In his 12 years at Newsweek, Senior Photo Editor Jamie Wellford has been a friend, supporter and reliable drinking buddy of many Getty photographers. So it’s with some disappointment that we learned that last week was his final one at the magazine. As he heads to greener pastures, the editors and photographers here at Reportage by Getty Images offer their gratitude and wish him all the best in his next endeavor. We’ve also rounded up a few personal tributes from members of the Reportage family who knew him well.
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala:
“Jamie Wellford is and will be one of the most important people in my life as a photographer. He opened doors for me in the American publishing market and supported me unconditionally during my early years as a professional. I will never forget my Newsweek assignment in Iraq during which Major Megan McLung was killed by an I.E.D. shortly after I took her photo. On that dark day, Jamie was a great boss and a great human being. He is, without a doubt, an icon, leader and friend of my generation of photographers. Good luck Jamie.”
“I’ve worked with Jamie for over ten years as a freelancer, and as a contract photographer for Newsweek from 2005 to 2010. Jamie has always been a unique, smart and concerned international photo editor. There are very few photo editors left that have the geo-political understanding of the world that Jamie has; it was a pleasure to brainstorm about world events with him. He has been a source of inspiration and a good, loyal friend for years. We will miss you and Newsweek.”
“I didn’t work extensively with Jamie, but nontheless he was one of the most important mentors and influences on my work as a photographer and a father. Every trip I made to the Newsweek offices - whether at 57th Street, down near Wall Street, or its final resting spot in Chelsea - was always an immersive photographic experience. Jamie was the last of a generation of Photo editors that made 8x10 prints of every photograph and essay that came across his desk. Amazing photographs from around the world that piqued his interest littered his desk along with books and magazines, tearsheets and post-it notes. He would let me sift through this treasure trove and would ask my opinion, not in a coy patronizing way - but in the genuine interest of someone who valued every image-maker’s opinion.
“But it was Jamie’s experience and advice as a father that helped me the most, that helped me deal with the universal issues that all fathers deal with - how to be a good dad, and how to be a good man.”
“Jamie was the first editor who opened doors for me in New York. I went to his office in 2010 with my first images from Brazil and the advice and feedback he gave me encouraged me to finish my project, “Urban Quilombo,” my most important body of work to date. I’m forever grateful for the kindness and support he gave me.”
Marco di Lauro:
“I’ve known Jamie for 15 years, and one of the last times I saw Jamie in New York I went to visit him at his office. He said to me: ‘Marco, I have to teach at the ICP tonight but I’m really tired. Why don’t you come by for just a half an hour to give a lecture. Your photography is beautiful and I love it, and please help me out!’ I told him I could, but only for a half an hour, because I had a date with someone for dinner. So I went and gave a lecture, and I was so struck by what a great teacher he was, and how amazing, challenging and smart his students were, that obviously I stayed longer than a half an hour — and lost my date!”
“This industry attracts some extraordinary characters, disproportionally so considering how small a community it actually is. But our industry thrives on these characters and is better off because of them. Their passion, commitment, vision and drive inspire and encourage the photographers they work with and the generation waiting in the wings. Jamie is one of these extraordinary people. Everyone who has had the pleasure and privilege to work with or for him comes away with more than they arrived with. He is the quintessential journalist, driven by a thirst for knowledge and an even more powerful need to pass that knowledge on to others. He is a friend and an inspiration and we all wish him every happiness and success in what lies ahead.”