Forums > General Industry > What does it mean anymore "to be published"?

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

I've been reading a number of model's profiles, mostly new to modeling, that say they'll do TF if published and/or for tear sheets.

It got me thinking.

What exactly are tear sheets anymore when so much is virtual and so few images end up actually being printed in physical magazines and publications.

Do blogs, webzines, online calendars & contests, virtual vanity press and the like really count? Does a print out of a virtual "tear sheet" printed on an HP or Lexmark in the den or office hold any validity today?

Do tear sheets even matter that much anymore?

In my day tear sheets were just that, sheets literally torn from actual printed publications. Ideally, a model/photographer or other Creative would have both the original print AND the tear sheet side by side in a portfolio.

How does that work today? Or does it?

I was just curious.

Jan 29 13 08:17 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

do digital billboards count? can't "tear" them ...

with the amount of digital information pumped into cell phones and other "i/e" devices are physical tear sheets even valid anymore?

Jan 29 13 08:36 pm Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Hero Foto wrote:
do digital billboards count? can't "tear" them ...

with the amount of digital information pumped into cell phones and other "i/e" devices are physical tear sheets even valid anymore?

That was my thought. I suppose one can carry an iPad and just slide through downloads of virtual "tear sheets".

Jan 29 13 08:37 pm Link

Photographer

Doug Jantz

Posts: 4025

Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

Anyone can get pics on a website "magazine."  Something more tangible in print, real magazines, billboards, etc. seem much more credible.

Jan 29 13 08:44 pm Link

Photographer

Paul Tirado Photography

Posts: 4251

New York, New York, US

Hero Foto wrote:
are physical tear sheets even valid anymore?

Some believe, as I do, that the fact that physical tear sheets are getting rarer makes them even more valid at the moment.

One of the reasons is that since pretty much anyone with a computer can make an online magazine or print on demand magazine for a total cost less than a trip to the movies, there is not much at risk in pretty much accepting anything and everything for publication

Now print, even if you want a small circulation like bookstores and large size newstands, you are looking at costs in the tens of thousands. Money that either has to come from you or from hustling your ass off for advertisers. When you have to do that...trust me you are more selective of what you put in there.

Jan 29 13 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Doug Jantz wrote:
Anyone can get pics on a website "magazine."  Something more tangible in print, real magazines, billboards, etc. seem much more credible.

while I agree, the last 5 major gigs I've had, ALL asked for digital portfolio images ...

they did verify past clients, but they wanted digital "credits" ...

Jan 29 13 08:47 pm Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Well, I suppose a publisher wanting to legitimize his or her virtual publication for the sake of paying back the Creatives with "tear sheets" in fact can have a "short run" of the publication with a limited distribution (much like Free Press does) or a targeted mailing and a submission to the Library of Congress for cataloguing.

Jan 29 13 08:56 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6285

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Everyone is "published" these days...

Everyone's photo on Facebook is "published" on the internet...

If an image gets income, then it is truly published.

.

Jan 30 13 04:40 am Link

Photographer

Sendu

Posts: 3501

Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

JOEL McDONALD wrote:
I've been reading a number of model's profiles, mostly new to modeling, that say they'll do TF if published and/or for tear sheets. [...]

What exactly are tear sheets anymore when so much is virtual and so few images end up actually being printed in physical magazines and publications.

Do blogs, webzines, online calendars & contests, virtual vanity press and the like really count?

It depends on the quality of the publication; being on or offline isn't necessarily an issue.

For example, one of the major London fashion agencies I know will provide girls for on-spec shoots for certain good online fashion magazines, but will not provide them for commissioned shoots with new print magazines.

As long as the agency (or model) can get a high-res of the 'page' to print and include in the model's book, they are happy. There isn't, after all, any particular benefit to having a torn edge to the photo in their book.

Jan 30 13 04:47 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4822

Houston, Texas, US

JOEL McDONALD wrote:
That was my thought. I suppose one can carry an iPad and just slide through downloads of virtual "tear sheets".

