The times have changed. It isn’t 1980. It isn’t 2008. Even 2012 feels a century ago relative to how the world is changing. Which in my mind renders the question: why are we still submitting to “vanity” magazines for exposure?
This video has been bubbling in my head for more than a year and I am finally ready to share my personal opinion why submitting to these magazines isn’t the best use of your efforts and time, and why steering your focus to another medium is best well suited for today’s age. To be clear, this is not referring to magazines that have a strong subscription base, healthy ad revenue, etc.
What inspired me to talk about this is from inquiries I’ve made in the past with other creatives about collaborating on personal projects. Most usually agree, but I still do get some that answer with an “only if it’s submitted to magazine” kind of answer. This answer leaves me scratching my head. Honestly, what is the cold hard truth about the benefits of these vanity magazines in today’s age?
After submitting a few editorials and personal projects to these magazines, there isn’t much play for this in my opinion. There are four reasons why I believe this.
First, social media today has more eyeballs than a MagCloud magazine hidden in oblivion. An editorial piece hidden on MagCloud doesn’t hold as much value. Second, you can’t even share your work right away, you have to wait a month usually. The world moves so fast nowadays, a month old shoot can feel ancient. Thirdly, in an age of storytelling, you’re going to rely on someone else to tell your story the way you want it to be told? I’m over here scratching my head. Even if I had my photos named in a specific order, I’ve received editorials where I was disappointment in how the photos flowed. And finally, they don’t even give you a magazine, you have to pay for it yourself. Enough said.
In the video above, I explain how you can steer your focus from submitting to these magazines and instead telling your story, your way. A great example you can refer to is how photographers like Joey Lawrence and Benjamin Von Wong share their personal project content. They methodically share their content little by little and have complete control of their story.
In the end, your projects that create a buzz, the photos you submit to art buyers, and your stories you tell on social media are much more important nowadays than submitting your work to someone that you’re trusting to tell your story. No one else can tell your story like you can.
Front page cover photo by Wokandapix via Pixabay.