I recently came across an essay on CNN online. My first thought was “Why am I looking at this work on CNN?” The work screamed for print, and I know how much more impactful it would have been on a nice saturated paper stock. Plus, I could see the work better and could take my time engaging with good page design as well as the images themselves. The days of publications running essays like this are mostly behind us. Advertisers don’t want to see this work. Magazines want and need to make money and work like this isn’t going to light a fire under the population like celebrity or click bait does.
So, when I got an email from Raw Society telling me about their new print magazine, I was intrigued. (pre order now) Print is a different animal. I still run into plenty of photographers who have never used print and some who have never printed a single image. At the highest levels of the industry, print still reigns. It may not get the immediate love but when the dust settles it is what most high-level pros want more than anything else.
The folks at Raw Society asked me to write an an essay for the first issue. A big thanks to Susan at Blurb who did the editing. She basically saved me from myself, but it feels good to have something in print once again. Several years ago, during one of the endless sales pitches the industry made in regard to showing work online, there was an essay produced by a well known photographer in a well known publication. The digital presentation was new, different and moved in ways I had not seen an online essay move. And it completely failed in allowing the viewer to actually see the story itself. The hype lasted less than a week before the world and the industry moved on. That essay and that work are now impossible to find and nobody is utilizing the same approach. Once again, a swing and a major miss.
But don’t be fooled. Print is a nightmare. The cost and effort involved in producing a magazine like this is considerable. I know, just ask me about AG23. Everyone I know who gets involved in something like this, at some point, walks away with the Thousand-yard stare. So give credit where credit is due. Most creatives DON’T take these chances. Raw Society did. So, if you are so inclined. Have a look, have a listen.