Photography in General

How much is a print photography magazine worth to you?

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girl_reading_photo_magazine A few days ago I got one of those emails from a generalist photography magazine (a very large publication I might add) trying to convince me to subscribe to their print version for a very attractive price. It’s the old marketing technique, enrolling subscribers at a loss for the first year and hoping they’ll remain subscribed after that for a substantially higher value. I mean, I’m sure that what they were charging for 12 issues of the magazine would not even cover the shipping costs.

I have to confess that the offer was so appealing that I almost went for it. But then…

I was subscribed to them once, maybe up to 2 years ago, and at the time decided not to renew my subscription for a number of reasons:

1. News way too old – By the time I actually had the opportunity to grab it and go though the news sections, chances are I would have read all about it online before and would just skip these sections entirely.

2. Uninteresting content – A couple of articles would probably grab my interest, and I would definitely enjoy admiring some of the photographic work, but in general the interesting:uninteresting ratio was just too low.

3. Advertisement everywhere – Do I need to say more? Every third page would be a full page ad, not to mention the smaller ones sprinkled everywhere. Scratch what I said above about my money not paying even for shipping, the ads pay for everything.

If i were to rip from the magazine the pages that actually interested me, the number would not be so great. I did not subscribe again.

All this got me wondering what would I enjoy in a printed photography magazine. Not news, I can get them online; not technical articles, i can definitely get them (and better ones) online; certainly not the ads, although I don’t mind them when not in exaggerated numbers.

Now, if instead we start talking about photographic studies, photographic essays and, to a large extent, photojournalism/documentary work, that I would enjoy. That I would pay to get in print. Sure, all of these are also available online, but in this case I would prefer the print. Call me old fashioned.

A number of publications like this still exist, but are getting fewer and fewer, unfortunately.

Now comes my question to you…

How much would you pay, if anything, for a print magazine, well edited and curated, showcasing quality work in the form of essays and photojournalism?

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How much would you pay for a quality photography magazine?
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And just out of curiosity, what do you enjoy more on a photography magazine (generalist or specialized)? Leave your thoughts on the comments…

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3 Comments

  1. George L Smyth

    June 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I like to see what other photographers are doing. I have little interest in the latest gadgets and discussions on what camera I should be using, and subscribe to those magazines that are showing what photographers are actually doing with this equipment. Those who have taken things to the next level inspire me, and those magazines that cover this get my subscription dollars (LensWork is perhaps the best example).

  2. Antonio Marques

    June 8, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Something like what LensWork is doing is exactly what I was talking about. Focusing on the outcome instead of the process.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Pingback: PhotoNetCast #47 - The Value of Photography Magazines | PhotoNetCast - Photography podcast

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