I've saved a few publications. It's been more for documentation than to promote my work.    It also depends on who/what is your market.    I found early one that art directors could get bogged down in the art direction and layout of the ad more than the photo.

I stopped showing tear sheets unless the art direction was absolutely stellar.  I didn't want poor art direction or a difference in artistic opinion to associated with the photography.    I wasn't selling the "ad" I was selling the photo in it.   

Unless it's a really well known brand such as Nike, Reebok, or something featured in Sports Illustrated, a cover shot for a well respected magazine, etc.. it doesn't really hold all that much weight. 

My definition of published:  anything where a 3rd party uses the image to promote a product or service, be it electronic or printed.

It only shows that someone spent the money to publish the photo. Unless the photo and ad are really amazing, I feel they aren't worthy of tear sheets.   I've done work I've loved, but then magazine/printer really botch the printing.  I don't show those either.

Jan 30 13 04:56 am Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I think it depends on the individual's perspective.

Jan 30 13 08:18 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

I don't care. Never have. Doesn't mean anything to me. Most times its even come up it was for free so I declined. I do fine without it.

Jan 30 13 11:14 am Link

Model

Jules NYC

Posts: 16229

New York, New York, US

Paul Tirado Photography wrote:

Some believe, as I do, that the fact that physical tear sheets are getting rarer makes them even more valid at the moment.

One of the reasons is that since pretty much anyone with a computer can make an online magazine or print on demand magazine for a total cost less than a trip to the movies, there is not much at risk in pretty much accepting anything and everything for publication

Now print, even if you want a small circulation like bookstores and large size newstands, you are looking at costs in the tens of thousands. Money that either has to come from you or from hustling your ass off for advertisers. When you have to do that...trust me you are more selective of what you put in there.

This

Jan 30 13 11:41 am Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Thanks.

Jan 30 13 12:14 pm Link

Photographer

Vampman Studios

Posts: 359

Chicago, Illinois, US

My definition of "published": The photos are shown in print ads or paper magazines.
My definition of "featured": All other forms of non paper media. (TV, Web, ect.)

My photos and my videos have been featured in a variety of different websites, but I was only published in an actual magazine ONCE!

Jan 30 13 08:22 pm Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Vampman Studios wrote:
My definition of "published": The photos are shown in print ads or paper magazines.
My definition of "featured": All other forms of non paper media. (TV, Web, ect.)

My photos and my videos have been featured in a variety of different websites, but I was only published in an actual magazine ONCE!

Interesting way of looking at the two sides of the coin.

Jan 30 13 09:18 pm Link

Photographer

KA Style

Posts: 1583

Syracuse, New York, US

KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
I've done work I've loved, but then magazine/printer really botch the printing.  I don't show those either.

Been there, after I saw the printed magazine I didnt even show or tell anyone as my work looked awful!

Actually the whole magazine sucked because they were too cheap to hire a pro designer/editor. Bad layout and tons of spelling mistakes. Funny they charged $1500-$2000 for a full page ad.. (thats pricy for a local mag) One of the Baldwin brothers made the cover, a cover in a magazine filled with mistakes.

They tanked by the 4th issue. Too bad the concept was great but they had no clue what they were doing. Being cheap and half arse sunk them. Best thing out of the deal was I got to work with some famous people in my area.

Vampman Studios wrote:
My definition of "published": The photos are shown in print ads or paper magazines.
My definition of "featured": All other forms of non paper media. (TV, Web, ect.)

This is how I look at it.



Ive been published about 20 times in print but its small bike mags and tattoo mags. Been feature online about 10 times. I usually dont show anyone as it was no big deal and more for the fun for the llama and I. It was really more for her.

