Why is picture researcher-editor Jeff Weig surrounded by crabs?
It all started about 5:30 one Monday morning when Weig was digging in to edit the hundred-odd rolls of film that had come in on Sunday's NFL action. He admits it: He may have been a little cranky, prompting a coworker to wind up a toy crab Weig kept in his office and send it scuttling across his desk. Since then the collection has grown with additions friends have found in tacky gift shops around the globe, and Weig has become a true crustaceanado.
Weig, 25, has a background well suited to a picture editor. He was born in Rochester. N.Y., the home of Eastman Kodak, and his father, James, a dentist, is an amateur photographer with about 16,000 slides in carousels around the house. "We keep Kodak in business," says his mother, Pat. Jeff got involved with cameras while taking a photo course at Penfield High and then while serving as editor in chief of the school paper. Upper Story. While at Dartmouth he was a staff photographer for The Dartmouth, his favorite work being a spring photo essay on an Outing Club hike up Camel's Hump mountain. He first came to SI as a summer intern in 1982 and was hired full-time the next spring. One of his specialties is college football, but the sport closest to his heart is hockey. "When I was five or six, my older brother, Roger, set me down in front of a basement wall with a baseball mitt, a Ping-Pong paddle and his hockey helmet on, and took slap shots at me with a taped-up Ping-Pong ball," he says. Starting soon after, Weig played left wing in various Lions Club leagues until he was 17.
A picture researcher does a lot more than edit film. Among other things, he or she sets up the shoot, arranging for extra lighting where necessary—which can involve dealing with arena authorities reluctant to interfere with TV coverage. He contacts the photographer, arranges for credentials and makes sure the photographer understands the nature of the assignment. Later the researcher-editor goes through countless rolls of film under a tight deadline and provides identifications and other caption material.
In his work here Weig has earned a reputation for thoroughness and speed. In this issue, Weig handled the pictures for our stories on college football scheduling (page 28), Patrick Ewing (page 78) and Mike Tyson (page 38). "He's got a unique eye for the fine points of a sport," says photographer Heinz Kluetmeier. "He doesn't miss either the critical moments or that special picture."
"To me," Weig says, "a good sports picture is when people are extending themselves both physically and emotionally. You can see the emotion all over their faces, the flow of the bodies and the flying limbs. With our guys, you find so many of those special shots you get spoiled. It makes it hard to look at my dad's family slides."