Introducing Findr

In this blog post we introduce you to findr, a brand new platform supporting photographers and finding them work. They simplify the search and booking process of photographers for work by giving direct access through their platform.

Findr can help if you are a photographer or need a photographer!

 
 

What is findr? Findr is an online booking platform through which photographers can showcase their skills and find more work. It was created for photographers, by photographers who grew tired of the unnecessary struggles that come with marketing oneself, finding clients, and arranging bookings. Findr aims at making it easier for photographers to find work that fits around their schedules, while still respecting their independence and artistic freedom.

Who are you? What's your photographic background? I am a photographer and picture editor from Edinburgh. I worked in the press industry for 15 years. I particularly enjoy portraiture, and marketing and events photography that gives me the ability to tell stories for the clients.

How did the platform emerge? The platform emerged from the need to create a solution to an everyday problem I faced as a picture editor: how to quickly and simply find photographers I could trust to work on projects I was involved in.

 Image by Harry Spekter

Image by Harry Spekter

Who's behind Findr? Tell us about the team. Findr is made of a small team of people dedicated to improving the landscape of commissioned photography. The technology is created by Ben, Josh, and Rob, while the operational excellence is handled by Alex, Christian, and Pauline. And, of course, we'd be nothing without the community of over 3,000 amazing photographers we're lucky enough already be working with!

Who would you ideally like to get involved with Findr? We're looking for hardworking, reliable, and creative photographers interested in accelerating or improving their careers and in working with a growing list of great brands through findr.

 Image by Michael Sheridan

Image by Michael Sheridan

How can people go about being part of the platform? It's super easy and quick! Head over to www.findr.me and create your photographer profile. You can add your portfolio, all the services you offer, and manage your own schedule.

Who is Findr's audience? Findr is meant for a community of professional photographers and clients who love and benefit from good photography.

What are the benefits of being part of or using Findr? New work, new opportunities, so little hassle! By signing up to work with findr, you join a direct route to work without any of the hardships that come along with being a freelance photographer, and companies receive an efficient management system for their projects.

 Image by Pooyan

Image by Pooyan

What does Findr's future look like? Here at findr, we love to dream big! Our goal is to become the global marketplace for professional photographers and customers on an international scale.

Follow findr on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Introducing Loupe Magazine

Loupe, a free magazine featuring a diverse selection of contemporary photography. Issue 7 in stockists now - find out more here.

 
 

Who are you, what's your motto? I’m Luke Archer, editor / founder of Loupe magazine and a photographer in a very loose sense of the word!

I think you can’t go wrong with ‘treat others how you would expect to be treated’ as a motto, it certainly informs my approach to life and Loupe. Funnily enough I think the original quote comes from the book of Luke!

Have you studied photography? What are your thoughts? I studied my BA at UWE and I’m currently studying for my MA at AUB. Many of the Loupe team are recent grads. The magazine goes out to a lot of universities and we do try and feature student work so photography education is an area of interest for us!

There are certain constraints that academia puts on courses to make them a ‘degree’ that I don’t always think are essential for photography. Personally, I think the written elements of courses should be reduced and more emphasis should be put on making sure everyone is technically competent and developing career paths for students. However, photography is a tricky subject to teach, courses tend to be broad and with student dedication so varied it is hard to create a program that will be a perfect fit for each student.

For me studying the BA had a massive impact, the difference in the standard of my work from when I started my BA and finished was huge, I just wish I had spent less time on my dissertation and more time making contacts! That’s very much how I have tried to approach the MA.

I also do worry for current BA students that the fees are incredibly high. I think universities should be covering the cost of London degree shows and more competitions should be free or have low entry cost for students, that’s the feedback we get from our student readers.

What's your favourite style of photography? With Loupe we are trying to show the diversity of photography, how the medium can encompass such a breadth of approaches, so I hope my own taste is as varied I think it is!

