When was the last time you watched a bad film? I mean, like all the way through. I'm guessing the answer is a very long time ago, unless you're counting coming back late on a Saturday night and watching the intro to Sharknado (I swear I'm not making that up - Check it Sharknado) and passing out only to be woken up by the credits song, as actually 'watching' a bad film.
The reason we no longer watch bad films is that we all now have 'on-damand' TV and movies. There used to be a time back at the turn of the century where we would watch whatever the Sci-Fi (now Sy-Fy [don't ask]) channel movie at 9 was. A lot of these were terrible but occasionally there would be an absolute gem of a movie playing that we'd never heard of. But we don't get that now, we get to choose what we 'think' we like based on the marketing we've received up until that point hence the questionable meteoric rise of the superhero genre. We are all busy people, we're not about to start risking the waste of time a bad two hour movie might take. On-demand TV and movies is amazing don't get me wrong but there is a cost to this convenience.
Is the JHP style really the love-child of 90's Japanese Anime and late night Sci-Fi Channel?!
Back in the 90's when we used to watch what was scheduled for us, we would be far more experimental and open to TV and movies because we had no choice. In fact it may have been the Sci-Fi channel that introduced me to anime back in the 90's, anime as a genre that can easily be argued as playing a huge and fundamental role in the colouring of my entire photographic style to do this day. Would I really have watched a 'cartoon' at 9pm on Saturday if I and another choice?
Video and Spotify Killed the Radio Star
The same thing is strangling the music industry of new talent too. A very good friend, and the guy that helps out on most of my shoots is also a 20 year music industry veteran and music producer. Dan le sac explains how he got his first break with his first big hit in the music industry all those years ago.
"We only got traction and noticed thanks to radio. If the radio hadn't played our track we'd have never gotten our music into the ears of so many listeners, it's how young talent was found back then. But nobody listens to the radio anymore."
Dan goes on to explain how the rise of 'on-damand' music like Spotify is obscuring new talent,
"Everybody listens to their 'favourite' tracks on Spotify as much as they like, we no longer get to hear new music that radio DJ's have curated for us."
The internet is amazing, please don't misunderstand my love for the internet and what it's done for the photographic industry but there are consequences to the choices it has afforded us. There are in fact too many choices, there's all the music and cinema in the world out there already and everybody in the modern world has complete access to it immediately... like right now.
It's crazy to think that you are still reading this when you could be reading 'The Catcher in the Rye' or binge watching the latest series of Game of Thrones but that's literally the quality of content that I'm competing against for your incredibly valuable time.
But you've chosen to read this because you've probably read one of my previous posts or articles before, as a result there's an element of trust being shared here. You trust me, based on my previous work, that I'm going to share something worthwhile with you in exchange for your time. You my friend are reading curated content.
The Magazine Industry
The magazine and publishing industry is famously on its knees with its eyes slowly glazing over, surely nobody is still buying dead trees in 2018 right? Well you'd be almost right but here's why I think you should still be collecting carbon copies not downloading digital digests.
I mentioned what curated content meant previously, the fact that it is a collection of content that comes from a trusted source, and here's where the magazine industry has it's final card to play and the sole reason it's still hanging on in there long after the final bell has been rung.
The print mags that are still left in the 21st century know their sh*t! If there's a print mag on the shelves today then they must be doing something right to stay there and that is simply down to their quality of content.
There's a new digital mag jumping up every day online but it's very hard for these new magazines to curate great content without a reputation or a readership, it simply takes time to amass the right contacts. As their audience grows so will the quality of their content that they can put between their digital covers. But what about the tried and tested print mags, if they've been around for decades with huge faithful audiences, what's their content like?
Well thankfully as you'd expect, their content is pretty solid and therein lies why you should be paying attention to them.
Not En Vogue
This article is not talking about the Vogue's and Harper's Bazaar's of this world as we'll leave them for the socialites. Don't get me wrong, they house the photographic greats like Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh but we're after trying to see some new, fresh and experimental talent that may be viewing the world in a slightly different way to the same black and white 'fashion' images we see month in, month out.
10 Magazines that deserve your money and trust
It can be hard to find the new photographers in the modern world of the internet as we'll only see the work of the latest bronzed bottomed lady with fairy light bokeh in her glasses that Instagram shows us. There's nothing wrong with this type of work but if you're after more of an engaging fashion vibe you'll need to look elsewhere and a fashion magazine that has stood the test of time is the perfect place to start. A fashion mag that has proven it can weather the storm and has industry professionals curating the outstanding, current, relevant and influential work of tomorrow between its sheets.
