Jan 24, 2018

Job Announcement: Photographer

We’re seeking someone with digital imaging experience to help us capture our collection.

We’re hiring!

The Photographer will perform digital imaging of objects from Letterform Archive’s collection, including manuscripts, posters, books, periodicals, ephemera, sketches, and original art.

Reporting to the Librarian, the Photographer works primarily on digital imaging projects for systematic digitization, publishing, editorial content, marketing, and social media. He/she also hosts visits as needed.

About Us

Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, and community. We offer hands-on access to a curated collection of over 40,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning 2,000 years of history.

So far, we have welcomed over 5,000 visitors from 30 countries, including students, practitioners, and letterform admirers from every creative background to the Archive. Some come with specific research ideas in mind, while others are simply looking for inspiration. Invariably, thanks to the breadth and accessibility of the collection, they stumble on something unexpected. Serendipity is key to the Archive experience.

In addition to hosting visits and public events, the Archive serves a global community through social media, state-of-the-art photography, and publications. We offer courses and workshops in type design, calligraphy, and typography, some in conjunction with The Cooper Union. We also curate exhibitions of our holdings and organize lectures by visiting artists and designers.

Principal Responsibilities

Support the photography needs of the organization with work primarily divided between systematic digitization of the collection and production photography for our burgeoning publishing program. Tasks include capture, color correction, file preparation, creation of digital media, occasional retouching, and quality control of completed work. The position requires great attention to detail, comfort performing repetitive tasks, the ability to perform high-standard, production-level digital photography, and the ability to meet regular production targets. The position also requires the ability to keep accurate technical and workflow documentation, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.

Collaborative Responsibilities


Host introductory and research visits for individuals and groups: present on materials and publicize Archive programs, publications, and services.

Be prepared to share the ways guests can have an impact on the sustainability of the Archive through time, money, or evangelism.

Collection support

Support and assist with ongoing collection projects including collection shifts, reference enquiries, and exhibit preparation as needed.

Physical Requirements

The Photographer will frequently be required to sit and perform desk-based computer tasks and file or sort paperwork.

She/he may less frequently be required to lift or move items weighing up to 25 pounds; push and maneuver a fully-loaded book truck weighing up to 60 pounds; and stand, climb, balance, stretch, twist, kneel, stoop, bend, or crouch.

The Archive will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of her or his job.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Intermediate knowledge of digital camera equipment
  • Intermediate knowledge of lighting equipment and light-modifying techniques
  • Intermediate knowledge of digital capture, digital media, and image manipulation software
  • 2+ years of experience in a similar role
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Tech-savvy: proficient with G Suite and macOS as well as Adobe Photoshop
  • Bachelor’s degree

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with Phase One camera systems and Capture One software
  • Experience handling fragile archival materials
  • Experience producing photography for high quality print production

Ideal Characteristics

  • Curious and eager to learn
  • Team player and willing collaborator
  • Friendly, welcoming, and customer service orientated
  • Flexibility and comfort in a rapidly changing environment
  • Willing to tackle a variety of projects, including new challenges

We value candidates whose skills and experience have prepared them to understand and uphold our core values of collaboration, humility, hospitality, design sensitivity, and community.

Letterform Archive is an equal opportunity workplace, community, and place of learning. The Archive does not discriminate in employment or in offering educational services and programs on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic-related), family and medical care leave, pregnancy disability leave, veteran status, disability, or on other bases prohibited by law.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. Salary is commensurate with credentials and experience.

Letterform Archive pays 100% of full-time employee medical insurance premiums. All full-time employees receive 15 days of paid vacation, 10 paid national holidays annually, and accumulate sick-leave days according to San Francisco regulations.

Full-time employees are also able to take Archive classes and workshops free of charge, and receive an annual subvention toward their professional development.

You will also be surrounded by (and able to interact to your heart’s content with) beautiful, meaningful objects, and a diverse, interesting community of those who love letters. Your colleagues are nine people who are all passionate about the organization and eager to share their enthusiasm through their work.

How to Apply

Please apply by submitting a résumé and cover letter explaining your interest in this position at by February 9. Review of applications begins immediately.