Emulsion is a film photography centered zine mastermined by Chris Gampat of The Phoblographer. After launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication, Gampat and his team had an overwhelming amount of submissions from across the globe. Narrowed down to the final few photographers, the first edition of Emulsion is now released. Featuring exceptional work from many photographers including one of our TEN AND ONE judges Luca Mercedes. We got a chance to speak to Chris about the process of making Emulsion and his admiration for analog and photography.
How did you get involved in photography in the first place?
I started with my old Razr Flip phone by taking pictures during the Golden Hour on the Intrepid. Then in college it became more serious with photojournalism when my professor ripped my images to shreds and I was able to get an A by convincing him that I sold an image that he hated to WIRED.
Who or what influences you and inspires you?
As insane and hipster as this is going to sound, I find inspiration in myself. Let me put it this way:
- You need to inspire yourself to actually get out of bed.
- You need to inspire yourself to work.
- You need to inspire yourself to actually be successful.
You need to find motivation within yourself.
Am I influenced by others? Totally. There are lots of photographers out there whom I love but generally, these days I peruse Behance and find photographers who do surreal work.
How'd this idea of making an analog photography-centric magazine come to fruition?
Well, it started with Kickstarter when it comes to the financials. But otherwise it was all about making connections with people that we've interviewed over the years at the Phoblographer. Some of them have been shooting for years so it was just about making sure that we were able to showcase their work and do it a whole lot of justice.
What do you find special about analog photography?
I'm really into the idea of imagery that really requires everything to be done in camera more so than in the darkroom. Plus I like the idea of getting a surprise after developing.
Making this magazine, what were you hoping readers will get or learn from it?
Essentially, I was really about experimenting. I like doing that with my company. But I also just like keeping people inspired. I think that the world of media today is so centered on just making and putting out piece after piece and video after video. But I hate playing that game. Niche print magazines that are small and high quality though I think are infinitely better. This is a blend of a photo book, a zine, and a coffee table book. The paper was carefully selected, the photographers were carefully selected, etc.
What was the decision process about who you wanted to include in this first edition?
Essentially they applied via our website. I weeded out my favorites, asked them for more photos, and then said yes or no. Folks that I thought were great but not making it into the zine I featured on our website instead. That continued to promote the zine all the meanwhile too.
What would you say was the hardest part of getting this magazine together?
Honestly, coordinating all the assets. One person was in Greece and needed to send me one image at a time via email. It was insane. And then ensuring that everything was print resolution, asking for rescans, getting people to give me their interviews, etc. I had to coordinate all that while trying to edge my way into a busy photographers' life.
Why do you think it's significant to keep things like print and analog media circulating and relevant?
Well, we're the photo world. Print is literally in our history and our identity. When you walk into a gallery space, you're captivated by the prints, not necessarily something on a screen. What companies like meural are doing are cool, but it's not going to replace looking at a massive printed photo and carefully taking it in.
You were able to make this publication through Kickstarter funding, how was your experience with that, did it help to further build a community for this publication?
I mean, we fundraised, we got the word out, and we got the money. What I saw though is that once we were fully funded, we saw a lot more people come in to support the project. No one wants to support something that may not happen and that's sad IMHO but I get it.
Do you think there will be a resurgence of self-made publications because of how the publishing industry is doing? Will we be seeing more DIY publications like Emulsion in the future?
There already is. Lots of photographers are doing it. And there's a huge difference between self-made publications and the bigger options out there. I mean, Pop Photo died and so did American Photo. Part of that has to do with advertising. Smaller publications don't rely on ads that much from my understanding.