Just Do It: Photographers Become Magazine Publishers To Realize Their Visions
of the roles she plays as a photographer. “Part of the job of a
photographer now is to be a creative director,” she says. In shooting
for advertising clients, “You have to do a treatment every time.
You have to be able to describe your process and production. The
magazine is partly a response to that.”
To date, TAQ has been a labor of love for everyone involved. But
that may change.
Last year, TAQ launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to
raise $20,000, and the money contributed to the production of a
printed annual featuring all of the work posted on the site in 2013;
backers who pledged to the campaign received a copy. “We didn’t
want to introduce a paywall to the website,” Nathan explains.
“People would prefer to support a magazine than a website.” In June,
clothing and housewares retailer Anthropologie agreed to sell the
annual in its stores.
Nathan and her team were able to sell a small number of print ads
in the annual. And, attracted by TAQ’s small but engaged network of
creative, well-traveled readers and contributors, several brands have
talked to the TAQ team about collaborating on marketing plans.
What form that marketing might take is still under discussion.
“We’ve had some interest in placing ads on the website. We want to
be careful how we do that. We don’t want to, quote unquote, sell out,”
Mullaly says. Another possibility is that TAQ could act as a creative
agency, gathering its collaborators to design and shoot sponsored
content or printed advertorials for a client. Says Mullaly, “We are
a team of people with a certain point of view on travel experience.
We can whip up travel ideas on where to go, what to do, and then
[produce] great creative to go with that.”
“The team that works on this magazine is amazing, all people at
the top of their game.” Nathan says TAQ’s contributors have proven
their ability to serve a brand’s needs. “The photographers who shoot
our features are all advertising shooters who are used to working on
big productions and can manage big projects.” They also know how to
conceive and produce appealing content: Their work for TAQ proves it.
—HOLLY STUART HUGHES
Romke Hoogwaerts founded Mossless magazine in 2009 as way to stay connected to the international photography community while he was living abroad in Vietnam. Using Tumblr as his publishing platform,
Hoogwaerts, who had recently graduated from high school, posted
personal work by mostly young photographers accompanied by
short interviews. “I wanted to help share a lot of the photographs
that I was seeing but add a little context,” he says.
He did this every couple of days, slowly growing his audience
through platforms like Tumblr and Flickr as he delved into the
interconnected photography communities that exist online.
After more than a year publishing photographs and interviews
by photographers who interested him, Hoogwaerts felt he’d
built enough relationships and gained enough of a reputation
for thoughtful interviews and photo editing that he was able to
launch, in print, what he calls an “abstract magazine” whose
format varies according to the theme and content of each issue.
“It was important to me that I build a network first and find
or more to the campaign a copy of the publication, and watched
nervously to see if he’d receive the support he needed. Almost all
of the funds to meet his modest goal of $4,000 came in the last
A photograph made by Bay Area-based photographer Terri Loewenthal in
Nevada City, California, from Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Summer 2013.
An image from Justin Kaneps’s series “In Our Veins,” published in Mossless
“Issue Three: The United States (2003–2013).”