Michele McNally, the assistant managing editor for photography at The New York Times, is online this week answering reader questions about everything from ethical quandaries to what equipment her photographers use to how come color photos often appear out of register.
Readers are encouraged to send their questions via e-mail to

The Q&A is part of the Times’ “Talk to the Newsroom” series, a website feature where editors from different areas of the paper engage with readers on issues of concern.

McNally’s advice for young photographers includes this sage piece of wisdom: “The most important work a young photographer can do is existential. You must figure out what kind of photographer you want to be, what do you want to say and how are you going to do it better than others have done before you.”

She also explains her criteria for hiring photographers, talks through the aesthetics of a good news photo, and does a good job at (politely) suggesting that reporters should leave the picture taking to the pros.

And as for those pesky out of register photos?

That’s a topic perhaps better suited for a “Talk to the Pressroom” series.