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New York Times Photo Editor Carter Love Dead at 41

Carter Brantley Love, a senior photo editor at The New York Times, died Tuesday in his Brooklyn apartment.

Love, 41, started his career at Women’s Wear Daily and later worked for W magazine. Love took his own life, according to his uncle Ben Brantley. “He had just been very unhappy lately. He was a paradoxical guy. He was very, very sunny to most people that he worked with and that he knew.”

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Brantley said, “It’s a hard time in the world right now. He was very sensitive to all of those vibrations.”

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Love’s family is not currently planning a memorial.

Born in Los Angeles, Love’s family later lived in Sacramento and then in Ellensburg, Wash., as his journalist father Keith changed jobs and moved accordingly. After his parents divorced, he spent his high school years in Winston-Salem, N.C., with his younger sister Anna, where his mother Robin Brantley had relocated to. Love majored in archeology at Oberlin College, and took part in archeological digs in Italy over the course of two summers. After graduating from college, Love moved to New York and joined WWD. He returned to Winston-Salem to help care for his cancer-stricken mother and following her death in 2013, returned to Manhattan and rejoined WWD.

Journalism was engrained in Love. Brantley, The New York Times’ former longtime theater critic, had introduced Love to WWD, where he had also worked early in his career. During his run at what was then a daily newspaper, Love worked in photo and fashion, and wrote the occasional article. In addition to his father, Love’s mother was also part of the media galaxy, having been an editor at The New Yorker and later on staff at The New York Times. Love left WWD to join The Times for a 10-year run.

WWD’s former editor-in-chief Ed Nardoza said Wednesday, “Carter didn’t have a lot of experience when we hired him as a photo editor but his natural talent, tireless work ethic and sophisticated eye were immediately evident.”

Nardoza continued, “He joined us at a time when we were raising our visual standards across multiple publications to capture a real explosion in fashion creativity. Carter was essential to our evolution and, perhaps more importantly, was a joy to work with.”

Lean and fast-moving with tussled red hair and a flash of smile, the 6-foot-tall Love took fashion’s fast pace in stride. Brantley said, “I think I walk pretty fast on the streets of New York, or I did. But walking with Carter was like walking with Paul Bunyan. He took the biggest strides that I’d ever seen. We had it measured at one point.”

His elocution hinted at his incredibly gracious manner in dealing with people, according to Brantley. “If you ever heard him talk on the phone, you would melt.”

Love “was like sunshine. With that red-golden hair, it was like watching the sun rise. He had that presence,” Brantley said. “He just seemed to glow. He made people feel good when he was with them. He could talk to them very easily.”

Love was happiest hanging out with his rescue dog and French bulldog, or hiking at Bear Mountain or in the Hudson Valley. Brantley said. “He loved hiking and nature. That is where he got his strength from.”

Off-the-clock, Love went through a World of Warcraft period, and met many friends, including some in Las Vegas, through the online role-playing game. He was also a steadfast theater-going companion for Brantley. “He would see absolutely anything and enjoy it even if it was bad,” Brantley said. “We went to something at St. Ann’s Warehouse in January to see ‘Volcano,’ Luke Murphy’s four-part sci-fi, dance-theater piece and we were both just over-the-moon about it. That enthusiasm was very infectious.”

While some people rely on refrains for words to live by, Love tattooed his — “F*!k the frail s!&t.” and “Never look back.” As for how Love would want to be remembered, Brantley said, “Incredibly handsome, which he was, and full of energy and vivacity, and someone who you would want to see again. And I am really sorry that I won’t be able to.”

Love is survived by his sister, his father and Brantley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Love’s memory to the Best Friend Animal Society.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, a list of suicide hotlines around the globe can be found at www.suicidestop.com. In addition, dialing, texting or chatting 988 in the U.S. will route people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline’s phone number 800-273-8255 is also available to people experiencing emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

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