Here's 10 print mags that I like to look for when I'm actually outside the house and not glued to the internet. These are all without question well worth your money but more importantly, your time.
Big, bold and beautiful. Large pages, well printed and great colours. V Magazine is the de facto American fashion magazine that has somehow managed to straddle the impossible line between hip and trendy whilst still keeping one toe in the socialite world. This is one of the more mainstream magazines and should be available in most half decent stores. So if you're after a breath of fresh air away from all the quaint European fashion brands, look no further as V is dripping in brash style. Oh, and did I mention it was big.
Find them here - V Magazine
This is a seasonal magazine that is a little more conscientious to the larger, more important issues of our world. Their pieces are nearly always incredibly well researched and backed up by thorough and excellent journalism. Don't let their highbrow content put you off though as their imagery is nothing short of breathtaking. Document is certainly one of the few outliers in the industry right now and a lot of their work is very raw and untouched so if you're after a fashion journal that is keeping it real, this is for you.
Find them here - Document
Interview magazine was originally founded back in the 60's by Andy Warhol and John Wilcock and although it has some big shoes to fill today, it's still going strong. It's gone through multiple iterations since the early years and although I find the issues a bit 'hit and miss' Interview still holds a lot of weight in the industry. The content is more current affairs and although the images are nice and big the paper quality is very poor so this is really one to browse before you buy.
Find them here - Interview
LOVE is a bi-annual British style magazine (see how they don't call themselves a fashion magazine - thats how you know it's good) and although they only launched in 2009 it has seen tremendous success not only because it's a Condé Nast publication but because the editor in chief is Katie Grand. Grand has been a very well respected fashion journalist for many years and with her background as a stylist on seventeen Louis Vuitton shows among many others it's no wonder she's on the pulse of what works. LOVE magazine is unreservedly big, brash and beautiful. If you'd like a raw look at the other side of the fashion world then this is definitely worth a look twice a year.
Find them here - LOVE
Vice magazine should need little introduction by now as it's been going strong in one form or another for over 20 years. Although not a fashion magazine in any way, Vice is very much worth your time if you're looking for the art on the outside of our popular culture. In fact Vice prides itself on this very notion and although the content seems to be aimed at a younger, more carefree audience it's remarks like this that I feel sum up their ethos.
In an interview with The Guardian co-founder Shane Smith had this to say on Vice's political stand point:
"We're not trying to say anything politically in a paradigmatic left/right way ... We don't do that because we don't believe in either side. Are my politics Democrat or Republican? I think both are horrific. And it doesn't matter anyway. Money runs America; money runs everywhere."
If you're after a young look at what's coming down the pipe of future artists, this could be worth a look.
Find them here - VICE
CR Fashion Book
In 2010 the editor of Vogue Paris resigned. That editor was Carine Roitfeld and after being the lead at Vogue Paris for ten years Roitfeld decided to produce her own publication that we know as CR Fashion Book (Not exactly the most imaginative name but I guess we now know why it's called CR Fashion). This is a counter publication to a lot of the big brand fashion mags so if you're after a slightly younger approach to the Vogue's of this world then this might be worth your time. I'll warn you though, this magazine is still very much the result of big brand advertising and with the first SIXTY pages being dedicated solely to fashion adverts, there's a lot of Vogue still in here.
Find them here - CR Fashion
Treats! magazine is best described as fine-art erotica. If that's not the type of 'fashion' magazine that interests you then I understand but I feel it deserves a significant mention here as it houses some of the best collections of photography I've seen in a very long time, and consistently too. It is available at only a few locations but your best bet is a subscription. I have probably found more influential photographers in this magazine than any other in recent years and if anybody is familiar with and loves the work of Kesler Tran, you'll love this (some issues should really just be called the Kesler Tran Magazine). If you're after great imagery coming out of the golden light of L.A. then I can't recommend this enough. Treats is supposed to be quarterly but it's closer to biannually so I guess it just comes out when it's good and ready and not before.
Find them here - Treats!
