Observations About The Future Of Photographic Magazines

November 28th, 2012

Like most photo enthusiasts I’ve been a photography magazine enthusiast all my life so I’ve been watching with dismay and interest the last 5 or 10 years as print media has been radically changing starting to disappear.

I’ve been tracking online publication and subscribe to many online publications. I have to say that I’m just not that thrilled with the iPad only versions of most magazines. I purchase many issues of Scott Kelby’s Lightit App for the iPad and other similar magazine apps. While I like the content I have a big issue with only being able to read it only on an iPad. Frankly I spend more time in fron of my 27″ monitor and on my 15″ laptop than I do my iPad. So when David duChemin released the first issue of Photograph (a PDF magazine) last month I was anxious to look through it.

I was stunned by how great this PDF magazine looks on a 27″ screen and after thinking about the layout, I realized that this magazine looks good on any tablet, on any laptop and it looks stunning on 27″ monitor! In fact, to me, looking at great photographs on a quality 27″ monitor takes the concept of photography magazines to a whole new level. This is how I want to look at photographs, not on paper! I’ve been publishing ebooks in PDF form for over 6 years but some how I was still stunned by the quality and impact of the photos in this magazine. This is a fantastic way to publish magazines.

The question that comes to mind is why haven’t more publishers been doing this? Why isn’t every magazine being published this way. The reason is when you publish media this way is you have to trust people because there’s no practical way to copy protect a PDF. This is why PDFs are not widely used in electronic publishing. Instead the big publishers (Amazon and Apple) are over focused on copy protection.

Congratulations David! Great publication! I think this publication has a great future!


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5 Responses to “Observations About The Future Of Photographic Magazines”

  • I totally agree with you. And I extend your comments to include real estate information. I have created house web sites for my listings for several years. I could always link to a great virtual tour site for my picture slide shows. But my web sites also contain a lot more information. Many included a lifestyle brochure–using many of the same pictures, but adding commentary. I would make hard copy version of this brochure, nicely bound, and hand them out to highly-likely buyers of a listing. But, the online version of the brochure was always just a PDF file. Same for all my other listing info.

    But no longer. All my house web site info that isn’t hosted on some external photo or video site is now presented as eMags. The brochure is especially interesting since it displays like a real magazine with two page display and page turning. And even other data (deeds, tax assessments, etc.) now look much better as eMags–even though these types of documents only show one page at a time and do not have the fancy page flipping capability. For me, presenting any data about a listing as a PDF file is totally in the past. For now, eMags rule.

    To see a web site that presents its data as eMags go to: and click on the links on the right. Try the Lifestyle Brochure link. If you are not familiar with reading eMags click on the help button for a video tutorial.

  • Hi Larry,
    I agree with your assessment regarding digital magazines and the opportunities for publishing creative visual content. I’ve been a long time fan of photographer Jim Zuckerman. I always looked forward to Jim’s monthly email newsletter and the stunning photographs he features. Two months ago Jim switched to a digital magazine format and the results are even more spectacular. You can view the magazine full screen as well as zoom and pan. What a great way to get your message across.
    A year and a half ago I was searching for a way to put my architectural photography in front of prospective clients. I purchased FlipBook Creator Professional (uses single page PDF page files) and began hosting/publishing Florida Designer Homes magazine. This platform not only features my work but also the work of my clients who like the added exposure. At this point we have grown to over 1,200 readers with Google Analytics reporting over 20,000 page views per issue. With advertising support from some of my clients we are reimbursed for design and hosting expenses. There are also free hosting and magazine creation platforms out there such as Issuu which Jim Zuckerman uses. I would urge photographers looking for ways to expand their marketing efforts to investigate this promotional vehicle. You can view the archived issues we have created to get a feel for our style of presentation at this link:
    Best Regards, Ron

  • @Ron – I was so happy to see that you liked Jim Zuckerman’s new Photo Insights magazine. I have been very fortunate in being the designer of his new website and magazine formats. We put him on Issuu to publish the magazine and it is being designed with Adobe InDesign. He has so much beautiful, meaningful and instructive content that I felt it was important to convey it in a way that is organized, modern and viewable on all devices.

    The issuu format is excellent for Real Estate Photography. The free version has very few advertisements and they appear very small on the right hand side of the screen. You can feed the magazine through your RSS feed provider such as Aweber and/or Constant contact. You can even create a paid for subscription from issue. If you opt for the pro version there are even more features you can take advantage of.

    Whether you create a magazine of properties for sale as an “add-on” for your real estate agent clients, as a portfolio presentation to sell to your real estate agent clients, or just as a method of communication, this is the time to start deciding on how you will be communicating in a format that sticks around with the recipient. With the free tools available and a little studying on how to use publishing programs – anyone can be their own publisher these days.

  • Adobe InDesign rocks. I’m at the bottom of the hill just beginning to learn it (when time permits). Very powerful. Some of the interactive content is amazing, embedding videos and slideshows into a lifestyle page, roll your cursor over rooms on say a floorplan (or text) and a photo of that room appears. Page flips (with sound effects if you like) the list goes on.

    Perfect for me, cost sensitive though, would be to team up with a graphic designer who knows this stuff. The results could be mind boggling.

    Do they have mind boggling in the States ?? you get the idea.

  • Interesting conversation taking place here, and I found it quite by accident!
    I asked myself exactly this question in 2009/2010 and in July 2011 I launched my own title, f11 Magazine – for photographers and aficionados. We’ve since produced 17 issues and these are all available online at our website,

    f11 is produced by my small team in New Zealand for a global audience. f11 is about photography and the people who produce it and love it, rather than being focused on equipment. It’s free to readers and now has thousands of subscribers around the world. We offer the magazine in two formats, an online page flip version perfect for viewing on large displays such as the iMac 27″; and an iPad friendly PDF version which you can open and store in iBooks. You’d be very welcome to check it out. Cheers!

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