PDNEDU

Project X: DOTPHOTOZINE

By Abby Robinson


DOTPHOTOZINE COVER © MICHAEL NG
QUALITY CONTENT: The cover of the first issue of DOTPHOTOZINE, an annual print magazine and regularly updated Web site, founded by the photo club at California State University, San Bernadino.


In fall 2010, Michelle Cade, a photo major at California State University, San Bernadino (CSUSB), decided her school needed a photo club, so she stepped up as the founding president. “The club had great members and a lot of energy, so I suggested we start the magazine,” says CSUSB faculty member Thomas McGovern. He offered some department funds earmarked for professional development, while Cade and fellow student Theo DeHart petitioned Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI), the campus’s student government for support—which they gave while exerting no control over content.

On June 6, 2011, the group launched DOTPHOTOZINE simultaneously as an annual hold-in-your-hands magazine and a more flexible Web zine, which allows for a continual offering of new content.

McGovern, a former New York City–based editorial photographer and Village Voice photo editor, is now DOTPHOTOZINE’s publisher and editor in chief. In his view, “young people are pioneers. Analog is slipping into the past, but technology is promising more than it can deliver, so watching my students navigate the terrain is instructive.”

All club members are associate editors tasked with finding material to run. Cade (a 2011 graduate), Dehart (design director and another recent grad) and current club officers Sarah Dominick and Melissa Kirchhoff make editorial selections with McGovern’s input. “We’re determined to publish only the highest-quality photography and related material,” McGovern says, “and acting as a group helps us do that.”

Both online and analog versions offer exhibition and book reviews. Non thematic salon sections present images from all levels of CSUSB’s photo program. A feature section displays photographer portfolios and short texts, and Web site content spotlights additional content with a more in-depth approach. Also online: a blog where students and alumni are encouraged to submit reviews, profiles and anything else relevant to photography. The magazine e-mails links to everyone featured, so, McGovern says, “I’m sure they’re reading and telling others.”

While the group could afford to print only 75 copies of the first issue, print-on-demand copies can be ordered from the Web site for $12 each. “It’s a great way to keep the publication alive once the initial run is sold out,” McGovern says.

Funding for the second issue will cover a run of 1,500 copies, available directly from the club. “Once again, we’ll send copies to galleries, museum curators, photography programs and art publications,” says McGovern. “Sales are not our first priority, but I do hope (and really expect) to make the publication self-sustainable.” Every image in the magazine is available for licensing or purchase, with contributor e-mail addresses listed on the magazine’s Contact page.

Always on the lookout for opportunities, the tireless CSUSB crew makes sure the magazine gets seen as much as possible. Last fall, it was accepted to a number of juried fairs. Select images from the first issue were also exhibited at the New York Delight gallery in Pomona, California.

Looking ahead, the second issue is due out June 1, 2012, and DeHart aims to make it “as amazing as possible.” To celebrate, the entire second issue will be featured in a June 2012 exhibition at the Work/Life Gallery in Palm Springs, California.

Michael Ng (’09) praises the valuable perks offered by affiliation with DOTPHOTOZINE. “As a relatively new alumnus, any exposure I receive is very beneficial,” he says. “I feel as though I’ve been receiving continual support from school, and that’s something most people can’t say after graduating.”

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© Charlie Engman
PDN April 2014

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