I feel compelled to address the recent goings on at JPG Magazine. Heather and Derek started JPG as a ‘labor of love‘ and from the first issue, it showed. It was unlike any magazine I had ever seen. Each issue was a thoughtful collection of photos, brilliantly edited and presented in a format that was simple and beautiful. But I knew before seeing that first issue that it would be something new and fabulous.
Maybe I should backtrack a bit, because my confidence in the magazine was born from my respect for a woman that I’ve never met. I first came across Heather Champ when she was doing Jezebel’s Mirror. I was building my first website, a static html page that I updated manually every few days or so. It was a search for backgrounds that led me to her site and that moment would change my life. I had this vague nagging feeling that I wanted to do something, create something, build something that would matter. That was what I was trying to do with that first site, but something was missing. When I looked through Heather’s mirror shots, I realized that taking pictures could be fun and creative. Even though my grandfather had been a professional photographer, I didn’t own a camera. Soon after, I got my first digital camera and started taking pictures. Some were for the mirror project, some were for my website. Honestly, they all sucked.
It was frustrating to see amazing photography on the web and not be able to capture with my camera what I saw in my mind. There were times that I felt like giving up, but Heather’s photography always inspired me to keep trying. There is something about her pictures… the focus on small details, color, perspective. But more than just pretty pictures, her character inspired me. She is an inclusive idealist and I love that. Here are a few quotes that have stuck with me:
hchamp.com is and always will be a labour of love and this is how I view every site on the web. We’re all winners and I dislike the idea that some are judged to be better than others. [more]
And from Leah’s interview:
I don’t want to be that person who craps on the work of others. So much of what I see online is people who don’t do all that much playing Aeron Quarterback, offering words of “wisdom”. It’s crap. If you want to make the world/web/yourself a better place/person, create something.
Anyway… back to JPG Magazine. I never dreamed in a million years that I would ever be published as a photographer. This issue [Issue 10] will be the fourth time my work has appeared in JPG Magazine: Photos in Issues 5, 6, 10 and to illustrate an article in Issue 7.
Heather and Derek were written out of JPG Magazine after the powers that be decided to delete the original six issues and remove the story of the birth of the magazine. How can something like that happen? Don’t they understand that those first six issues were the beginning of something wonderful? They weren’t just a project or a rough draft. They were the inspiration for all of us, the community that made JPG what it is today. Doing away with the birth of the magazine doesn’t just cut out Heather and Derek, it does away with the contributions of every single person that believed in the dream.
Shame on you.
Heather, with typical grace, describes the parting as that of a child growing up:
JPG Magazine was our child. Sadly, there comes a time when every child rebels against her parents. Perhaps one day she’ll look back on those early years with fondness. [more]
I don’t agree. JPG Magazine was more like a marriage, a partnership between the people and the product. This isn’t growing up, this is like a divorce ~ an ugly divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Like most splits, there are sides.