That being said, I am a sucker for documentary work where a photographer is able to tell a story through portrait, landscape and detail shots. I’m also becoming very interested in how photographers are incorporating text and interviews into their work to tell a fuller story, currently I’ve been really inspired by the work of Lauren Greenfield and Mahtab Hussain.

Can you tell us what Loupe Magazine is? Loupe is a free photography magazine distributed across the UK. We are stocked at a lot of photography specific locations so I think all our readers are as passionate about photography as we are! As previously mentioned we try and feature a diverse selection of inspiring work.

We launched Issue 1 in May 2016 and have been publishing on a triannual basis ever since.

Who makes up the team behind the magazine? Currently we have designer and co-founder Alec Jackson, Leticia Batty who manages our distribution and Harry Flook who is editor of our web content.

We have a whole host of regular writers including Gemma Padley, Mischa Frankl-Duval, Grace Benton, Alex Ingram and Rosie Wadey, alongside some new recruits who are helping with our web content and will hopefully be writing in future issues. 

We also have Noah and Dan who are doing some research as part of work experience modules for their degrees.

Most of the guys are trying to balance the mag with their own photography / studies and paid work so I try not to overload everyone with tasks. Although you would have to ask them if that’s working out or not!

What were your initial aims and inspirations when putting ideas together for Loupe Magazine? Like others we aim to promote new talent but I hope we go the extra mile by sending each issue directly to a lot of people in the photography industry for example: picture editors, curators, ad agency art buyers among many others.

I think that some titles put a deliberate distance between themselves and their readers to somehow inflate their own importance and we don’t want that with Loupe. We are trying to be as open and as approachable as possible. We respond to submissions and give advice when asked (if we can!) and I know from my own experience trying to promote work how much that means to people.

What is Loupe Magazine's biggest achievement to date? Reaching Issue 7! Independent publishing isn’t easy so it is often the small achievements that make it worthwhile. It’s been great to be able to be the first to publish someone’s work in print and then for the project to be picked up by other outlets, or just hearing that our readers appreciate what we do in terms of our general ethos and curation.

It was nice to be shortlisted for the 2017 Stack Awards, the ceremony was great because it was fun to be in a room with so many people obsessed with print.

What do you look for in a photographer who would like to get involved with what you do? We want to feature and promote work that hasn’t had a lot of coverage already. Having said that I am aware that as a free magazine our readership is very broad so I do try and consider that a body of work that might be well known in some areas of the community might be new to others.

For me the best work has a strong and concise concept that has been well executed. If there is a strong degree of originality in both those areas, then that’s the work that grabs my attention.

Curating the magazine is tricky because we have limited pages and that means we have to pass on featuring some very strong work. I feel bad rejecting work because it is not about the quality, it's more about maintaining the diversity of each issue. For example, we have so many people submit amazing documentary work, shot with available light on medium format film but we simply can’t publish it all.

Give one tip to new photography graduates. Try not to let rejection get you down! Although it is something that I still struggle with! There are so many rejections or simply not hearing back from magazines, competitions, potential employers, funding opportunities etc. If you can move forward and keep shooting and keep reaching out to people as opposed to dwelling on it that’s great. There are so many factors beyond the quality of your work that impact on those decisions that we should learn to not take it personally and keep on trucking!

What does the future hold for Loupe Magazine? A new website is top of my list! I want to make sure all the new content we are producing is as easy to access and enjoy as possible.

There are lot of ideas floating about and some vey blue sky thinking! Thankfully with more people helping I hope we can do even more to get to know our readers. A launch event or exhibition for each issue is something we couldn’t do before but hopefully we can put one on for the next issue and everyone can have a beer on us!

An interview with SEMI ZINE

We recently interviewed the founder and editor of SEMI ZINE to give an insight into what they're all about and how you can get involved. Scroll down to find out more!

"We're advocators of great artwork and dedicated artists."

