Have I told you how excited I am about this project?
I’m not entirely sure why, but I am. It could be the fact I haven’t published in a while. It could be because it’s always amazing to see your own work in print even if it isn’t perfect. It could be because I feel inspired to shoot for the first time in a long while.
But like I said and wrote about before, THINGS CHANGE. So this is where we are right now at this very second.
2. I wasn’t planning on sharing the insides of the magazine because I wanted there to be mystery, but with this first issue I’m going to scrap that idea and share everything. Many of you have seen some of this work, so the mystery is gone for some of the images anyway.
3. I uploaded the test copies and the magazine was printed and shipped in TWO DAYS. Crazy fast. I don’t expect that but it’s a nice surprise.If you are going to do this you HAVE to make test runs. So many people I see rush to print, like I do, but bet everything their first run is going to be perfect, and when it isn’t they start looking for someone else to blame. First run perfection is rare. A 40-page magazine is only $10. Make a test run. Trust me.
5. I used the Blurb “Change Format” tool to produce the Trade version seconds after completing the magazine. This thing works incredibly well. The only thing I really have to work on was the text. I have pages of text in the magazine, so when you shrink it down to 6×9, instantly, the text doesn’t seem to have anywhere to go. It overflows the existing layout, so what I have to do is just add a few pages. No big deal, and so nice to have it land so close to perfect.
7. The black and white images made with TMAX 3200 look incredible printed. A sea of grain. I also love the knockout quotes on these pages. I’m keeping this look.
8. I love my cover design which is directly influenced by the original Life Magzine. Keeping this throughout the life of the magazine
9. The font size on my copy inside the magazine is too large. I used 11 point font, and it should be 9 or ten. Just looks a little large for my taste.
10. My intro will be fine with smaller text and slight placement change. Will keep this page throughout every issue to give new readers an explanation of what the series is.
11. There are three spreads with totally stark pages. One small, mostly black object is the only art on the spread. A bird on one, men on another and a plane on the final. I’m up in the air about these spreads and would probably replace them if I had a chance to go back and reshoot.
12. The copy on the two column pages of text is too large. Needs a reduction like the rest. I also need to add something else to those pages. Not sure what yet but they are too plain.
13. The images running double truck look fantastic.
14. I thought I would hate the pages with four, color, horizontal images but I actually think they look great and are perfect in offsetting the large, single image spreads. They help with the cadence of the magazine.
15. The technical notes will expand.
16. I’m confused about the design. Overall. Here is the issue. I want this to be so many things. I could JUST make this an essay with no behind the scenes, no other artwork, no found objects, etc. and JUST make it about the photography, or I could keep to the idea that this is about story, about lifestyle, about choices, about the random and wonderful idea of telling stories, which is what I THINK I’m going to do, but if I do this is really complicates the design. I’m just not there yet. Stay tuned.
17. I used three fonts so far. Title and subtitles. Body copy. Knockout quotes. I like two of the three but need to change the body copy font. Unless changing the size suddenly makes it okay.
18. I can’t believe how good the small version, or Trade version, looks. I think I might like it the best. Too early to tell but very surprised by how much this format works for this style of pub. I’m going to keep making both.
19. Did I mention how excited I am about this print series? Even after all these publications over the years. Even though there are a hundred things wrong with this first issue. Even though the work isn’t new. This is FUN.
20. This will be a for sale publication. I can already hear the voices. “How many copies have you sold?” “How can you sustain yourself with that?” I need to say this ONCE again. I will never sustain myself from this endeavor, nor do I have any interest in trying. I don’t know a single human being that sustains themselves from their private magazine or book sales. Not one. I don’t even know anyone who is remotely close. I know people who ACT like they are making copious money with book sales, but I know the truth behind these facades. This is just an exercise for me, a truly FUN exercise. I’m a nobody in the photography world. Maybe a few people will buy them, maybe not. Selling publications is incredibly difficult, even for the stars of our industry. The best books are typically printed in 1500-3000 book runs, and even these numbers are shrinking. High volume image books are typically point-of-purchase, celebrity or cultural books that appeal to the lowest common denominator. There are exceptions. For me, if the right ten people get this magazine I’ll be happy, even if I have to buy it and ship it to them.
More updates on the way….stay tuned my photo friends. Go publish!