This issue of PhotoMedia marks the beginning of our 15th year of publishing. That is no small feat in an industry that typically sees titles fail within two years. Considering that PhotoMedia is the only regional publication (Western states and British Columbia) of its sort in the entire United States, and that it has been free to readers throughout our distribution network since its inception, our continuity is something of a miracle.
Looking through past issues recently, I was reminded of our humble beginnings and the evolution to the publication you are now reading. Since our first issue in 1988, it always has been our goal to educate, inspire and make every new issue better than the last, pushing the creative and content envelope a little further. From a black-and-white newsprint tabloid to a four-color, coated-stock magazine, PhotoMedia has traveled an arduous road filled with challenges, growing pains and too many all-nighters to count — all in the interest of bringing you a high-quality, enjoyable publication. Nonetheless, all this hard work has been immensely rewarding.
In March, we received word that PhotoMedia was a Maggie Award nominee in the category of Best Tabloid in a Trade Publication. This was the 51st year of the Maggies, considered to be the most prestigious awards for publishing excellence in the western United States. Since first entering the competition three years ago, we have been nominated at least once every year (twice last year) and won once in 2000. In that time, we have been nominated in categories for writing (twice), overall design and, now, the overall publication. It is truly a great honor.
Moving forward, the nature and wildlife theme is always popular with our readers, in large part because of the armies of wildlife photographers in the Western states who are committed to documenting and interpreting the broad range of subject matter that defines our biodiversity.
In this issue, we concentrate on that subject as we recognize our sixth annual PhotoMedia Photography Person of the Year. This award is given to someone in the photo industry who not only has set an example professionally through creative work and business practices, but also has been devoted to humanitarian issues and used photography to elevate the public’s collective consciousness. For the last few years, Oregon’s Gary Braasch has been a perennial nominee. We are delighted to finally present him as this year’s honoree. Our story will give you a glimpse into his dedication to photographically document the Earth’s animal kingdom and his mission to warn the public visually about the ramifications of global warming.
This issue’s profile story introduces you to Wendy Shattil and Bob Rozinski, partners in both work and life. These Colorado-based photographers have devoted themselves to capturing the behavior of wildlife on film, in images that convey their fascination with their subjects but are taken as unobtrusively as possible. You’ll be intrigued not only by their evocative photos but also by the way their individual paths led them to their chosen field — and to each other.
We are also delighted to bring you the industry perspectives of Jim Clark, president of the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA), in this issue’s Guest View; Linda Moore’s guided photo tour of Yoho National Park in British Columbia; the digital Portfolio of Judy Horn; and Jason Millstein’s Shot in the Back.
On a personal note, I’d like to welcome Carl Bennett to our design and layout staff, and Mikel Benton as our new associate editor. Their talents have contributed greatly to this issue. Also, my thanks to all of this issue’s subjects for their cooperation.
As I always request at this point, please let our advertisers know that you saw their ad in PhotoMedia. Their support is largely responsible for our ability to bring you our in-depth coverage for free. And as the nation’s economy struggles to regain its momentum, the advertisers need to know, more than ever, that their ad dollars are being well spent. Please help reassure them of that by responding to our appeal with your feedback.
I wish you all a productive photography season ahead and a great summer.
Gary Halpern, Publisher