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Founder of Loupe Magazine Tells Us How You Can Be Part of the Next Issue

By Ellen Clipson - 2 min read

Loupe Founder and Editor Luke Archer tells us why he started out the print magazine in 2016, and why they need your help to continue to bring more emerging photographers to the forefront of the photography industry.

Loupe Magazine is a free print magazine that seeks to elevate unpublished talent that deserves to get noticed. Launched in 2016, the UK-based team work hard to create bi-annual issues that focus on a diverse range of topics, concepts and issues shaping society and the creative industry.

Why Loupe Magazine Is Looking For Contributors for Issue 10

Loupe has been designed to be an approachable platform for the photographers that go beyond the established names we see all the time. The team’s commitment to print has allowed them to get the work of the photographers published in Loupe, onto the desks of industry decision makers and leading publishers.

With Issue 10 - ‘National Identity’ - set up and ready to go the Loupe team need the help of their readers and beyond. To be able to continue to create this free platform for emerging artists, Loupe is offering some amazing incentives in exchange for contributions.

As we saw with our breath-taking one million submissions to The 2019 EyeEm Awards, there are so many artist working around the world that are looking for new platforms to have their talent seen and valued.

To show our support, we spoke to Luke to find out whata Loupe’s ‘Issue 10’ funding project represents and how you can get your hands on the new issue, signed prints, and more!

How would you describe Loupe Magazine?

A ‘loupe’ is a magnifying glass that photographers use to check focus, and use each issue to take a closer look at certain stories. In everything we do, our aim is to ‘inspire photography’.

What made you start up the project?

I felt that there wasn’t a magazine that elevated emerging photographic talent that was also writing about their work in an accessible way for readers.

I’ve always wanted each issue to celebrate the diversity of photography, giving exposure to the names that really need and value it. Therefore, we make sure to include a mixture of photography genres whether it be commercial, documentary, fashion, or others that are less well known.

Is it what you expected?

It’s hard to remember what I expected when I started! I knew making a print magazine in a digital age was going to be tough. This being said, this project has certainly made me redefine ‘tough’! I’ve seen a lot of magazines burn bright for a year or so and then go under, so I’ve been conscious of growing it slowly and making sure we don’t go bust!

Untitled by Ian Howorth: Available in Print

Why is it important to you that Loupe remains free? Do you ever foresee it being distributed differently?

Being free is great! Our large print run has meant we can reach and engage a much wider audience than many paid titles. We would love to keep the magazine free and the more money we can raise with our current crowdfunding campaign the more secure the magazine’s future will be.

However, I think what’s more important is our attitude, our honesty with our readers, and the fact that we reply to people’s emails! Even if we went paid in the future we would be sure to work with the same ethos.

Is there a reason why you wanted Loupe to be in print?

Yes definitely! Print has the ability to cut through the noise, it enables us to hold people’s attention and explain why the work we feature is worth the page space!

The churn of content online is so quick that very little original writing is commissioned on photography, it’s great to slow down and give our writers time to really consider their work.

Having the issues in print also allows us to send it out to industry leaders including agents, picture editors, and curators. It’s great because when the physical magazine lands on their desk, it’s much more impacting than an email they can ignore!

Untitled by Melanie Eclare from the series ‘After the Fire’: Available in Print!

Is there a particular issue that you hold close to your heart - if so why?

That’s a tough question! Surely that’s like picking a favourite child? I like the fact that we put a clown on the cover of Issue 1, forgetting that some people are terrified of clowns!

On a more serious note, I’m pleased we could feature the work of Melanie Eclare in Issue 6. The UK-based photographer had been on my radar for a while. However I’m sad to say that she passed away before I could approach her regarding an article.

It was through her friends and family that we were able to create the feature, and I hope that it’s a fitting tribute to her talent and portfolio of work. We are honoured that her estate decided to donate one of her images as a reward in our crowdfunding campaign.

How do you find and select your photographers?

That’s changed as the magazine has evolved. It started with me looking out for work to feature, however, we now have a large enough following that most of the photographers we include have submitted their work to be featured in the magazine.

That’s where being approachable has been beneficial, people feel comfortable sharing their work with us and that enables to discover fresh talent that hasn’t been published elsewhere.

Death by Zachary Snell: Available in Print!

What did it mean to you and the team to have hosted the ‘Loupe Another Graduate Show’ in London?

It was fantastic, we did an open call for student and recent graduate work to be exhibited at a gallery in East-London.

It was free to enter as we were able to provided all the printing for free via a sponsor. For many graduates the cost having to pay for their end of year shows on top of schooling fees can make it impossible for many to exhibit.

We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to exhibit based purely on the strength of their work. A lot people came along to the show, which we see as a reaffirmation that even though people are busy there is a real interest in seeing and supporting new talent.

Issue 10 is set to explore the concept of ‘National Identity’ - what does that concept mean to you?

It’s something that I think a lot of people around the world are questioning at the moment! For me, Brexit came as a huge shock. Many go through life believing they are connected to everyone in their country through a shared sense of national identity and then something like that comes along and literally splits your country in two! It makes you question something you previously took for granted.

Has your perspective changed as you’ve gone through the process of launching the new issue?

It’s certainly a huge topic and there is no way we can cover it all in a single issue.

We are using Issue 10 to look at how language, history, law, and displacement can impact on national identity. Working on the issue has made me realise how many facets go into shaping national identity, and many of us are totally unaware of the importance of these elements until a major event happens either in our personal lives or to the country we call ‘home.’

Where do you see Loupe in 5 years?

I hope we are still in print! This being said we have lots of plans on what we could do with the magazine. We would love to expand more into events, also education and advocacy.

I believe the way photography is taught in the UK could do with a large-scale overhaul and myself and the team want to be involved in making those changes happen.

What matters most is that regardless of the direction we take Loupe, we always remember why we started the magazine and use those principles to steer us in the future.

The deadline for the funding project is set for Friday 18th October, with many incentives selling out fast (iunucluding coffee with Martin Parr!) You can find out more information or pledge your contribution here!

Loupe’s small but dedicated team work extremely hard to make each Issue of Loupe. The team includes Alec Jackson, Harry Flook, and Leticia Batty, as well as many more contributors and artists.

Want to know more about Loupe? You can check out the magazine’s official website now to stay up to date with events, open calls, and upcoming issues!

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