Why I like Magazine

Not that you were asking but I’m going to share my magazine thoughts with you…again. Why? First, I’m amazed at how many people don’t know we make a magazine. Second, this format is SO unique in how it looks, how it can be designed and what it means to those who receive it. And third, there are SO MANY people who have the drive and talent to be publishing their own. How do I know? Because I did it. On a small scale mind you. I shot, edited, sequenced and designed a short run magazine, back in like 2009, and sold my allotted number.(100) And I’m pretty sure I could have sold a lot more.


Now, am I going to support myself on magazine sales? Probably not, but I will tell you within a week of “announcing” I was going to do this I was getting calls from people who wanted to advertise. I ended up not doing any advertising, didn’t really need it, but had I chosen to go down that route I think I could have managed it. The magazine has ALWAYS been one of the Holy Grails to documentary style photographers, going back to the days of Look and Life. HOWEVER, all of this died back in the mid 1990’s, and yet many of us are still pretending like these magazines are the keys to “getting work out.” Please. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long, long while, but the magazine is still very alluring because of what it means.


First, it’s designed to be discarded, in most cases that is. We all have friends who have every copy of National Geographic or Rolling Stone or Off-Road Buckshot Mudder….come on people I grew up country. To some the magazine is SACRED ground. Most people get a magazine, read it, leave it around until they look at it and ask “Why am I keeping these?” then toss them out. But why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW ANOTHER ISSUE IS ON THE WAY. People this is so fantastic. Ever thought about a subscription list? A simple email database of those who want in? How easy is that to compile? Wait for it….I’m doing this precise thing. Stay tuned for a subsequent post.


Also, magazines are informal in comparison to books. They are treated differently, taken poolside, used to mop up the puke of sick kids and probably still read, but I would need independent verification from you parents out there. Magazines travel. They are given away. My wife gives her’s away on airplanes. “Hey, wanna read this?” she asks and they are ALWAYS taken. Try giving a book away on a plane. It might work but people might think you are creepy too. And for all I know you ARE creepy. You’re here aren’t you?


These last two spreads are from a new project, Whistleblower, which is a look at the modern surveillance culture and the changing terminology of modern warfare. The images were made in various places around the world.

In a way this was a trial run. Just another test in a long, long line of tests. I made mistakes, even after proofing so many times I almost threw up. It happens. To everyone. Don’t sweat it. Correct and move on. Live and learn. Enjoy. When I see this magazine I think to myself, “What are the limits here, the possibilities?” and what comes back at me is…..there aren’t any. What are we waiting for? Permission? An editor to assign something then embargo the work after running ONE image? If you are a wedding photographer why not run a quarterly run of your best images which then goes out to your top vendors, planners and former clients, via print or “E?” If you are a editorial photographer why not run an issue on what didn’t run via mainstream channels? If you are an amateur who shoots for fun why not do a run for your family to keep them up on what is turning you on in the visual world?

We all need to get hip and get hip NOW. This isn’t 1975, or 1985 or 1995 or even 2005. This is a blank slate. A playing field where everyone gets in the game.

MagCloud’s Favorite SMB Pinterest Boards


In addition to being a great tool to market your publication, Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration for your business. From infographics to marketing tips, the following are some of our favorite SMB focused Pinterest boards to follow:

Do you follow any SMB focused boards on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below!

A Few Inspirations For Your Portfolio

As mentioned in our blog series, MagCloud is here to help publish your portfolio and provide options to create a big impression with a small format. So what’s the next step? We thought we’d offer a few examples to inspire you to start or update your existing portfolio. Portfolios are critical for designers, photographers and other small business owners who want to get exposure for their work and land new clients.

Whether you’re a musician, watercolor painter or even a blacksmith, you can capture a moment of creativity by browsing through more than 300 portfolios already on MagCloud. Draw additional inspiration from portfolios of other notable interior designers, graphic designers, and architects. Below are a few more examples of what your fellow publishers have been working on.

This collection of artist’s portfolios is a great example of using our digest format. For those conscious about budgets and the size of your portfolio, digest size provide an efficient way to share your best work in both print and digital formats.

As a small business, Sweet Pea Floral Creations showcases some of their favorite floral arrangements and highlights from client events and weddings.

Just graduated? Compile your best work for a great supplement to your resume, just like this advertising creative portfolio that Lauren Richer created.

Interior and architectural photographer David Duncan Livingston created various portfolios of his clean, welcoming photographs of homes, hospitality and products.

Below is a run-down of additional photography print portfolios that have caught our eyes.

  • The Art of Enzo Mondejar features an avant-garde take on portraiture by the gifted photographer, Enzo Mondejar. The images are creatively captivating and we hope they offer some inspiration for your print portfolio.
  • Nevertheless is the creative output of Peter Olschinsky, Verena Weiss and Gerhard Weib. This gorgeous layout design can teach us all more about how to present our images in the best light and perspective.
  • Finally, the Lolli POP Project is the work of photographer Massimo Gammacurta and is a great example of letting color explode onto a printed page and take off. Featured in Wired Magazine in December 2010, this project is both eye-catching and salivating.

What other portfolios have you seen that help inspire you to create your own? Share them with us in the comments below.

Get Publication Inspiration Through Networking

Looking for inspiration for your next issue, advice on how to create a branded publication or tips for creating a killer portfolio?  Consider increasing your networking time to socialize and exchange ideas with those in your industry or with common interests. Networking can be easily done in-person or virtually through association meetings, conferences, forums, NING sites, community websites, etc.

One example of combining the virtual and live worlds is Meetup.com – a site that launched after 9/11 and boomed. It now hosts 79,000 local groups in 45,000 cities worldwide! A whopping 250,000 “Meetups” occur each month on topics ranging from design to publishing to small business owners to marketing and just about any subject matter or topic you may be interested in.

We believe that there is great value to be gained from spending time with people in your profession or who share your love and interest in creating world-class publications. Meeting to exchange ideas, resources and best practices can lead to expanding your skill set and even to new business opportunities. Say you’re looking to find people to start a new cycling publication, check out these meetups with other cycling enthusiasts. Looking to get inspired by or for tips from other designers check out Behance Network’s Tip Exchange.

Below are some other opportunities to meet-and-greet, exchange ideas and network with your peers.


American Marketing Association – Local Chapters
American Society of Association Executives – Communities Section
Business Marketing Association – Local Chapters

Creative Professionals

AIGA – The Professional Association for Design – Local Chapters
Adobe InDesign User Group – Local Chapters
Professional Photographers of America – Calendar of Events
Behance Network – A Creative Professional Platform

Magazine Publishers

Editor & Publisher  – Upcoming events around the world
Folio – Magazine publishers grouped by interest, location, field, etc.
Magazine Dojo –  Social networking site for magazine publishers

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Share more of your favorite networking opportunities with us in the comments section below.