We’re excited to see more and more photographers are considering printing their work or are still keen on submitting to print publications. As a business with educational offerings in both digital and tangible worlds, we appreciate both; online and in-person experiences each have their strengths. But as recent publishers of League magazine, our boutique print showcase of artful (and ethically captured) photography, we have a soft spot for the way print can bring images to life.
Perhaps this is because a fine print – or fine printing – has its own way of interacting with light. Choice of paper, process and inks all combine in this magical alchemy to interact with ambient light to create a thing that almost seems to have a presence… view a piece of actual art on a wall and compare that experience to flipping through a catalogue of reproductions and you will know what I mean. With photography, a print is that art on the wall. Print is the photographer’s expression made real in a controlled, deliberately physical sense. That careful selection of materials, like paper and ink, influence the outcome in a way no digital monitor can.
Not all magazines geek out on paper and ink like we do with League. This is understandable since the cost of materials has an impact on subscription price. Yet variety is the spice of life, which is probably why limited edition publishing of niche magazines is enjoying a little resurgence right now.
Regardless of what magazine you submit to, there are some common steps in the process that can help you advance your work before the editors. Based on our experience publishing the first issue of League, we’ve created a free mini guide, How to Be Published, for those photographers seeking to have their work showcased in print. This little booklet (digital, by the way) is helpful for submissions to any magazine. We hope to see your submissions, either to League, or in some of our other favourite print magazines, down the road.
As many of you know, Samantha and I started League magazine and the League of Landscape Photographers as an outlet for photographic creativity with a conscience. League members photograph the world around them in accordance with high ethical standards and they make imagery with purpose, meaning and integrity. League photographs engage, question and challenge the viewer. League and the League of Landscape Photographers seek to raise landscape photography to a personal expressive art that comments on the world around us.
Samantha and I always acknowledge and reward those in the photographic community who are doing exceptional work and who inspire and teach others to do the same. We can think of no other photographer in Canada (or the world, for that matter) who has done so much to raise landscape and nature photography to an art form and to encourage photographers to express their creative vision than Freeman Patterson. Many of you will know Freeman and will have been influenced, inspired and moved by his work. Freeman’s influence weaves through both Sam and my work and our teachings. Indeed, we think that subconsciously Freeman’s influence germinated the seed which became League. So who better to honour with the inaugural Best of the League Award than Freeman Patterson?
For those photographers not familiar with Freeman’s work, we highly recommend you head to your nearest library or book store and pick up at least one of his many books on photography, creativity and seeing. Our three personal favorites and a must read for all expressive photographers are Photography and the Art of Seeing, Photographing the World Around You – A Visual Design Workshop and Embracing Creation. We also highly recommend any of his life-altering (no exaggeration) workshops – anyone who has been on a Freeman workshop will talk and talk and talk your ear off about how amazing it was!
Talking creative expression is all the rage in photography right now especially in the wake of all the fascination with the gear of digital capture. But Freeman laid the foundation long ago by teaching photographers to embrace their creative self. So much of what is in vogue today by those teaching ‘creative vision’ is based directly or indirectly on Freeman’s early teachings. Thanks to Freeman we can all finally move away from gear and technique into what truly matters, create self-awareness and develop personal expression.
For all of Freeman’s influence, his respect for people and the environment, his tireless sharing and mentoring of photographers, and for his lifetime body of artful, thoughtful images, we are honoured to award Freeman the Best of the League Award! We are thrilled that Freeman shared with us a moving story and portfolio of images that will be published in League this September. Subscriptions to League end June 30 so if you want this collectible magazine on your book shelf subscribe now!
Each month we send out a newsletter to our oopoomoo newsletter subscribers with an assignment for the month. In March, we wanted photographers to show us a non-iconic view of an iconic location. We themed the assignment #league_landscape in honour of our new publishing project League magazine (which is now open for subscriptions and submissions). There was a lot of fabulous non-iconic assignment images shown by photographers in our oopoomoo Facebook group but one photographer, Janice Kretzer-Prysunka, really stood out with her portfolio of personal takes at iconic locations. Great work Janice!