The first photography magazine I ever read was Shutterbug, mainly because it was the first one that captured my attention while passing by the magazine section in a grocery store. I would guess this would have been mid to late 1990’s. I had just picked up photography as a hobby and was taking classes in high school and later, college. Shortly after reading a few issues I was hooked. I decided that I should just pay for a subscription as it would be less expensive than purchasing it at the shelf price every month. Eventually I purchased subscriptions to Popular Photography, Digital Photo Pro, Rangefinder, and Black & White.
I had subscriptions for years. I found many articles interesting and I learned a lot by reading those magazines. I’ve learned about lighting and lighting modifiers. I’ve learned about different types of light. I’ve learned certain aspects about wildlife photography and portrait photography. I’ve learned about photographers that I ended up following online. I’ve found photo labs across the nation that developed film (and some of those labs still continue to do so). However, over time, a lot of the content became ads and redundant information that seemed like I was reading over and over again. I eventually canceled all my subscriptions and just continued to by a few magazines every now and again as I found an interesting article in one. Thinking back throughout 2017 I would guesstimate that I’ve probably only purchased MAYBE 3 or 4 photography magazines this whole year, and I may be over estimating LOL.
Back in 2015 American Photo stopped printing their magazine and shortly after shut down the website version as well. At the beginning of this year (2017) I heard that Popular Photography was coming to and end as a print magazine via the PetaPixel write-up. I was just scrolling through Facebook and I saw a sponsored advertisement for Digital Photo Pro. I recently (a couple of months ago) saw a print copy of that magazine in a bookstore, so as of now I am assuming they are still in print. It got me thinking what the future was for this magazine along with others. I am just curious as to how many photographers still purchase printed magazines. I am curious as to what magazines can survive the test of time. Is this digital age killing the printed versions? Will they come back? Film is certainly making a big comeback as some movie producers recently paid Kodak millions to produce film for some movies. There has also been several new 35mm film formats come out in the last few years, as well as the recent release of the new Polaroid Originals film. What can be done to keep the printed versions alive? Do they need to revise the content being put in the magazines? Are they just doomed or is there any hope? My hope is that they can survive. Just as I’d rather listen to records, tapes, and CD’s, read paperback and hard cover books over digital versions, and look at prints over images on the screen in front of me. I’d rather hold a photography magazine in my hand and flip through the pages, read the articles, and look at the 4×6-ish, 5×7-ish, and 8×10-ish printed photos inside of it, instead of scrolling up and down on a computer or phone screen. Do you read photography magazines? If so, which ones? Do you read the online version or printed versions? Do you hope the printed versions can survive or are you fine with the online versions? Leave your thoughts, opinions, and comments! Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling. Peace and blessings!