Consultancy: Photography Writer, Digital Strategy, Division of Communication, NYHQ (11.5 months)

New York City, New York (US)
Please provide your daily rate when applying.
Jul 10, 2018
Metro Area
New York
Contract, Full Time

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.


Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.


And we never give up.


For every child, education

The Digital Strategy Section (DSS) within the Division of Communication comprises Web, Social Media and Multimedia teams working together to create compelling public-facing content and to provide digital services within the organization. Through multiple platforms and in multiple languages, DSS draws attention to the many facets of UNICEF’s work, encouraging public support, participation and action, as well as ensuring greater transparency and accountability. Web stories, blog entries, photo essays, Facebook posts, Twitter campaigns, and videos for distribution via, YouTube, news media and other outlets and platforms – all are a part of our digital storytelling. By measuring and testing our efforts, we also use data to inform content and engagement choices. DSS seeks to hire a highly qualified consultant photography writer to craft compelling copy for photo essays and other photography-related products.


How can you make a difference?

The Photography Writer is responsible for the timely development and production of written products of differing genres associated with photographs that advance UNICEF’s mandate and profile children’s stories across the globe. The Photography Writer will provide expert research, writing and editing skills for photo-related texts for diverse multimedia applications, including the Digital Asset Manager, consistently applying high editorial standards to all external-facing photo essays and other photo-related texts.


This position reports directly to the Senior Photography Editor and the Head of Web Editorial in the Digital Strategy Section. The post is expected to support the areas of emerging priorities as articulated by the Executive Director and the Director of the Division of Communication as well as the Cause Framework areas of focus. This consultant is expected to work onsite in New York for 5 days a week for 11,5 months. Flexibility to undertake weekend work, if needed and meet frequent tight deadlines.


The two main deliverables are caption writing and photo essay writing. The balance of these two deliverables is 50/50 at the start of the consultancy. After the first 6 months, the caption writing deliverable falls away, and the consultancy will focus 100% on photography-led writing and other writing for content housed on and other UNICEF external-facing platforms.


The main roles of this consultancy are:

  • Lead in researching, writing, proofing and checking the accuracy of all information submitted with photographer’s captions; ensure text meets UNICEF editorial standards and criteria required to make the information searchable in UNICEF’s Digital Asset Manager.
  • Working closely with the Sr. Photography Editor (or designated photo editor) and with the Head of Web Editorial (or designated editor), lead in writing copy for original, engaging photo essays as well as copyediting text submitted by UNICEF country offices


Under the guidance of the Sr. Photography Editor:

Write photograph captions (40%)

  • Lead in writing photograph captions for all HQ newly acquired or archival images. The captions must:
  •  Describe concisely the visual content of each photograph, including the proper names and titles of persons, places, organizations and UNICEF connection depicted therein,
  •  Ensure that these images can be found in database searches of relevant words, themes, etc.;
  •  Summarize succinctly the information in an engaging style.
  •  Implement consistent UNICEF editorial standards and practices for photo-related texts as per a pre-defined caption style.
  • Ensure that all captions are formatted to specific criteria and uploaded to UNICEF’s Digital Asset Manager. This entails ongoing consultations with the Senior Photography Editor and the Photography Librarian regarding evolving organizational priorities and relevant technologies.


Review photographer’s caption information (5%)

  • Review all caption information supplied by independent photographers to ensure that it is complete and accurate with reference to the subject, location and activities depicted in each photograph. When necessary, confer with the photographer or UNICEF office for additional information or clarification.


Light research (5%)

  • Undertake light research as needed on the general theme of a photograph or series of photographs and the content’s relation to UNICEF policies, programmes or country-specific or regional information to support the captioning. This research can draw on advocacy, programme, other documents of the organization, and can include consultations with various communication, programme and other colleagues for accurate interpretation of this information.


Under the guidance of the Head of Web Editorial:

Write and copyedit photo essay texts and other photography-led related web content (50%)

  • As part of Web editorial team, write, edit, and copy-edit photo essays and other photography-led content for and other channels.
  • Conceptualize story layout, upload, and post photo essays and other photography-led content to, including sourcing and filing specific to the new Content Management System.
  • Work closely with the Multimedia team on the planning and editorial direction of photo essays to ensure a strong and compelling narrative.
  • Liaise with colleagues across divisions and field offices on content production for photo essays.
  • Ensure all content is in line with UNICEF and United Nations style guidelines.
  • Contribute to the development and achievement of content goals for, testing and reporting on new approaches.
  • Contribute to the normative work of the team, including guidance and reporting.
  • Perform other tasks as required.


As an advocate for every child, you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in communication, journalism, international relations or other fields related to the work of UNICEF. (A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree).
  • A minimum of 4 years of relevant professional experience in in a media or other fast-paced editorial environment
  • Very strong, and proven, editorial, writing, photography and other communication capabilities
  • Ability to coordinate content professionally with Web, multimedia and social teams
  • Detail-oriented, creative, able to work efficiently under tight deadlines
  • Proficiency in Photo Mechanic (or other metadata software) and digital asset management systems is required.  
  • Experience with content management systems, especially Drupal, and basic HTML is highly desirable
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Experience in international development and United Nations experience is a plus
  • Experience using Google Analytics is a plus
  • Web and graphic design experience is a plus
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
  • May be asked to work weekends and holidays, as required
  • May be required to travel


For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of CommitmentDiversity and Integrity and core competencies in CommunicationWorking with People and Drive for Results.

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication [I]
  • Working with People [II]
  • Drive for Results [II]

Functional Competencies:

  • Applying Technical Expertise [II]
  • Analyzing [II]
  • Learning and Researching [I]
  • Planning and Organizing [I]
  • Following instructions and Procedures [I]
  • Adapting and Responding to Change [I]


View our competency framework at


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.








Master's degree


Opening Date Mon Jul 02 2018 09:00:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) Eastern Daylight Time

Closing Date Tue Jul 31 2018 23:55:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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