Hunger Magazine is Rankin's latest magazine. After launching the incredibly successful Dazed & Confused in 1992 and then RANK in 2000 (I absolutely love RANK magazine, it's very rare so I haven't featured it here - definitely grab a copy if you ever get the chance), then he published 'Another' Magazine in 2001 and then 'Another Man' Magazine after that. It's fair to say that world renowned fashion and portrait photographer Rankin loves magazines. But it wasn't until 2012 that his latest publication Hunger was beset upon us. Hunger is biannual and is one of the absolute best places to check out the young, up and coming artists, creatives, stylists and designers of our time. It usually weighs in at around 500+ pages so it's like 6 months worth of magazines being released all at once but all for the price of one. If haven't seen this already, you must check it out.
Find them here - Hunger TV
I'll be honest, I know very little about this magazines history or even when it started, all I know is that it produces a magazine with stunning content that is brilliantly and beautifully huge. The Wylde website quotes the size as 'super-size, high-gloss' and I'd have to agree. If you're after stunning fashion imagery printed on high quality paper and the bigger better, then look no further. This is the wild card on the list (no pun intended) as there's very little info out there on their background beyond the stunning images of the 'artier' side of fashion. If you see it, it's definitely worth a look.
Find them here - Wylde Magazine
Dazed (formally known as Dazed & Confused)
I actually no longer buy Dazed magazine in favour of some of the others I've mentioned here but it's because I took a look at their recent issue featuring the work of photographer Gareth McConnell that I even decided to write this article. Gareth McConnell's work is best described as artistic and he uses a camera like a painter uses a brush, it's a tool but also a fundamental player in the end result. It was McConnell's work that made me realise that I'd have never seen this type of work online whilst perusing my regular visual channels like Instagram. I needed magazines like Dazed & Confused to show me new work and whether I liked it or not, I was being shown work that I wouldn't have normally chosen to look at.
Above is the work of Gareth McConnell for his Christian Dior special in Dazed & Confused Magazine. More of his work can be found here at his site Gareth McConnell
Dazed & Confused along with The Face Magazine were staples of my pre-internet 90's photography influence, so if you're after magazine heritage it doesn't come much more established than this. Dazed & Confused was started in 1992 by photographer Rankin and editor Jefferson Hack and although it's changed and grown over the years, the fundamentals of it being a magazine that uses creativity to empower a younger generation by redefining the populous mindset are certainly still there. That might sound like lofty goals but you'll see what I mean as soon as you open it up. This is definitely worth a browse at the very least.
Find them here - DAZED
Print Vs. Digital
So that's my top ten list of magazines I urge you to check if you ever get the chance. I still believe print is important and I will continue to buy my favourite magazines to enjoy them but what's more important than the medium is the content. Fantastic magazines like Treats are very hard to come by in the U.K. and without spending $25 for each one to be posted from the U.S. I opt for the digital copy. It's far from the same but at least I get to enjoy these magazines in some form rather than not at all. I've included the links of all the magazines so why not meet them halfway and purchase their digital copies at the very least.
I mentioned at the top that curated content comes from a trusted source, a source that has proven its worth and has earned the right of your time by default. A lot of the magazines that I've mentioned here have done this tenfold, the magazines and their editors have proven this by not only their content but by weathering the horrific downfall of print in recent years with tried and tested content that ultimately maintains the trust of its readers. Even some of the younger magazines that have only been around for a few years so far, their fresh faces and young age is in name only. Magazines like CR Fashion book may have only released issue one in 2012 but the editor at the helm Carine Roitfeld, had a successful decade leading the incredible Vogue Paris prior to that, plus decades of industry experience as well. These are curators to be trusted.
In fact a lot of the older magazines like Dazed & Confused that were crushing it in the early 90's are the inspiration for a lot of great photographers you likely already follow today. If it was good enough for them, its likely good enough for us too.
What's important to a take from all of this is making a little extra effort to expose yourself to new and sometimes confusing content. No, you're not going to love absolutely everything that these magazines publish, no you're not going to understand why they published that out of focus blurry mess, but that's okay, remember they thought Andy Warhol was mad once too.
We as creatives have to keep exposing ourselves to new and original content if we ever hope to grow not only as individuals but as a collective. Instagram is not curated content, we have to experience the rough with the smooth to get perspective and to feed the creative beast. Imagine how many great songs would be missing in the world if there was no heartache.
Thanks as always for reading all of that guys, I appreciate your time more than you'll ever know.
Now go check out Sharknado :D
Any questions, pop them down below and although I've waffled on for long enough, I still missed so many great mags. Let me know your favourites as I'd love to discover more great magazines like these :)
:WARNING: Sponsored by JHP below :D
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