Chase My Yellow Kite - Online Photography Newspaper
Spring Issue 2014
FridayPS
PYLOT

PYLOT magazine

We interview Editor-in-Chief of the purely analogue fashion magazine Max Barnett about the initial idea for the project and what the future entails.

Max Barnett interviewed by Sam Taylor – 02/04/2014

PYLOT Issue Zero - Max Barnett

PYLOT Issue Zero shot by Max Barnett, a pre-release issue with an edition of 50 copies, 2014
S.T. Who are you? What do you do?
M.B. My name is Max Barnett. I am the Editor-in-Chief of an all new analogue fashion/portraiture/arts magazine called PYLOT.
S.T. What is PYLOT magazine?
M.B. PYLOT is a magazine that uses only analogue processes in order to create the images that we display within our pages, and online. We are proud to say that we do not administer any beauty retouching on images produced for us. This is because we want to help promote a more positive attitude towards fashion photography, and to open up conversation about what makes a fashion image and how they are perceived in the present day. We want to celebrate the skill of photographers who work with analogue processes, and recognise the craft behind analogue. We are not totally anti-digital, as we are, like all other magazines, dependant on digital technologies in order to make our final product, therefore we recognise the importance of applications such as Photoshop/inDesign/Lightroom and many others.

Transparency

by Bridie Riley/Max Barnett
S.T. Who else is involved in the project?
M.B. Firstly there is my partner in crime James Ross. He is our Casting Director, which means that he is in charge or booking/organising the models for our photoshoots. He must build and maintain relationships with modelling agencies. More importantly he has been by my side since the beginning and I can certainly say that we wouldn’t have come even this far without his help/hard work.

Then we have Daniel Clatworthy. Dan is our Art Director, his job involves all graphic design aspects of the magazine, he has made style guides and is really helping to make our aesthetic our own, which is a one of the most important factors when trying to create a product that looks both fresh and professional.

Bex Day is our Photography Editor. She is in charge of finding new talent, maintaining relationships with our current photographers, and chasing them for their work.

Rachel Speed is our Features Editor. It is up to Rachel to seek out writing talent, and to write a few pieces herself. Rachel’s role concerns the flow of the magazine and how it reads as a whole document.

Our Arts and Culture Editor is Bridie Riley, and her section of the magazine mostly consists of fine art and photographic editorials and articles. She has to keep an eye out for new and exciting fine art projects. She specialises in camera-less photography, she has sourced some amazing talent for issue one, so keep an eye out for them.

Last but of course not least, is our Fashion Editor Patricia. Being the newest on the team has not phased her, and she has jumped straight in and wowed me with her determination and go-get-em attitude. Patricia’s role mostly involves sourcing stylists for the photoshoots that she feels will reflect PYLOT’s style. She has to decide whether someone is right for us, but more importantly she has already built great relationships with PR agencies, and she has to maintain and nourish those relationships, as the fashion PR connections really help to make a magazine go to the next level, which is something that I, as a photographer vastly underestimated previously.

Bex Day

by Bex Day
S.T. When did the idea for PYLOT arise and what were the initial thoughts for the project?
M.B. The idea arose just over 2 years ago now, and it has taken a lot of careful planning and consideration to get to this point. It began with myself and Bridie, our Arts and Culture Editor. We wanted to collaborate on something, to make a magazine that identified with fashion, but we were feeling frustrated with fashion magazines as a whole at present. Through lengthy discussions we decided that we were to use only analogue mediums in our magazine, and that we wanted to celebrate the skill involved in this more traditional process. Ethically we felt that something had to be said about the beauty retouching issue that regularly sweeps the internet with viral articles about poorly retouched images. We felt that if we were to have any kind of stance on retouching we would have to do it properly and cut out retouching all together. Therefore we decided that we must have non beauty retouched fully analogue adverts, because we didn’t want to contradict ourselves or undo any ground we covered on these matters by allowing fully retouched, fully digital advertising images. Bridie soon left to explore other ventures, and now I am glad to say that she is back on the team and working towards PYLOT issue one, and hopefully beyond.

Mary Benson Advert - Emily Rose England

An advert shot by Emily Rose England for issue zero
S.T. What do you think it is about analogue processes that inspires such devotion amongst photographers?
M.B. There are about a million possible answers to this question. I think photographers fall in love with film for so many reasons. Personally there is something about film that I cannot stay away from. There is a satisfaction in knowing that you have to wait to see what you have done. It is exciting, especially with fashion photographs, as the fashion industry works at such a fast pace, its great to be on a shoot where someone cannot pick apart the work you are making. They simply have to let you do your thing, it gives the photographer some power back. A large amount of editorial fashion shoots today are shot tethered and the main selection of images are made by the team (usually the stylist), before the shoot is even finished… this baffles me! There is no consideration of the time that we need to take in order to think about images and their relevance. Obviously everyone has their way of working and this may work for some teams, but I cannot imagine that this works for analogue photographers. The physicality of the medium is magical, to know that you can create an image that is an object, something that will last for hundreds of years, that cannot be lost within the depths of a hard drive, it simply exists, magical.
S.T. How regularly do you see PYLOT coming out and what mediums will the magazine be present in?
M.B. PYLOT is at the moment, a bi-annual print magazine. We also have an online platform: www.pylotmagazine.com. Online is a separate product from the print, it has it’s own content and features, it will reference the print, but will not feature the exact same content. We want it to be an extension of the magazine, spreading the love for analogue processes and non-beauty-retouched imagery.
S.T. Do you purely create your own content or do you also accept submissions?
M.B. For the print, we mostly create and commission our own content, but we never know! We accept submissions mostly for online but sometimes we get amazing submissions that we cannot say no to. This happened last week with a submission that we all loved so much we had to make room for it in the printed issue. This was something that we had not expected to happen just yet. Any more submissions like that are more than welcome!
S.T. You are using Kickstarter to fund the initial issue, what kind of plans are you hoping to fulfil with this? Once the Kickstarter campaign is over and you have completed it’s goals, what will be the future of the magazine?
M.B. We have just reached our initial kickstarter target, only 12 days into our kickstarter campaign. Which is amazing! We are so thrilled and overjoyed by this. But now that we have hit our initial target we would love to keep raising money whilst the opportunity is still with us. So we are hoping to raise some more money to put towards issue two.

Once issue one is complete we will concentrate on getting further sponsorship before embarking on issue two, we want to concentrate on promoting pylotmagazine.com and pushing our online content to the highest possible quality, and we want to expand our Polaroid Diary (pylotmagazine.com/polaroiddiary) which has been very well received thus far.

Samuel L Jackson - Polaroid Diary

Samuel L. Jackson shot by Max Barnett from ‘Polaroid Diary Shot’

Roksanda Illincic - Asia Werbel

Roksanda Illincic backstage from AW14 shot by Asia Werbel from ‘Polaroid Diary Shot’
S.T. Where can people help fund the project?

Kent AndersenFrom an editorial for issue one by Kent Andersen

S.T. Is there somewhere online people can keep up-to-date with the project?
M.B. People can keep up to date by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/pylotmagazine), twitter (@pylotmagazine) and instagram (@pylotmagazine). They will also be able to buy our magazine from Foyles, The Photographers Gallery, Claire de Rouen, Wardour News and more.