Celebrating Three Years of SilvergrainClassics…
by SilvergrainClassics

… with a 30% discount for our readers! It’s hard to believe, but we are celebrating three years of magazine publication and 1230 pages of film photography content.

Editor-in-Chief Marwan El Mozayen and Developmental Editor Charys Schuler look back at the roads that brought them here and share their personal experiences and highlights.

And we are also sharing a special, limited time 30% discount code* off our Special First Edition! Our very first magazine had 130 pages and has become something of a collector’s item. Don’t miss the chance to get your copy before we sell out of our stock, as we have with other issues like #8 featuring Jeff Bridges.

Enter this code in the basket at checkout: SGC3YRS
*30% off the cover price not including shipping

Charys Schuler, Developmental Editor

When I accepted the offer to work on the Kickstarter campaign for a planned print magazine about film photography, I really didn’t see the path I was stepping onto. Actually, it has often felt more like putting a toe into what looks like a pleasant stream and being swept away by a strong current.

It was overwhelming at times, and I have struggled to keep myself afloat. But how could I resist that surge of enthusiasm from the analog community? I quickly realized that there were many more people swelling this tide than I had imagined, and they were willing and eager to help me navigate unfamiliar waters. They have also shown me how to make sense of all the resources floating around; and with time, I am learning how to become a steward of those valuable resources myself.

But some experiences just won’t fit into a neat metaphor. We were contacted by Jeff “The Dude” Bridges’ team and I then had the opportunity to chat with him for an entire uninterrupted hour. (Click here to read more about that chat.) I have walked on Wildcat Hill, the home where Edward Weston lived with his muse, Charis, and visited Ansel Adams’ cabin in Yosemite and his home in Carmel. I have had countless hours of fascinating conversations with artists from around the world who have shared their experiences and their art with me.

But the one thing that makes “it all” worthwhile — the thousands of hours of research and emailing, the worry about marketing and tight margins, helping to develop plans to recover from pandemic-induced business challenges — has been receiving readers’ emails.

It can feel like all the love, sweat, and occasional tears that go into each issue are sent out into a void… until an unexpected “ping” tells me that I have mail from an appreciative reader. Don’t get me wrong; I take pride in my work and would continue without praise from the outside. What affects me so strongly is the sense of connection that our readers feel to the film community. That’s what I am most proud of: helping to foster and grow that connection.
 

Marwan El Mozayen, Editor-in-Chief

I’m the type of person who reflects on daily and/or future life regularly, although it rarely pulls me off the routine treadmill. But some events give me this sudden, “Wait a moment, is it really that long ago?” experience that makes me stop everything and consider for a moment.

That’s what happened when I suddenly realized that our international magazine for analog photography project had its 3rd anniversary. Well, ok what are three years in the grand scheme of things? But I have to add two years of preparation and many more years of wheeling, dealing, and networking in the field.

Actually, most of my life I have wanted to do something like this, ever since my school days when I first came into contact with printed photography publications. Back then, around 1988, I regularly got a couple of photography magazines from a friend at school who worked in a magazine distribution company in his spare time. He gave me a bunch of lightly damaged photography magazines of all kinds, from cheap, bad ones to the top of the line.

It was the way I got into the entire world of photography. Especially the better magazines with content for professionals gave me a really good overview of which products were on the market, what were the trends, and how the businesses ran.

In the years leading to the turn of the millennium, I noticed that many photography magazines went down in quality. Most articles were superficial, and most of the content circled around the question of which ink cartridge is better or why do I need the next generation camera sensor. In 2001, I cancelled my last subscription. I occasionally took a magazine out of a bookstore shelf, but usually put it back after thumbing through it.

Until the early 2010s, I did not believe that magazines or any other high-quality print would have a future. I was busy with my daily business and my company and, of course, my personal passion for analog photography and darkroom work. At the time, we were all concerned about how long film would remain available and how long our cameras would survive.

Then I got the chance to be an editor of the first purely analog magazine in Germany. With the experience and feedback I got there, I came to the conclusion that if we who believe in film work together, we can change things. It also made me think again of my personal experience with photography magazines back in the days.

On a cold grey day shortly after the Photokina of 2016, I had a sudden, strong inspiration while out walking the dog; the resurgence of film is a worldwide phenomenon, why not trying an international magazine! Yes, this was what I wanted to do! I immediately called the editor-in-chief of the German magazine I was working for and suggested the idea. He could hear how excited I was and after half an hour, I could convince him to support the project… as long as I took care of everything.

Let’s just say it was a long road with many obstacles and hurdles. I came to realize that it could not be achieved as a hobby project, not in the quality I had in mind. Looking back, I can see how it has totally changed my and my family’s lives.

Sometimes, it’s better not to know everything that will be involved at the start of a project. For me, the start of these three (or for me, five) years are a milestone in my life. There is my life before and after SilvergrainClassics.

Nevertheless, these three years were the best of my life so far. I have had the chance to get deeply involved in the entire world of analog photography on a professional level and have gotten special feedback from our readers.

But I never forget the support of my wife and family, and our excellent, small team. Everyone works to the absolute limit to make all of this possible. I got the chance to visit places and people I never even dreamt of before. Sometimes the workload is enormous, especially during the pandemic ups and downs, but having all these memories, and also future projects, in my mind makes me feel that starting SilvergrainClassics was the best decision of my life.

 

If you like balanced and well-researched articles about analog photography, consider subscribing to the print issue of SilvergrainClassics here: shop.silvergrainclassics.com/subscriptions/