Square Magazine

After deciding that I didn’t want to photograph events I focused a lot more on finding magazine work, this is the area that I am most interested in pursuing in the future so gaining some experience in this area will really benefit me and look great on my CV.

Working at Square Magazine, an online publication, really has given me an insight into how a magazine is run and everything that goes into it. I have done loads of different jobs that really help me understand what is put into making a magazine before it is published. I have done tasks from organising files and folders to sourcing and deciding on content and writing editorials.

I have source a couple of photographers for the magazine, the way to go about this is by emailing them. I have my own Square Mag email address to do this (bethany@squaremag.org), this makes it look more professional than using one of my personal accounts. This also allows the artist or anyone that I am emailing instantly know that I am working for the magazine. Here are a few examples of the emails that I send.

We ask for 10 images (1000 x 1000 at 72 DPI) and a short synopsis of the work. Here is an example of some of the work that I have sourced for the magazine: Jason Tilley- Imagine Hillfields.

‘Hillfields is an amazing place. Out of the bomb damage and planning blight of Coventry’s post war period it renewed itself through inward migration and high-rise housing, became a laboratory for innovative community projects from the early 1970s, the birthplace of two tone in the late 1970s’ and a site of successive regeneration attempts since. Today it is one of the most internationally diverse areas of its size in Europe and is, as always a place of hardworking people struggling against poverty, exploitation and a lack of voice.

In the mid 1960s, the renowned British photographer John Blakemore began to document his changing neighbourhood and the peoples who began to arrive. More than half a century later the photographer Jason Tilley who also has family routes in Hillfields responded to Blakemore’s original body of work by meeting and documenting the place and many of Coventry’s newest generation of citizens.

It was all part of Imagine, a community research project led by the University of Warwick which is revisiting past future visions of Coventry and Hillfields to help generate new ones. We asked: if Hillfields today is to participate in Coventry’s wider development how can residents, planners and policy makers jointly learn from the past to understand the present and transform the future?’

After completing the Concepts and Approaches module I knew that I really enjoyed the researching and writing side of photography as well as the practical side. By writing editorials I have been able to channel this part of photography into a more employable trait. Drafting and redrafting this piece, about the Holga, made me realise and understand more that each magazine has a style that you need to match. If you fail to write in this in house style the magazine consistency is off, this would give the brand a bad name. This has taught me that not only do I need to research the subject but also the magazine that I am writing for. See below the different drafts of my magazine editorial and how it evolved into the final piece.

Draft 1:

In recent news it has been announced that the Holga factory in China will be shut down. Other factories in the same location owned by the same company were also shut down; this suggests Holga isn’t closing to a lack of popularity or sales but due to other factors. It seems that losing the Holga is yet another causality of the digital age that cannot be avoided.

The cameras will remain on sale until the last of the remaining are sold, if you haven’t used one of these cameras before, now may be the time to purchase one before it is too late! The Holga has now become more valuable than ever and certainly something to hold on to if you are lucky enough to own one. The quirky and unpredictable images made from this brand you will either love or hate and is its main attraction. In the digital age we live in now it really is a refreshing medium.

Holga cameras are assembled by hand, and made out of plastic, no two are identical, and this really does bring something unique to the brand. Light leaks, vignettes and soft focus are the main trademark characteristics achieved with a Holga; this is something that more and more people are trying to achieve. You can even purchase a Holga iPhone lens enabling you to accomplish this style digitally as well as with the original cameras.

Holga cameras have been part of photography for over 30 years, and were available in 120 medium format, 35mm and pinhole versions. These provided a cheap and accessible alternative for people to easily experiment with. It is such a shame that we have to say good-bye to this brand, but certainly something for more people to experiment with if they ever get the chance.

Draft 2:

In recent news it has been announce that the Holga factory in China will be shut down. Being a student, I have just discovered the Holga and now it’s too late! I may never get to use one. I envy those of you who have owned one or still do, take good care of it; it is now more valuable than ever before. If, like me, you don’t own one, now is definitely the time to get buying!

I don’t believe that Holga shut due to a lack of popularity, the quirky and unpredictable images being made and the amount of artists still using them suggests different. Maybe this is just another casualty of the digital age. This is slowly taking away our passion! We need to fight back to avoid losing any more of our treasures.

Holga cameras have been part of photography for over 30 years and were available in many different formats, as we say good-bye to this symbol of photography we dedicate this issue to the Holga and everything we love about it!

Final Piece:

In recent news it has been announced that the Holga factory in China will be shut down. Being a student, I have just discovered the Holga and now it’s too late! I may never get to use one. I envy those of you who have owned one or still do. Please take good care of it.
I don’t believe that Holga shut down due to a lack of popularity, the quirky and unpredictable images being made and the amount of artists still using them suggests differently. Maybe this is just another casualty of the digital age. And now Fuji has announced that they are going to stop the only peel apart instant film left.

Please, could I just get a little bit of analogue photography before it disappears completely?

This was published into the special edition of the magazine that was dedicated to the Holga camera. I have been credited under the editorial and also as an assistant of the magazine. The magazine is available at: http://www.squaremag.org/SP06-FR-GB.pdf

I have also helped compile a list of the artists that have been featured in the magazines. This included going through a set of the issues and making PDF’s of the pages that each artist were part of. When we had finished doing this as a team all of these were put together into a list so people could use this as a resource. See this resource here: http://www.squaremag.org/educational-resources/

In the future…

I plan to continue working for Square Magazine. I have really enjoyed everything that I have done here so far and by working here I have been able to get a good insight into how a magazine is run and what needs to be done behind the scenes. Contacting artists is something that I am constantly doing. At the moment we have a list of artists that are waiting to be included in one of the issues, this includes my previous example of Jason Tilley. To keep this list going it is important to continue contacting artists. I am also helping set up a residency in Birmingham and also an exhibition in Wolverhampton which will be in May.

 

 

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