Online Subscription Based Photography Magazines
I was recently asked by the editor of Photography Masterclass, Gill Roberts, if I would like to be the Featured Photographer in their summer 2017 e-zine. I agreed to have a look at some published articles to check for quality and content and was surprised at how well it was delivered. It also highlighted how popular these typically monthly, subscription based, "e-zines" are becoming. In short, there's plenty of choice so I thought I'd provide some thoughts on a few that are worth looking at.
Looking through the sample Photography Masterclass magazines the quality and depth of the published content is excellent - after all nobody wants their images reproduced in a poor fashion. The content is probably aimed at a beginner / advancing photographer with some useful articles around the more basic controls of the camera.
Other content is typically from experienced practioners around a 'how it was taken' type of features.You can take a free 14 day trial subscription here. You will need to provide your e-mail address. Pricing doesn't seem transparent so care is advised before signing up.
f11 Photography Magazine
David Noton publishes his f11 magazine monthly (not to be confused with the Australian version with a similar name that recently suspended publication). It's £39.99 per year and filled with useful articles albeit with a digital bias. It works out at £3.33 per issue
I've contributed to this magazine a couple of times just as David was getting it off the ground in 2012. David, and it seems his contributors are digitial only so articles on film based photography are limited which weakens the publication.
Another worthy of a look is that puplished from the team at OnLandscape. At £59 per year you receive a publication every 2 weeks - so £2.27 per issue (assuming you subscribe for one year). A sample issue is available.
For me this publication is more 'high-brow' than most others but the content and presentation of both digital and film mediums are first class. It's probably aimed at the experienced amateur and seasoned practioner and perhaps not for a photographer in the early stages of learning. Having said that the quality of work from some contributing photographers is world class and would inspire any photographer regardless of their knowledge of the craft.
With traditional, printed magazines approaching £5 per issue the most obvious benefit of online publications is cost. In addition, it's very convenient to have access to historic magazines from say a portable device than it is to have them stacked on a shelf. This is so useful when an injection of inspiration is needed, or to check up on some technique, when travelling for example.
Photographers whose business model was based upon income from stock image sales understandably continue to create other ways of replacing a much reduced income stream. Many initially saw photography workshops as a viable alternative as the digital revolution brought new enthusiasts all eager to learn. Fast forward a few years and we see a photography market saturated with workshops and tours to all corners of the globe by both the experienced professional and those who have had a digital camera just a few years. More competition means more choice both in terms of quality of content, delivery and cost. Like most products there is a linear relationship...........you get what you pay for. A workshop with Colin Prior for example will deliver much depth and breath of content than something put together by someone with a popular social media following or one who runs about like a headless chicken on thier You Tube channel.
A subscription based Online magazine and the like has become another popular and incremental (perhaps even vital) source of income. It gives (some) certainty of cash flow to those offering a monthly magazine, a Community Styled Club or even a "Friends Of..." approach. But just like workshops the quality of the "product" seems to vary considerably.
My advice is to look for one that places its emphasis on the craft of capturing an image and the critical role light plays. Generally speaking, a magazine focusing on reviews of the latest kit will do little to improve the ability to see and capture a photograph. To really improve and be inspired read and listen to seasoned practioners. A monthly subscription should buy a piece of their experience and knowledge, something worth paying for!
I should point out that I have no association with any publication I've mentioned except for articles I have previously written for them which have always been on a fee-free basis.