My name is Erica, and I’ve been a picture researcher in Oxford for 13 years. I began my career as an assistant picture researcher at the children’s educational publishers Raintree, while working at Modern Art Oxford at the weekends. I started just as transparencies, light boxes and fax machines were being phased out, and I learned to art-direct photo shoots the hard way: working with children and animals! Some of my favourite projects at Raintree included A History of American Music, Soul and R&B, and the My World of Geography series.
In 2007, I moved to Oxford University Press as an Art Editor, where I was tasked with commissioning illustrators for science and medicine in higher education. Due to my skills as a picture researcher, OUP formed a new role for me within the Design team in the Academic division. It was a busy time: during that period, I was promoted twice, to Picture Research Team Leader and then Senior Picture Researcher, both roles allowing me to develop top-notch managerial skills. I also managed to fit in having two children!
During my time at OUP, I gained a range of experiences, such as researching difficult-to-find images for prominent authors and clearing copyright for fine art, often with world-class institutions, such as the Vatican and Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. I am also experienced in researching conceptual briefs, especially covers for high-impact titles, and working with stock libraries and agencies to meet the market requirements for certain academic demands. In 2015 I won a Creative Skillset bursary to attend the prestigious annual FOCAL International Footage Training Week in London, partnered with Associated Press, Pinewood Studios, Getty, Sky News and the Imperial War Museum. On the course, which is aimed at image archivists and footage researchers, I was able to expand my knowledge of footage libraries, research techniques, rights and reproductions, systems and cataloguing.
I’ve worked across a range of subjects, including history, art, art history, higher education, medicine, law, politics, religion, science and natural history, to name a few. I’ve also researched for multiple formats, including educational resources, online publications, ebooks and, of course, print. Some of my favourite picture research has been for: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Third Reich and the cover for Jane Eyre.
Now, as a busy freelancer, I’m excited to bring all of my experience to you and provide you with the same first-class picture research service. I hope you will consider me for your project!