“It started with a simple realization: photographs look great on the iPad. And the problem? We couldn’t find any to look at.” -about Once magazine
The first issue of Once magazine has just launched and it looks great. Once is an iPad periodical focused on photojournalism. You can pick it up at iTunes. This issue, which costs $2.99, features the work of Bruno Masi, Matt Eich, and Munem Wasif. The pilot issue, which is free, featured Ivor Prickett, Kendrick Brinson, and Andrea Gjestvang. The team behind Once, who’ve recently been going through some of the motions of a technology startup, see the magazine as a way to change the method of funding and distribution of photojournalism. And while we’ve heard that before, Once has been the subject of considerable optimism of late. With the first two issues out of the gate and more on the way, the magazine joins the ranks of other photography-focused iPad publications.
It’s doubtful that this new strategy for publishing photography will be the savior of the industry, but it’s an exciting development. In an interview with Wired’s Raw File blog, Once‘s executive editor John Knight says that paying photographers for their work was a starting point for the magazine, rather than an afterthought. “When we realized we could know exactly how many subscribers we had on a given issue,” Knight told Wired, “it made it possible to calculate exactly how much each issue was making. The whole idea started as a way to pay photographers what they deserve for their work, and so splitting that revenue seemed obvious. Right now we only share that revenue with the photographers and we pay a fee to our writers. In the future we’d like to expand that model to include writers as well.”
By the way, if you click through our link to buy the app, we get a (very) small cut of the sale. It’s a way for us to keep the lights on here at dvafoto. Thanks to those of you who have clicked through us in the past!