by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2010
These are the actual files from which the group selected the name of the relaunched The Society Photographer. On the right is the selected name, Professional Imagemaker, set into a number of different types of cover to test the way it worked.
Welcome to our landmark 50th issue of Professional Imagemaker. It only seems like yesterday that a small team met in the Rising Sun, in Tarporley, Cheshire, to discuss the re-launch of the SWPP magazine The Society Photographer. The name conversion discussions started on 27 April 2002 and the file dates show that we had a series of options for consideration by 20 May 2002. Yours truly arrived at the Rising Sun with a bunch of dummied-up front covers, containing potential new names and liveries; the rest is history and the name Professional Imagemaker won the day. The final design specifications were set down by 22 May 2002 and that same file stands on top of today's issue as the masthead. The initial aim for content was 20 pages with four more pages of advertising and the first copy arrived for the June-July publication with 24 pages including 3 1/2 pages of adverts.
How have things changed? Well with a magazine topping 170 pages in some instances, and often with twice as many advert pages as the original issue had pages, it is certainly very much larger. The quality of the reproduction has also gone up considerably with an all pdf workflow and from modern printing presses. The standard of the competition entries has both broadened and increased in quality. We are now a much more international organisation and the diversity of competition entries reflects this. The almost 100% penetration of digital has also brought up the standards of sharpness, colour accuracy and, particularly, of creative content - it is no longer possible to win a competition by just leaving the bride's bouquet in colour on a mono background; such treatments have joined the heart-shaped or wine-glass-shaped vignettes in the bin of things that are 'so last decade'!
This first copy, with a cover by Tom Lee, contained a review of calibration methods, just a few articles and a congratulatory note to Phil and Juliet on the arrival of 6lb 1oz Lucy Jones.
Something that has not changed is the enthusiasm of the members, this is, after all, your magazine. It is just that there are now so many more of you that the interactions and cross-border fertilisations of ideas has moved things along no end. At the time of the first issue, the membership stood at a little over 2,000; currently it stands at more than three times that number and now includes 55 countries, with strong representation in Norway, the islands and countries of the Mediterranean, Canada, the USA and Australia. Much of the strength of our competition entries is from abroad, reflecting the relative ease with which digital competition submissions may be made on the internet.
The international nature of the Societies is also reflected in the attendance at the Convention. It rapidly out grew a succession of venues and is now firmly established in London, as one of the few cities that can host such a large number of people, lectures and the accompanying trade show. Just the Convention Handbook is now larger than the first six issues of Professional Imagemaker combined!
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 170 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 17th March 2021