Butler grad lands dream job as photo editor for GQ.com



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While waiting tables in New York, Butler High School graduate Jace Lumley met some key people and springboarded to his position as photo editor for GQ.com, a fashion publication. 




It’s the plot of a hundred TV shows and movies: a recent college graduate packs up and moves to New York City with a few hundred dollars in pursuit of a dream. 
After waiting tables to pay the rent and making the right connections, he lands his dream job. 
Except in 2007
Butler High School graduate Jace Lumley’s case, life has imitated art. 
Lumley moved to
New York’s East Village in August after graduating from Point Park College with a degree in photojournalism. 
“I moved up here with a little bit of a lead on a job, and that job was waiting in a restaurant,” said Lumley. “I had saved a couple hundred dollars and found roommates on the day they were going to sign the lease.” 
“It was a typical move-to-New York job, I guess, but from that job I ended up meeting the right people and Tumblr asked me to shoot the 2012 New York Fashion Week,” said Lumley. 
During last fall’s Fashion Week, Lumley said he met Michael Hainey, the deputy editor of GQ, the magazine focusing on style and fashion for men. 
“When I met him, I was relatively unaware of who he was,” Lumley said. “He saw me outside one of the events and we started talking. A few months later, I was in contact with editors underneath him.” 
The chance meeting landed Lumley the job as photo editor for GQ.com. 
So, during the past Fashion Week in February, when more than 80 designers presented their fall collections, Lumley was in charge of free-lance photographers shooting pictures for the website. 
“I was in the position to suggest new photographers to shoot web content based on street style, people outside the events that dress well,” he said. 
“We had a real successful season. I got to recommend those guys, and they got in and got a chance for exposure,” he said. 
He said the website posted new pictures daily. 
His other duties include shooting projects, stories, researching photos and contributing his view to GQ’s website. 
London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, I’m working with a photographer to cover those events. I’m just trying to work with the web team, think up ideas, and just trying to stay creative,” he said. “Photo editor doesn’t mean just working with photos.” 
Lumley said he has been interested in photography since 2008 when his mother bought him a “point-and-shoot” camera. 
“I would always take pictures, mess with them on the computer,” he said, but it wasn’t until he met Point Park professors the late Patrick Millard and Christopher Rolinson that he zeroed in on photography. 
“It was meeting those guys that were kind of like outlets for that creative aspect. I met those guys and absolutely fell in love with photography,” he said. 
Rolinson, an associate professor of photography and photojournalism, had Lumley in a number of his classes. 
“He always had a lot of attention to detail and that shows in his fashion sense,” Rolinson said. “He was always well dressed and had a sense of style, and that was brought out in his photos.” 
“I expected Jace to do great things, but I didn’t expect him to do it in a very few months,” said Rolinson. 
“Patrick was a big turning point. That’s when I stopped looking at it as a paycheck,” Lumley said of photography professor Millard, who died in 2011. “I’m doing what I want to regardless of where it landed me, and it got me from a runner in a restaurant to where I am now.” 
Where he is now is
New York City, a locale that presents its own challenges. 
“The first few weeks, I think everything I did was a stressful move, getting on the subway was stressful,” he said. 
“We weren’t crazy about him going to New York without a job,” said his mother, Vickie Lumley, who with her husband, Paul, helped Jace move to New York. 
“We were a little nervous about it, but we trusted him. He has such a passion for life,” she said. 
“Jace is very driven. I wish I had a portion of his drive,” said Paul Lumley. 
Vickie Lumley said navigating the streets of the East Village in a 16-foot, U-Haul truck relying only on a smart phone for directions was a little nerve-wracking. 
“It was a real experience. It was my first time to travel in New York,” said Paul Lumley. 
“I had GPS, but when we got into the city, the signal was lost, so we were navigating by Jace’s smart phone,” Paul Lumley said. 
And moving into a sixth-floor apartment in a building without an elevator or air-conditioning in August, said Vickie Lumley, “was a fun experience, but we were worn out after the experience.” 
“It was 98 degrees and there was no breeze,” said Paul Lumley. “We had to carry his stuff up six flights of stairs. There were 22 stairs between flights. I counted them many times.” 
Vickie Lumley said she and her husband hope to visit Jace, maybe in June. 
“By then, he will have learned everything like the back of his hand,” she said. 
“I needed a city like this to expand my mindset,” said Lumley, adding he’s just started taking acting classes.

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