 
 

Who are you? What and where did you study? I’m Pagy Wicks, I’m the founder and editor of SEMI ZINE. I studied Photographic Arts at the University of Westminster in London. Doing my degree was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I really learnt how to think academically about photographic art and UoW was a great facilitator of critical thinking.

What is SEMI ZINE? Who's behind this creation? SEMI ZINE is a non-profit online and soon to be POD (print-on-demand) magazine dedicated to the arts on a global scale. It’s a new platform for artists to publish work and gain a bit of interest in their current projects. Initially I started up the magazine in my bedroom late one eve, it’s now grown to a small collection of art enthusiasts and graduates in different fields who wanted to contribute and work with me on the idea. 

 Image by  Nina Musholt

Image by Nina Musholt

How do you go about selecting artists to feature on the platform? We aim to feature anyone who submits work. Our selection process is very fluid and really depends on how much effort has been put into the body of work and if we can gauge that from the first submission. We also like the collaboration aspect of selecting artists to be featured with us. We do have a particular subjective ‘look’ in mind for the magazine based on our own interests. If the submission doesn’t necessarily suit our look we’ll have an in-depth look at the artists’ online portfolio and try to work out whether they have a body of work we’re eager to share with our followers which so far, luckily, everyone has had. 

Tell us about your ideas to create a print on demand zine. This was basically born out of the idea of running a cost effective, non-profit art magazine. It means we can cater to an audience no matter how small or large. There are setbacks to running a POD magazine - there may be a longer wait for your copy since we print on order. With the resurgence and resurrection of the magazine we’re not short for platforms that support a POD model. If you’re a nerd about all things print, like I am, then now is a great time to be alive and working.

 Image by  Ewan Waddell

Image by Ewan Waddell

How can creatives get involved with what you do? SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT. We have a really simple submission system in place. Our website (semizine.co.uk) is pretty straightforward and user friendly. Artists can submit work via our submit tab online. I also welcome emails (info@semizine.com) from artists who might have any mixed media ideas they’re looking to share with us. Occasionally I’m also trawling media to reach out to different artists around the world. Once we’ve made a connection we always stay in contact for future work or shows from the artists we feature. Our only regret in regard to submissions is that we cannot feature everyone simultaneously and our artists do suffer a hefty wait in our feature queue, so far though everyone has been very supportive and understanding about the waiting period. We’re super grateful for our lovely artists. 

As SEMI ZINE is not for profit, what's in it for you? The magazine is another platform for artists to be able to get their work published. I’m a photographic artist myself and I know the struggle to get word out that you’re dedicated as an artist is real. The whole concept was born out of that. We’re non discriminative in all regards and we value your work as much as you do. I really actually enjoy art in most of its forms and I’m a huge nerd about great art - if we get to feature someone talented who maybe hasn’t been discovered yet or has something completely valid to say then that’s our gain. 

 Image by  Mauricio Alejo

How does a SEMI ZINE interview work? How do you decide what questions to ask? We have a set of questions which aim to offer a more inside look into the artist and their own work. This set is always accompanied by a few questions as a response from me or the team about the work itself specifically. Since we’re all academics and graduates we do tend to ask very academic style questions which might relate to different well known theories in art. The idea is to create a cool discursive between the magazine and the artist. I always ask the artist to have fun while answering and don’t really limit them to what they can and can’t say or to any word count. It’s there to offer an inside perspective on the creative process to the reader for that feature. We try to create really interesting and immersive content for our readers too so this would affect how we pick our questions. 

Tell us about some of the artists you've decided to include with this interview. We’ve decided to show you a mix of currently featured and yet to be featured artists. Our current list of artists to be featured is so large at the moment that it wouldn’t be right not to consider their images for this interview. We tried to show a great variety in artwork we publish as well. In order of images we decided to show Nina Musholt - her work “[...] is driven by surrealism and daily myths and riddles.”, Krasimira Butseva - In her practice she explores “[...] history, politics and collective memory; working with state and personal archives, found photography and objects, and contemporary landscape photography.”, Mauricio Alejo creates intricate temporary sculptures in his home and documents the installations on 4x5 film and Ewan Waddell whose “[...] main motivations at the moment are creating visuals within fashion and documentary genres – and also producing publications.”. 

