During my seminars, students always ask me for advice on the most important photography magazines out of the dozens and dozens available that will keep them both current and growing in knowledge. Well, one certainly cannot subscribe to all of the available magazine options, let alone read through all of them every month. So I’ve compiled a short list of what I find to be the most critical, with a quick thought of why on each of them. This should help you find the right magazine(s) for your style and taste of photography, and also for what you might find useful from a business perspective.
Here’s my list of 9, though in no particular order.
I consider this the old standard and I always look forward to it coming in the mail. It’s probably more of a habit that I consistently read this magazine, but it does provide solid information such as product previews, industry updates, and tips. It does tend to go heavy on advertisements.
2. The Professional Photographer
Brought to us by the Professional Photographer’s of America, this magazine is a must for those who are earning a living, or trying to advance their careers in the photographic industry. It is not for the amateur but rather for established portrait or wedding photographers who are already experienced. This magazine does come free with a membership to PPA.
3. After Capture / Rangefinder
From WPPI, these magazines will give you trends within the portrait and wedding industry, with helpful articles written by the working pros. You’ll find less of your usual photos of floral, landscape, etc. in this one, and instead more solid information for the working pro.
4. Popular Photography / American Photography
Both of these cover the same genre and really have great images. Furthermore, they have amazing “how to” articles that really cater to a wide audience. The articles seem to be more focused on the latest trends, and less about the artistic side of things. You will find good extensive reviews on lenses and cameras (they do excel in this aspect). There is a tendency to focus heavily on hardware and software. All in all, this mag is great for the “advanced amateur”, and very inexpensive subscriptions are available.
5. Digital Photography
Simply put, this mag is focused where it says it is. It has tons of equipment reviews, previews of new products, and helpful articles that focus on technique. There’s also a nice annual buyers guide that comes out at the beginning of each year.
6. Digital SLR
In the same genre as Digital Photography, this publication from the UK has all the latest rage in contemporary photography. Read great articles on subjects like HDR, and read great reviews. The focus of this magazine does tend to be on the mechanical side of photography.
7. The British Journal
This 150+ year old mag is a classy one. It has great photographs and is focused more on the artsy side of our craft. There is less news and more unique, in-depth articles from a variety of viewpoints that are well written and are sure to provide solid, informative reading. Subscriptions of this one are bit pricier, but worth it.
Another good mag, definitely on the “hip” side of things. This mag will help you see the most current trends happening on the art scene. They also provide helpful marketing and business advice on a wide range of issues, including legal. PDN is also the company that puts on the NYC Photo Plus Expo, an annual event that is definitely one of the top 3 photography conferences/expos in the USA.
9. Special Edition B&W Annual
This one might be my personal favorite. It has amazing quality and is really geared toward the professional who wants to sell their photography on the fine art market.
Am I forgetting any? Let me know!
This is only a very brief synopsis, so please add some comments below and let us know what your favorite magazines are and why, so that we can expand the list.
Hope to see many of you at my next seminar at WPPI Feb 21 2011 and come by and chat. After my programs I will be hanging out to answer questions and the Breathing Color booth.
About Breathing Color
Breathing Color® is a leading designer and supplier of award-winning inkjet canvas, inkjet fine art paper, photo paper and print varnish. Breathing Color is focused on the fine art and photographic markets with products for Epson®, Canon®, HP® and Roland® Printers that lead the industry in color and longevity. Breathing Color’s customers benefit from the highest quality at competitive prices by buying direct.
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