Meet Adobe’s New Award-Winning Director of Editorial Content, Santiago Lyon

by Scott Braut

posted on 09-26-2017

With Adobe Stock’s entry into the editorial marketplace, our commitment has always been to deliver visuals that are newsworthy, of the highest quality, and of human interest. Earlier this year, we expanded our offering with editorial partners Reuters and USA TODAY Sports, and we intend to continue on this important trajectory.

With more than 30 years of experience as an industry executive and photojournalist – and multiple awards for his work on conflict, including two World Press Photo prizes and the Bayeux prize for war photography – Santiago brings a unique perspective that reflects a lifetime of taking on new challenges with great passion and journalistic integrity.

We sat down with Santiago to hear his thoughts on his new role, the future of editorial storytelling and why photojournalism is more important than ever.

Your professional experience spans the breadth of journalism, including photography, editing and publishing. How will this background inform your new role, and what do you hope to accomplish with Adobe as the new director of editorial content?

As a staff photographer with Reuters and The Associated Press, I traveled the world for 20 years documenting everything from politics and sports to war and conflict. As AP’s global director of photography for 13 years, I focused on leading, growing and modernizing a large network of staff, freelance photographers and editors. These experiences give me perspective from all angles of the industry and a deep understanding of the challenges, issues and opportunities ahead.

I want to make Adobe the leading source of editorial imagery, to better serve and delight its expanding customer base, and provide a seamless experience from discovering relevant photos, to processing them in Adobe’s suite of creative tools.

Why did you choose to pursue this role with Adobe, and what most excites you about this opportunity?

Adobe products have been a key part of the professional lives of generations of photojournalists, allowing them to better tell the world’s stories in photos and videos. I see many potential opportunities ahead for Adobe to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to creativity through engagement with the editorial photography community. To have the opportunity to expand and enhance Adobe’s role as a content provider and active player in this space is hugely exciting.

The role of images in communication is evolving, and the way photographs are consumed has changed. How has this impacted the editorial storytelling landscape, and how will the industry need to adapt to meet demands?

Our visual culture has grown exponentially in recent years, and with it the ability to show and tell the world’s stories much more comprehensively. The important issues of our time – human rights, climate change, economic inequality, immigration and discrimination, among others – are now being photographed and shared around the world in near real time. Enhancing access to these images shows how technology and newsgathering can work together for the common good.

What is photography’s role in the “post-truth” era where the validity of documentary evidence is questioned, and the age of digital media where technology has made disseminating news (true, or not) more accessible?

Once upon a time, we were told that “a photograph never lies”. Today, drenched in information (with much of it visual), we struggle to make sense of the personal and professional views on our world.

From the public and our friends, we receive – and often redistribute – a stream of visuals ranging from family photos and selfies to startling eyewitness videos of dramatic events. From the professional media, we get – and redistribute – high-quality news, sports, entertainment and feature photography, stories and videos. Also, a host of outlets disguised as news organizations fill our digital feeds with doctored images, conspiracy theories and fabricated news. Who then can we trust? Respected news agencies like Reuters (an Adobe partner) and the AP, among others, go to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of the content they distribute.

The way photographs are consumed has also changed. Gone for most, is the habit of reading an image carefully, absorbing its nuance and detail. Inundated with so many images, there is little time to absorb each one – or any.

Amid this, photojournalism has survived and will continue to do so. Dedicated photojournalists all over the world are producing amazing and varied imagery, often braving dangers and risking their lives. The power of the still image remains undeniable.

First and foremost, technology will continue to play a tremendous role in editorial storytelling as we find new and exciting ways to tell narratives through photos, videos and multimedia. The visual voices of women, minorities and local photographers will gain even greater momentum at the forefront, with increased relevance and importance as the world seeks to better understand our increasingly diverse societies and the complex issues we face. Adobe is well positioned to advance this space and conversation through a proven track record of innovation and creativity.

Header Image courtesy of REUTERS/EDGAR SU

Topics: Photography

Products: Stock, Creative Cloud