What's your biggest achievement to date? I know it might sound like a super diplomatic answer but honestly we feel like every single artist we’ve been able to feature and work with has been our biggest achievement to date. SEMI ZINE started out of my bedroom late at night and has bloomed into this already insanely cool archive and showcase. We’ll always see us reaching out as our biggest achievement and we’ll forever be grateful for our collective of artists too. It doesn’t stop at a submission - we like to get involved so we’re anticipating many more achievements to come.

An Interview with Pop My Mind

As you know, Photograd are working with Pop My Mind again on a brand new, exciting challenge. Head over to their platform to read more about Creativegrad which will be officially launching soon.

To give you more of an insight into Pop My Mind we've interviewed the team. We hope you enjoy the read.


Who are you, what's your motto? We are a powerful art community creating stunning content that will make you POP! In other words, we are a collective of creative people from around the world who like to experiment and create new, engaging pieces of work in response to each other’s work, current topics and for larger projects.

What's your creative style? As a company, we are all about authenticity – all the work we create is genuinely influenced by something else on the site, and is made by real people who love what they do (and are great at what they do)! There are so many of us in different disciplines – artists, writers, photographers, musicians, film makers – that we don’t have an overarching style. But it is this diversity that makes our community so powerful, and why the work we make is so unique.

Can you tell us what Pop My Mind is? We are an organisation built around an online community of hand-picked artists and creatives. Brands, agencies and festivals can hire us to use our platform and challenge our community to produce dynamic new work in response to their products and brand. This work is completely bespoke and can be used in all sorts of ways to help them stand out from the crowd.

What were the initial aims for the platform? We are always trying to expand our community and get more people working with us on exciting projects. Our aim is for a good percentage of our community to be able to earn a living income through us from doing the creative projects which they love to do!

What’s your biggest achievement to date? I think getting our first client was a pretty exciting day for us. That was the point when we knew that we had the potential to do something really great for our community who have been so supportive, enthusiastic and involved in our organisation from the beginning. We also realised the power that creative content has, and that it can be used in such a wide variety of applications to make an unforgettable impression on an audience.

What do you look for when accepting new users onto the platform? We look for people who experiment and explore in their practice, who have creative ideas and make inspirational work. We also like their work to have a distinct or recognisable style, and we’re always interested to see how people engage with fellow artists and take influences from different sources. That’s what we’re about after all! 

What does Pop My Mind provide its users? Our community receive access to exclusive opportunities to expand their practice and creative careers, such as being included in group exhibitions and events, getting online and real-life exposure, and earning money for the work they produce.

P.S. we always get asked this, but there is no catch! It is our honour that creatives want to join our community and so being part of it and accessing our opportunities is completely free.

How can people get involved? Being part of Pop My Mind is simple – you just have to visit www.popmymind.com/joinus, pop us an email and we will be in touch with you to say hi. 

Give one tip to new creative graduates. Meet as many other creative people as you can - listen, share, and get inspired! Getting a network of like-minded people around not only gives you a great support system, it means you are constantly presented with fresh ideas and new perspectives, which is essential for developing your ideas and methods.

Also, take as many opportunities as you can. It can be so difficult to make a name - or a living - for yourself in the creative industries, but that first foot in the door is all you need.

And you know where to look for both of those… 

What does the future hold for Pop My Mind? Well that would be telling! We’ve got some exciting things on the horizon including our Think Travel project with spoken word artist Roseanne Ganley, which aims to combine travel and creativity to understand and promote mental wellbeing. 

We’re also currently in conversation with some trendy businesses and setting up creative projects with them that our community can really dig their teeth into. However, details on these have yet to be announced… stay tuned for more!