Samantha COOPER

Sr. Photo Editor | WIRED

Samantha Cooper is the senior photo editor, platforms at WIRED. Previously she was a curator at Instagram, a creative producer at Airbnb, and a photography instructor at the Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco, CA.  She studied film and video at the University of California at Santa Cruz and currently resides in Oakland, California with her wife and their dog, Peanut.


1.    What was your very first job? 

At age 14 I sold popcorn and hot dogs at a concession stand at the Hollywood Bowl, but my first photo-related job was assisting a photographer who had multiple sclerosis and was paralyzed from the neck down.


2.     Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. 

I oversee all of the photography for WIRED’s digital platforms. I commission artists for our feature stories - handling everything from art direction, production and editing as well as manage a team of researchers and editors who work on our daily web stories, breaking news coverage, and social media. 


3.    How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 


Rewind to my first black and white film photography course at CCSF – when everything was taught in a traditional darkroom. If you have ever developed film and printed in a darkroom, dropping your paper into a red plastic tray and seeing your image appear is magical, even if at the time, my prints looked like crap. I became obsessed with creating images, and I found myself skipping all of my other classes so I could spend more time in the darkroom. 


4.     In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

I go down some insane rabbit holes on Instagram. I also try to do things that are completely unrelated to photo/art. 


5.     If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 

I’m hoping to publish it later this month. :) A close second would be the short film I created for Airbnb’s 2015 PRIDE campaign, Love Is Welcome Here. The film came about when my wife and I were planning our honeymoon. At the time I was working at Airbnb, and I was telling my manager how it’s difficult to plan a honeymoon as a queer couple because you’re limited to where you can go and truly feel safe to celebrate openly. It was ironic considering I worked for a company where we celebrated the idea of “belonging anywhere.” The short film profiled four queer couples around the US and eventually won the 2016 Webby Award for Long Form Online Film & Video.


6.     Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)

Mostly commission photo and video, but I’m interested in seeing experiential and VR. 



Art Producer | VANS
Creative Consultant
Sr. Art Director | AQUIS
Sr Producer | THE NORTH FACE
Director, Brand Strategy | TWITTER
Assoc. CD/Art Director | LULULEMON
VP Creative Director | RPA
Design Director | SELECT WORLD
Creative Director | DECKERS - UGG
Communications Manager | INSTAGRAM
Photo Director | ORACLE
Photo Director | GOOGLE
Global Creative Director | STARBUCKS
Creative Director | FITBIT
Creative Director | DISNEY
Creative Director | NBC
Sr Content Mktg Manager | LINKEDIN
Creative Director | DAVID&GOLIATH
Creative Director | DOLBY LABORATORIES
Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
Group Creative Director | CONILL
Creative Director | RPA
Sr. Art Director | AMOUR VERT
SVP Integrated Production | DEUTSCH
Sr. Photo Editor | WIRED
Sr. Art Director | AKQA
VP Creative Services | OGILVY MEXICO
Associate Creative Director
Managing Director | ISSUE
Sr. Art Director | HAUTELOOK
Co-Founder | NIXON
Sr Direction Creative Production | NIKE
SVP of Creative Marketing | E! Entertainment
Creative Director | PITCH
Design Director | PHENOMENON
Global Creative Director | BENEFIT COSMETICS
Global Photography Lead | PAYPAL
SVP Creative Director | DEUTSCH
Creative Director | MORPHE
Sr. Director, Creative Services | FABLETICS
Marketing Director | DESIGN HUNTER
Global Creative Director | MURAD
Producer, Brand Mktg | UBER
Photography Lead | AIRBNB
VP, Creative Director | NBCUniversal, Inc.
Dir. Of Video Prod. | Restoration Hardware
Director of Photography | WILLIAMS-SONOMA
Creative Director | FERNWEH
Producer | FACEBOOK
Dir. of Creative Advertising | SONY
Creative Director | RPA
VP, Executive Creative Director | STITCH FIX
Creative Director | ANOMALY
Photo Art Director | UBER
Associate Creative Director | AMAZON
Sr. Manager of Creative Services | HOURGLASS
VP Creative | SONY
Freelance Producer | ANOMALY
Art Director | SEPHORA
Photo Director | APPLE
Art Director | SEGA
Associate Creative Director | FACEBOOK
EVP Creative Director | MEKANISM
Creative Director | NORDSTROM
Art Director | OLD NAVY
Sr. Digital Marketing Manager | ASICS
Marketing Director | HASBRO
Sr Director, Photo & Creative | BANANA REPUBLIC
Design Lead | DOORDASH
Art Director | FACEBOOK
VP Creative Director | LYFT
Design Lead | NETFLIX
Art Buying Manager | STARBUCKS
Creative Director | PEREIRA O'DELL
Creative Director | ANOMALY
Personal Systems Creative Lead | HP
Creative Agency Lead | GOOGLE
Creative Lead | NETFLIX
Sr. Creative Director | DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB
Print Creative Lead | HP
SVP Creative Director | THE REFINERY
Executive Creative Director | DDW
VP Creative Director | BANANA REPUBLIC
VP Group Creative Director | TECHSTYLE
Sr. Intgrtd Art/Content Prod. | 72ANDSUNNY
VP Creative | JUSTFAB
Executive Creative Director | ELECTRO CREATIVE
Managing Producer | GAP/BANANA REPUBLIC
Dir. of Art Production | INNOCEAN
VP Creative Services | WARNER BROS.
Global Creative Director | AMAZON STUDIOS
Art Director | VANS
Senior Director, Creative | OLD NAVY
Creative Director | INTERSCOPE
Sr. Integrated Producer | LINKEDIN
Head of Creative | GOOGLE
Creative Director, UX | VISA
Creative Lead | PAYPAL
Creative Lead, ACD | SALESFORCE
Sr CD Global Brand Imaging | NIKE
Chief Creative Officer | OMELET
Chief Creative Officer | POP
Assoc. Creative Director | M/H VCCP
VP Creative Director | BLAIR
©2016 LE BOOK All Rights Reserved