed and expanded. We believe that this is the perfect time to take stock of and celebrate what Lens has achieved and to give serious thought to how to better position Lens for the future. As we endeavor to reinvent it in a form that best serves our current and potential audience, Lens will go on a temporary hiatus at the end of this month.
We want Lens to evolve into an unrivaled source for those who want to read about and think about photography. We want to create a dynamic space to highlight more of the incredible photography that all of you produce on a daily basis. We want to reach new readers. And we want to hear from you. We will be soliciting your ideas about how we might best achieve this reinvention of a beloved brand.
A few practical notes: The annual portfolio review that Lens helped launch with the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and United Photo Industries will continue. Pitches to The New York Times are still encouraged! We will always find places to publish great work.
There will be time to celebrate Lens and its wonderful run. In the meantime, a final nod to the creators, producers and caretakers of Lens: What an extraordinary thing you created and produced for a decade. You have our deepest admiration and gratitude. Onward.
- Meaghan Looram"