This is the first post of my series of monthly posts where I speak with people in the creative industries and ask them questions about the things that "I Wish I Had Known" when I started out as a creative myself.
1. First of all, tell us about RION Magazine
RION magazine is a creative platform that showcases the very best in creative talent from around the globe. These include photographers, MUA’s, stylists, designers and music artist. We are both online and in print, and in the future an app too!
2. What is your job at RION and what responsibilities does it entitle?
At RION, I am the Editor-In-Chief of both the online magazine and the print issues. My duties include the running of the magazine. I have to set themes, ensure that all the creatives get mentioned, scheduling post for online, social media and email marketing. The due diligence behind the business in making sure we comply with everything. 80% of my time is making sure these things are checked, doubled checked, ticked, filed, and backed up. It can be easy to make a mistake and once it's in print, it can't be taken back. I have to make sure that every article, editorial, image, social media post is non judgemental, not slanderous in any way or offensive. If anything is sent to us in terms of advertising, I need to ensure that we let our viewers know this. Which can change people's opinion of an article. I tend not to publish anything that relates to advertising, though it may be contradictory, as if it's the artist I'm publishing, and therefore, if the feature is about a designer, that can be seen as advertising.
3. Why are you submission based? Will this ever change? As in, will you ever consider hiring a crew to shoot for the magazine?
Purely for content really, when I started RION 2 years ago, it was a WordPress blog that I used on my phone. We've grown now to a worldwide readership. We are still very new and I think that we will stay submission based for the time being but I'm not ruling it out just yet. Although we don't have the budget to pay creatives at the moment, I’d love to, believe me. We continually support the growth of the creatives and the community. We don't just accept their work, publish it and that's it. No, we constantly support by following their social pages, engaging in their work, giving shout-outs, any job posts that we see we put out to our creative community; we offer professional advice in some cases, too. Any profits that we do make we give to charity. Our current issue, the NOIR issue, is for a charity called MIND, to help boost awareness for mental health.
4. Why would a creative be interested in having their work published?
To get recognised for their work and their creative skills, to try and boost on your own profiles alone can be very hard when you are starting out. When I started as a photographer, I knocked on all the modelling agency's doors until one agency agreed to test with me, from there on I got booked for more test shoots, then proper shoots and then OK! Magazine. Once I was published, and I had a publication on my CV, other magazines, modelling agencies, and models seemed to take me more seriously. You just need that break.
5. What sort of photography is RION interested in?
RION is a creative platform, anything creative and high fashion is what we love. I love black and white so that's always a winner for me.
6. How is your submission process?
All submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, whether you are a writer, a designer, photographer, MUA, musician or in the creative arts. We request that you name your feature, and send us low-res images. Once our creative team accepts your submission, you'd then be asked to send over 300DPI images via Dropbox or WeTransfer and we ask that you include ALL the credits with this and fill out our disclaimer form that we will send you. This is just to make sure that the original copyright owner agrees and accepts your submission (If it’s not the photographer who is submitting it). We then file your submission, the supporting document, and credit list, and then our graphic designer pulls this from our server and does his thing. This is why we ask: please, please do make sure that you credit everything and everyone. Once your submission has been accepted and moved onto the next stage, it cannot be changed.
7. How do you decide which photos to publish?
I look for something that is different. Something that shows emotion, passion and creativity. Anything black and white that is raw with attitude is always a winner with me. But it's not just about the style, the images need to capture the designs, the model and personality. Every member of the team has worked on that shoot so the images should reflect every creative who was involved.
8. Who is allowed to submit? Only the photographer?
No, anyone can submit to RION, we only ask that the original copyright owner signs the relevant release form and accepts that they are happy for us to publish their work.
9. What are the common mistakes that creatives make when submitting their work?
There are quite a few actually:
Not naming the editorials. It's your work. We don't want to name it, It's your thought process, so name your editorials.
Bulk sending submissions, it's really hard once the graphic designer has your work and starts the design process only to be emailed to say that another magazine has published it already.
Not crediting the whole team. There is no "I" in team. Everyone needs to be credited. There is no limelight with RION. The light gets shined on every creative that has worked on the shoot.
Not sending the high-res images, they might look fine on the screen but in print they can be very pixelated and don't reflect the hard work that everyone has put in. We only want to show your very best work and you deserve that.
Lastly, changing their mind at the last minute and adding or taking away images or changing the credits.
10. Should creatives pay a magazine to have their work published?
Oh gosh no. This is a big “no, no” for us and a topic that we are very strongly against. No one should pay for their work to be published. Never!
11. Any other word of advice?
Enjoy what you do, it can be stressful, there will be times when things go wrong and not according to plan but that's where your creativity can really blossom. Enjoy the ride, keep your portfolio updated and engage with other creatives, established or not, we all started from the bottom. Everyone is equal.
12. When is the next issue?
The next issue will be in September 2017, any submissions can be sent to email@example.com. The deadline for this is the end of June 2017.
Brilliant! Thank you so much Wayne for taking the time to share all this valuable information with me. So many things that "I Wish I Had Known"!
Thank you, JC!