One publication actually paid the llama and I!! I almost fell over getting offered pay! lol

Jan 31 13 06:32 am Link

Photographer

Undead Threads

Posts: 574

Greenville, South Carolina, US

Vampman Studios wrote:
My definition of "published": The photos are shown in print ads or paper magazines.
My definition of "featured": All other forms of non paper media. (TV, Web, ect.)

This, but, replace featured with posted.

Jan 31 13 06:44 am Link

Photographer

Kincaid Blackwood

Posts: 23404

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Doug Jantz wrote:
Anyone can get pics on a website "magazine."  Something more tangible in print, real magazines, billboards, etc. seem much more credible.

Emphasis on the word "seem." 

You can have a very slick printed magazine with a circulation of 20 people across 4 states in one region.  On the other hand you could have a digital magazine with hits from 10 different countries and 100s of daily hits.  That's not particularly high given the traffic of, say, CNN.com but it is a viewership that dwarfs the aforementioned, hypothetical printed mag.  So is it more credible to get published in a print version or an online magazine?  Depends entirely on the publications in question, not simply a matter of virtual or hardcopy.  Images drive viewers and if your work is driving hundreds of hits a day, you can argue that it provides you with more credibility than a mag with extremely small circulation assuming the photography is the same.

We're approaching this from a very narrow-minded and naive perspective on the photography side.  The reality is that on the publisher's side, advertisers (the people who give money to publications) see the potential for more traffic on the web than in print.  Now, a web ad might cost less, meaning the publication gets comparatively less money by selling to web advertisers as opposed to print but the cost of printing and distribution is so high compared to web than your revenue-cost=profit equation works out better with web. 

Plus, your payroll is smaller.  You could feasibly employ (and, yes, by "employ" I actually mean pay) a small staff of editors, writers, photographers, an editor-in-chief, a creative director, an art director and a web director to produce a very clean, sophisticated publication with content which is dynamic and refreshed daily.  Photos, text, videos… an interactive experience.

Print has its place (I'm not one of those who thinks it's dead) but it's an entirely different animal.  If you do not sell ad space then you'll go completely broke to match (in circulation) what you get in terms of web viewership.  To say nothing of the kind of staff you need to employ to have something that is hefty and looks good.  Just go into Barnes & Noble and pick up any magazine off the shelf and look at the number of pages devoted just to staff and distribution.  That's why Conde Nast and Hearst publications can do what they do and small mags struggle: they have the bankroll, the scope and credibility to still get hefty advertising money.

I digress slightly but only slightly; the above is still germaine to discussion.  There are plenty of reasons to consider web publication as legit.  Not the least of which is the fact that advertisers and publishers view the web as legitimate.  A couple of those reasons are even ones typically used to dismiss web "tears."  We're living in evolving times in terms of media and, as photographers, we have to watch and ride the wave (lest we wipe out).  What are the elements which legitimize print aside from the fact that it's physical?  Name.  Look.  Circulation.  Content.  Not necessarily in that order.  The same applies to the credibility of a TV show.  Or movie for that matter.  The same can also be applied to web.

Jan 31 13 07:48 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36706

Columbus, Ohio, US

If you cannot hold it in your hand, or it's a vanity self paid book, don't count.
Monitors don't get held in one's hand either. wink

/thread

Jan 31 13 07:52 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12827

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Doug Jantz wrote:
Anyone can get pics on a website "magazine."  Something more tangible in print, real magazines, billboards, etc. seem much more credible.

That all depends, does a feature on some place like Vogue.com or RollingStone.com count?  I would think so; its not that simple

Jan 31 13 07:54 am Link

Photographer

Studio MD - Casting

Posts: 1213

New York, New York, US

I think the word "tear" is changing and everyone needs to adapt if they want to be relevant in the coming years. People need to look past the language, and start looking at the function and prowess of the project opposed to the resting terminal for the image.

The old farts who think "a tear is something you tear from a mag" are outdated...
and the people who think "well, as long as SOMEONE takes my work, it's a tear and it's just as valuable as someone getting printed!"

