PIX Magazine for Women: A Hollywood Revelation

PIX Magazine for Women: A Hollywood Revelation

Ewwwww….photography politics are just getting evil recently!!

Still…you have to pick a side!

Justine Ungaro, an amazing LA wedding photographer, posted a very thought provoking rant this morning on her blog.

Just to recap (but you should ABSOLUTELY go read it!  It’s pretty awesome…):

PIX magazine is a new publication on the block, put out by PDN magazine especially for women. The first cover features a very young girl, dressed stylishly (if not a bit on the tween side), holding a lower-end SLR camera with a kit lens (this is the cheaper lens that usually comes with all SLRs).


 The magazine’s editor starts off the issue by making the statement “If you love to snap photos, chances are you’re pretty creative and artsy about the rest of your world too. It’s important to you that your business is modern and cool, you’ve always got an eye out for hip clothing and accessories, and looking professional and shooting well are top priorities.”

And Justine Ungaro starts off HER article with an even BIGGER bang! “There are so many things wrong with this publication that I’m not even sure where to begin.”

I couldn’t agree with her more!  There are certain things about this publication that just rub the professional woman photographer the wrong way. We are portrayed as girly, more interested in our make up application and what color our camera strap is than actually getting the shot.

There are articles for the crafter, camera print pillows to match your nail polish, and yes…an entire article on ow to wear un-smudgable make up.

Ok…here is where Justine and I diverge a little.  The articles themselves are not, actually, bad articles! I can’t say I’m a fan of the ginormous pillow…or anything camera related, really.  I get enough of my SLR everyday to need it in my accessory arsenal! BUT, the article on lighting and travel photographers are interesting reads!

I can see where the magazine is coming from.  

 No really!!  Women DO think differently than men!!  We do wear make-up on a wedding day…and although we won’t really stop to touch it up in the heat of the moment, a non-smudging mascara might be nice to know about! And I would seriously be lying if I didn’t say that my camera strap is kinda purdy. There is a reason companies like ShootSac and Jill E have done so well.

So what did the magazine do wrong?  PDN just got a tad confused as to who it’s audience is.

PDN is a professional magazine for both men and women.  It covers gear, new products (including trendy straps and bags), it covers lighting techniques, and features amazing photographers of both sexes. PIX has down shifted its focus to, what seems like, newer photographers or young photographer’s assistants who might be more interested in what a photographer should LOOK like vs. what they should be doing. Photographers in the limelight always seem to have perfect hair, perfect make-up, perfect composer…but as Justine points out, even the most put together photographer during the day looks like HOT MESS half way through the  reception!

PIX really seems to be targeting the vanity side of the industry.  A new photographer imagines that a put together professional will have the matching camera strap with the matching camera “purse” and finger nail polish to boot. But any experienced photographer is going to realize that your fingernails will be chipped and your mascara half way down your chin no matter HOW pretty the color or waterproof the eye gunk.

Our industry has its own little Hollywood to deal with.  Walk of fame and all….

I have nothing against our “celebrities”.  Quite the opposite, actually!! I look up to them!! But having a celebrity set DOES open up our industry up to vanities…and this magazine seems to cater to that like Vogue caters to women. But Vogue knows it’s reader. Hence the reason they created a TEEN vogue for the younger generation. I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash if this magazine was called TEEN Pix.

 Justine goes on to talk about the difference between her “photography” generation and the current,”younger” feeling photography business.

And THIS is where we differ slightly. 

“I built my brand to show off the images I want potential clients to see, not to bury them in “personality” and “lifestyle”. I don’t believe that my clients care about my lifestyle.”

Creating a personality out of your brand has been an essential part of branding and marketing since…well…since the advent of branding and marketing!!  Think about brands like “Coca Cola”, “Brooks Brothers” and “Tiffany’s”.  These brands have DISTINCT personality within their fields.  Their customers connect with that personality and flock to their product.  Their product now resonates with a certain group of buyers.

Just having beautiful images MIGHT have gotten you by when the photography field wasn’t so saturated with amazing talent.  But with the advent of digital and the ability for photographers to really be great, SOMETHING has to help you stand out from the crowd.  So showing your clients your personality gives you that edge in the competition. If a client is debating with you and Joe Shmo, the fact that your brand shows a “personality” might get you the signed and contract.

And whether Mrs.Ungaro realizes it or not, she shows off her personality WELL….which is why her following has grown leaps and bounds. (She’s just so good she doesn’t have to try.

So BRAVO, Justine!!  Well written and VERY fun to think on.  How is our industry evolving with the advent of digital? Is this new “Hollywood Revolution” going to create a passive aggressive dynamic in the industry…or perhaps give us something “new” to live up to?

I would love to hear your comments below!

Terra Dawn



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