10/13/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT
"The thing that's fun about this job," says Mary Carroll Marden, PEOPLE'S newly appointed Picture Editor, "is matching the photographer with the subject." After nearly 10 years in the magazine's photo department, "M.C." has developed a knack for matching up people on both sides of the lens. "You get a feeling for the photographers from their work," she explains, "but we're also very close personally. After this many years, they know me and I know them."
That familiarity is crucial, since many of the magazine's picture situations are devised in advance of the actual shooting, requiring give-and-take between picture editor and photographer. M.C. also brings to her new post years of celebrity watching. "I'm known around here as the person who remembers the 'B' character in the movie," she says. She credits her parents and "especially my wonderful Aunt Rose, who knew everything about the movies and shared that fascination with me." The daughter of a mortgage banker and a housewife, M.C. grew up in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. with two older brothers—Mike, a CBS program developer, and Brice, a painter. An English major at Elmira College, Marden started at LIFE, intending to become a writer, then moved on to TIME-LIFE BOOKS in 1973 before joining us as a picture researcher. Although she doesn't consider herself a professional photographer, she often carries a camera—just in case.
As Associate Picture Editor, Marden developed an expertise in the satellite transmission of photographs, playing a key role in the magazine's picture coverage of the Olympics, the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Geneva and London's recent royal wedding. Those last two assignments sent her abroad, a bonus for Marden, who loves to travel and calls herself "an Anglo-Francophile."
A resident of Manhattan's Upper West Side, M.C. still takes in as many movies as she can outside of the long hours demanded by her job. Her plans for the magazine's future photo coverage are straightforward, but she's not thinking small. Says Marden: "I just want to keep the pictures funny, lively, interesting—and big."