Getting your shit watermarked by Vogue.it or RandomFashionBlog.com may be cool if you're in the middle of BFE, but that doesn't fly here in NYC where Vogue is Vogue and almost everyone with a bit of tenure is getting real tears from their print editions. Everyone here knows that Vogue.It is where amateurs go for ego inflation. Meanwhile, someone with just print tears is going to fall behind when the next generation comes in embracing new technologies.

Here is a project I worked on as an example:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zxTeJk4wYLo/UMh-hqqsYAI/AAAAAAAAH2E/PSyOGkjdOzo/s1600/ulQBq.gif
It's a great client (interscope) with great associations and people involved but right now iTunes, Facebook and Tumblr can't support this image (the image is sized too large for tumblr) and the physical album will use a static copy of the image. I can't even show this image to clients on my iPad unless I'm on the site that hosts the image. Some also may argue "this is not a tear at all" because it's a job, not an editorial... but I'd also argue that they're missing the point of what's happening around them - I'm already producing GIF editorials and working with my vendors on ways to sell and license products that currently can't be seen anywhere except on the web. And, of course, there are magazines like "The Unlimited" that are using technology that can only be used on a tablet.

At the same time, there are things I can do with print that I can't do with web. For instance, one of the magazine I work with produces 20x30" poster prints that are included as supplements. The people reading the magazines immediately get posters for their wall - they can't do that with web. And the people can always tear out any other image I have print-published to slap on their walls as well.

I'm less concerned with the name of the publication, and whether it is print or online as much as I'm interested in a few other things:
• the budget
• my ability to control the art direction
• how much I'm allowed to experiment with visual languages or technology
• which models/celebs/musicians I'll be able to shoot
• etc.... (I have about 10 criteria).
I found it's better to produce interesting content than worry about semantics or politics when I'm still in the formative years of my development.
I encourage others to quit bickering about what constitutes a good tear (print or web). Just produce cool work because that is MUCH more fun and MUCH more profitable in the end. A smart person will let go of their language and replace it with their spirit.

Feb 01 13 11:09 am Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

VOID-VOID wrote:
I think the word "tear" is changing and everyone needs to adapt if they want to be relevant in the coming years. People need to look past the language, and start looking at the function and prowess of the project opposed to the resting terminal for the image.

The old farts who think "a tear is something you tear from a mag" are outdated...
and the people who think "well, as long as SOMEONE takes my work, it's a tear and it's just as valuable as someone getting printed!"

Getting your shit watermarked by Vogue.it or RandomFashionBlog.com may be cool if you're in the middle of BFE, but that doesn't fly here in NYC where Vogue is Vogue and almost everyone with a bit of tenure is getting real tears from their print editions. Everyone here knows that Vogue.It is where amateurs go for ego inflation. Meanwhile, someone with just print tears is going to fall behind when the next generation comes in embracing new technologies.

Here is a project I worked on as an example:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zxTeJk4wYLo/UMh-hqqsYAI/AAAAAAAAH2E/PSyOGkjdOzo/s1600/ulQBq.gif
It's a great client (interscope) with great associations and people involved but right now iTunes, Facebook and Tumblr can't support this image (the image is sized too large for tumblr) and the physical album will use a static copy of the image. I can't even show this image to clients on my iPad unless I'm on the site that hosts the image. Some also may argue "this is not a tear at all" because it's a job, not an editorial... but I'd also argue that they're missing the point of what's happening around them - I'm already producing GIF editorials and working with my vendors on ways to sell and license products that currently can't be seen anywhere except on the web. And, of course, there are magazines like "The Unlimited" that are using technology that can only be used on a tablet.

At the same time, there are things I can do with print that I can't do with web. For instance, one of the magazine I work with produces 20x30" poster prints that are included as supplements. The people reading the magazines immediately get posters for their wall - they can't do that with web. And the people can always tear out any other image I have print-published to slap on their walls as well.

