Back in the summer of 2007, Raoul and I spent several nights sitting around my West Hollywood apartment discussing photography and a better way to present the work we enjoyed from Flickr on the web. As the beers went down and the room filled with smoke, we brainstormed ideas but often would end up talking more philosophically about photography, completely forgetting about the internet. Eventually, I formed a group on Flickr called La Pura Vida with the idea that we’d put together a group show each month, resulting in sort of a yearly archive of what we’d been looking at.
Flickr is fairly awful for presenting photography so we decided to take it offline to showcase it through an Indexhibit driven website. In a rush, I grabbed the best domain I could that had La Pura Vida in it. I ended up with lapuravidagallery.com. Soon after I started the blog. As the years progressed, and I dug deeper into photography and publishing, I felt that my rush purchase of the domain began to misrepresent what we were doing. I was never comfortable with the term ‘gallery’ and as of late I haven’t really been thrilled with the term ‘blog’ either.
So today we’re ditching both. Good riddance. Over the last few years, I’ve been inspired and interested in the photography magazines that have been emerging online, publications such as Fraction Magazine, 1000 Words, Ahorn Magazine and SEESAW Magazine. Over that time, I’ve also thought often about how to take the best aspects of print, online, the blog zeitgeist and combine them into one.
I didn’t understand why if you had a print magazine, you couldn’t show the same work online, or if you showed work online why you couldn’t also offer a print version. Also, why was the fact that you were a magazine mean you could only publish issues? Those sort of confines seem restricting, so we’re not going to obey them.
We’re in the age of entanglement where publishers are mixing print, web and apps in interesting ways. The theory goes that you should use the strengths of each to best present certain aspects of your offerings. You don’t need to choose one and go with it. All three will entangle together to offer your readers multiple solutions for viewing content. We live in complex times, so we can either embrace it or throw our hands up. I’m choosing to embrace it.
Each issue of LPV Magazine will be available online, in print, as well as a downloadable PDF. Online, you can expect fully interviews with the featured photographers, while in print we’ll just grab the best pull quotes and focus on design, layout, sequencing and flow. I figure, if we’re going to print, let’s print photographs and not too many words.
We’ll also continue to produce online features weekly, write OpEd pieces and experiment with presentation. We have much more room now, plus a few more tools at our disposal.
You don’t need to go far on the web to hear discussions about business models for publishers. We live in tough times and it’s difficult to create a sustainable publication. Then again, I think it’s always been that way. I certainly don’t have the answers to these problems, but I am willing to experiment. We’re going to be offering a yearly subscription. Naturally, all three issues will be included, but for me if you’re going to offer subscriptions, you need to offer added value as well.
LPV subscribers will have access to our private Facebook Group where we’ll have exclusive Q & A sessions with some photographers we feature as well as established professionals. The photographers we’ve lined up so far include Matt Stuart, Emiliano Granado, Ben Roberts, Gabriela Herman, Blake Andrews, Chuck Patch and Joao Canziani. We’ll add more as the year goes along. We also plan to raffle off a few books during the year to our subscribers. Full details are posted below.
Everything we publish on this site will always be free to enjoy, as will the downloadable PDF. So, why would someone buy a print version with photographs they’ve already seen online? Because photographs look different in print. It’s a different viewing experience. You have something collectible that you can return to over and over again. For me, photography is like music. Repeated viewings often deepen your appreciation for the work. We go back to photographs we enjoy over and over again. So I believe seeing the work online will only make you more eager to buy the print version.
Why MagCloud? I’m not sold on the idea limiting editions of magazines. If someone wants the magazine, I think they should be able to buy it. Sure there are some trade offs maybe, but I’ve been impressed enough with the quality of the printing from MagCloud that I’m confident everyone will enjoy it and feel they’re getting good value for their dollar. At the end of the year we’re also going to offer a limited edition box set of all three issues. The details of which I’m still figuring out, but if you’re interested, get in touch.
There’s really no way to know if this will work without trying. We’ll find out and I’ll be sure to share what I’ve learned along the way.
I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to few individuals. First, James Dodd who designed the new site. I pointed to a bunch of things I liked on other sites and he came up with a idea. Then he implemented it and I panicked and requested a whole bunch of changes. This went on for a few weeks, but the end result is that I’m ecstatic with what we have to work with on the new site. The archives are much easier to navigate and I think people will enjoy digging into them in an intuitive way. If you’re looking to re-design your portfolio site, or have other blog projects, I can’t recommend James highly enough. Just take a peek at some of the work he’s done.
Second, I have to thank Alex JD Smith who created the design and layout of the print version. I don’t know how he does it. He has a demanding full time job, a wife and small daughter, yet he finds time to make photographs and take on these type of projects. His work ethic and passion for photography are contagious and deeply admirable.
James Turnley has been my idea man for a few months now. He’s just as passionate about all of this as I am and isn’t afraid to challenge my ideas and come up with new ones of his own. I’m really excited to see what he’ll come up with more room to play around on the site.
And the biggest thanks goes to those that have found value in what we’ve done these last few years and are eager to continue with us on this awesome journey. Cheers!
LPV Magazine Subscription 2011
- All Three Published Print Issues for 2011
- Shipping, delivered right to your door
- Entry Into Three Book Giveaways
- Access to our private Facebook Group
United States, Canada & United Kingdom
Single issues are sold through MagCloud for $14.99 plus shipping.