Wednesday, September 01, 2021

RIP "Don't Take Pictures"

I'm sure everyone already knows, but "Don't Take Pictures" has shuttered its publication.  Perhaps you've read their announcement.

"Dear Readers,

Don’t Take Pictures will cease publication on September 1, 2021. When we launched in the fall of 2013, my Editor’s Letter explained the magazine’s mission as a space to celebrate the thoughtful, creative act of making photographic art. The following year, we launched online to include more timely features about the photographic community. We found that our online and print components needed one another in order to survive. 
The world has changed a lot since 2013 and our consumption of print media has evolved as well. In print, our writers and designers spent six months diving deep into the issue’s theme and each artist’s work. Without the distractions of a screen, our readers were encouraged to focus on photography on paper. Online publishing has changed as well. It is time to rethink the purpose of a magazine in the age of social media. For all that is gained by the ability to find photographers with a few clicks of a mouse, much of the grandeur and magic of their artwork is lost when viewed in slideshows, as thumbnails, or as part of an infinite stream of images. The demands of the internet era require a churning of content that is both unfeasible for Don’t Take Pictures’ staff and antithetical to our mission.
The decision to close Don’t Take Pictures was difficult, but its ending should not be mourned—change is not a bad thing. As the art world continues to evolve, our team is constantly rethinking how best to engage with photography in print and digital spaces. We are very proud of our past eight years, 16 beautifully designed print issues, and hundreds of online articles that exemplified what Don’t Take Pictures is about—great photography and great writing. We would like to extended a special thanks to the 90 artists we were honored to feature in print. 
Readers whose print subscriptions included an issue this September have been refunded. The Don’t Take Pictures website will remain online as an archive and resource for the foreseeable future, with all previous issues available as PDFs. It has been an absolute honor to share the work of emerging photographers and arts writers in print and online for the past eight years. We appreciate everyone who read our articles online, engaged with us on social media, or read Don’t Take Pictures in print.
Kat Kiernan, Editor-in-Chief

I feel at the bottom of all this is an important point. The purpose of a photograph has changed dramatically in recent time. How we consume images, how we look at them, why we look at them, and what they mean to us has little relation to how we engaged images just a decade ago.

This is why I've scaled back my online presence. I now have just this blog and my Flickr page.  That's it. Nothing more.

Us older folk who tend to "remember when" are dying off. Photography had its day in the sun. Now the experience of image making is, for me, reduced to sharing what I still find interesting and pleasurable. I do this regardless of if there is an audience or a group of photographers I can share with, or not. 

Someday I may feel differently, but for now, that is how it is. 


Château de Fontainebleau ~ 2021