by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2013
This is the 70th issue of Professional Imagemaker! It is now 12 long years since a select band met in the Rising Sun in Tarporley, Cheshire and chewed over names, logos and layouts to replace The Society Photographer. The resulting name and masthead have survived to this day and the compiled covers reveal the evolution of photography over the past decade and more. These have been exciting times and so it is good to sit back and take stock of just what has been collectively achieved (by both the organisation and its members).
In truth, the cover statistics are only an indication of what you, the members, have been up to. Unsurprisingly for an organisation slanted towards social photography, the covers are heavily biased towards portraiture, couples and family groups. Nudes, which form quite a bit of the inside content today, have never been used on covers to avoid issues that this might cause for some of our readership - at more than 50 countries there are many things to consider! As the SWPP has evolved into The Societies, with its broader membership range, it strikes me that nature and digital art are somewhat under-represented in the pie chart of covers, we might look at that going forward!
IIf you had to pinpoint a single thing that characterises changes to both covers and content it is the sophistication of the images. Fashions change, issue 5 showcased Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects, including page curls, which have assumed the status once occupied by tulip-glass vignettes in wedding albums. Don't forget it was not that long ago that soft-edged vignettes were considered a bit flash! The main drivers for change, though, have been better, faster cameras, better printing and the evolution of the photographers' abilities to exploit Photoshop for creative purposes. This has required a change of mind set; imaginations have been cut loose and what previously consumed vast adverting budgets now regularly turns up in monthly competition entries. Even when you allow for the changes in fashion, the quality of competition entry and features we now publish are vastly higher than a decade ago - and interestingly the by-lines are often the same photographers proving that the shakers and movers have moved along with the gear!
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