I'm less concerned with the name of the publication, and whether it is print or online as much as I'm interested in a few other things:
• the budget
• my ability to control the art direction
• how much I'm allowed to experiment with visual languages or technology
• which models/celebs/musicians I'll be able to shoot
• etc.... (I have about 10 criteria).
I found it's better to produce interesting content than worry about semantics or politics when I'm still in the formative years of my development.
I encourage others to quit bickering about what constitutes a good tear (print or web). Just produce cool work because that is MUCH more fun and MUCH more profitable in the end. A smart person will let go of their language and replace it with their spirit.

This is an animated .gif. You can simply repost it to your website as a stand alone page and then reference it to clients?

As for a hard copy of it I guess it's like those in the motion picture and tv industries with their portfolios.

Feb 01 13 06:15 pm Link

Photographer

eidolon_entertainment

Posts: 14

Malibu, California, US

What do you mean?


                                     Aren't y'all published in/by VOGUE?

Feb 01 13 06:26 pm Link

Photographer

BCADULTART

Posts: 1986

Boston, Massachusetts, US

In the 80's my agents sent me "tear sheets” Those days are gone and so are the agents.  Now my agents send me money that is what matters.  Yea, done national ad campaigns and shot for major publications from Vanity Fair to Penthouse, but what matters is the money paid and in the bank.  I can't go to Whole Foods and buy oysters with a tear sheet.

Chuck

Feb 01 13 06:41 pm Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

BCADULTART wrote:
In the 80's my agents sent me "tear sheets” Those days are gone and so are the agents.  Now my agents send me money that is what matters.  Yea, done national ad campaigns and shot for major publications from Vanity Fair to Penthouse, but what matters is the money paid and in the bank.  I can't go to Whole Foods and buy oysters with a tear sheet.

Chuck

True enough. smile

Feb 01 13 06:44 pm Link

Photographer

Darren Brade

Posts: 2829

London, England, United Kingdom

Small Fruit Pits wrote:
If you cannot hold it in your hand, or it's a vanity self paid book, don't count.
Monitors don't get held in one's hand either. wink

/thread

Darren says "hmmmm" as he reads this on his handheld tablet and contemplates reading it again later on his handheld smartphone.

;-)

Darren x
www.Facebook.com/darrenbradephotography

Feb 02 13 02:36 am Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

I even remember in Adobe GoLive to send stuff up you clicked the publish button.There is a lot happening with digital delivery. No longer can we say only printed work is published.

The value though of published work that has good design and page layout is so much nicer if actually printed.

Some magazines are going to digital delivery, some only digital. Sure hope the photographers are still paid, as it seems most think of digital magazines as something that should be free.

Feb 02 13 02:51 am Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Neil Snape wrote:
I even remember in Adobe GoLive to send stuff up you clicked the publish button.There is a lot happening with digital delivery. No longer can we say only printed work is published.

The value though of published work that has good design and page layout is so much nicer if actually printed.

Some magazines are going to digital delivery, some only digital. Sure hope the photographers are still paid, as it seems most think of digital magazines as something that should be free.

I have noticed even today that when I show my work digitally (i.e. website/links) the reaction is far different than when I hand them a copy the magazine with the same or even older images in it.

Seems to many viewers, professional or otherwise, the printed (magazine, periodical) still holds a lot more weight. I think the only place this isn't always the case in particular is photojournalism, there it's THE image as opposed to where it appears.

Just my experience.

Feb 02 13 07:20 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

I can print out our Camera Club newsletter.  I'm published!  wink

Feb 02 13 07:26 am Link

Photographer

JOEL McDONALD

Posts: 608

Portland, Oregon, US

Woven Thought wrote:
I can print out our Camera Club newsletter.  I'm published!  wink

You could. But do you REALLY think your client (viewer) would consider it as actually being "published"? That was the point of my thread.

Feb 02 13 07:54 am Link