PopPhoto Ceases Publication
Woke up this morning to some sad news – it appears that after an 80 year run, Popular Photography is ceasing both print and online publication.
Popular Photography, the largest circulated imaging magazine that launched its first issue in May 1937 in New York City, has ceased publication after being continuously in production for 80 years. The March/April 2017 issue will be the last in print.
Last year, issues of Popular Photography began to be combined, and then it was announced that instead of a monthly magazine there would be only 6 issues a year, but even that move proved inadequate to save it from depleted ad revenues. Earlier issues were filled with retailer advertising at the back of the book but with online sales becoming dominant, those ads were sadly missing or severely reduced.
I know that this is probably inevitable. It’s not a comment on the photographic industry, but rather the SLOW death much print media has succumbed to over the last decade now.
But it does, in one way, feel like the end of an era. For me, as a young lad in the 70’s, I very much remember Popular Photography as one of three magazines available in our household.
It served almost as an addendum or a ‘extra bonus’ to National Geographic. Even at an early age, I enjoyed learning about the very tools and techniques that must have been employed to create NG’s fantastic images. PopPhoto impressed upon me that photography was a very diverse and accessible artistic medium. It would become my primary creative outlet – it could be used to explore shapes and colours and textures and perspectives and patterns and… everything. You could evoke emotions and atmospheres. You could document life as it unfolded, helping to remember and celebrate people and places that crossed your path.
With Popular Photography being my early tour-guide and mentor.
That being said, I was part of PopPhoto’s demise. Can’t remember the last issue I actually purchased. 2 years ago? 5 years ago? MORE? My subscription lapsed long ago. I no longer even purchased the occasional issue from an airport newsstand, with iDevices already long serving my entertainment needs.
But we grow – other resources helped to feed and grow the art form – online communities, workshops, travel, and professional work. All of which PopPhoto encouraged.
So I suppose that ultimately (and selfishly), Popular Photography served it’s purpose for me. It was a launching pad that helped to start me off on a photographic journey.
So Cheers! I think I’m off to play a little hooky this afternoon and take some pictures. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate an 80-year run of an important publication.