It is always tough to make a big decision in a business; particularly one in which what you do reaches numerous people with a shared passion. Whomever believes that it is just business and nothing personal may as well say that the world is flat. PhotoComment conjures up feelings inside me not dissimilar to the way I feel about my son. To draw on that analogy though: at some point, children grow up… and it is now time for PhotoComment to begin that journey in greater earnest. From October 2012, PhotoComment will no longer be a free magazine in print; retailing rather for R15,00. Please read the announcement – a personal letter from me – as published in this month’s (September 2012) issue for more details.
Big Announcement Letter.
It was in a small one bedroom apartment back in March 2009 that PhotoComment’s first issue launched as a digital publication. At the time, it sold for R12,50 and had one advertiser. It is hard to believe how far things have come since then.
It was a labour of love in many respects. I persuaded my wife to do the layout and – at the end of the month – we could just afford a dinner out.
In December 2010, following cries from both readers and industry players and with a handful of advertisers, PhotoComment made the move to print as a free distribution model. This time, we could afford to celebrate with Happy Meals all around, but it felt good.
Lurking in the background from the start was this dark cloud to which we commonly refer as an “economic downturn” and we hoped that, with time, it would adopt a prettier face. In South Africa, we all seemed to be a bit more resilient at first, but over the past year, it has become evident that our economy will not get off so lightly.
On this background, we have seen costs rise, revenues stagnate and the price of even a humble Happy Meal increase. In such economic climates, pressures are on small businesses to perhaps give more than they would normally be prepared to sacrifice, or even to fall victim to the slowing wheels that turn larger market players.
For some time, we have expected that we would need to change our business if we were to continue bringing you PhotoComment magazine and even to grow and improve it whilst still maintaining our values and integrity. We had hoped to weather the storm a little longer, but we no longer can and we are turning to you for a little help.
From October 2012, PhotoComment magazine will no longer be distributed as a free magazine. Moving forward from next month, we will be retailing the magazine at R15,00 a copy. Initially, we will be changing the layout a little and aiming to maximise the space we have to bring you more. With your support, we will be looking to grow the number of pages and – as always – improve the content contained therein.
We love what we do here at PhotoComment. We want nothing more than to help you improve in your photography and to share in this common passion. We hope to bring you an even better read and greater inspiration. As we grow together, we will begin to interact more and work together to bring you more of what you want and need.
Please send us your feedback. You can always email me directly magazine(at)photocomment(dot)net