“The idea for Paper Journal came about during my final year of studying photography at Westminster,” says founding editor Patricia Karallis. Though studying she was also working as a picture editor for a small online arts and culture magazine at the time, and had found that she really enjoyed the research aspect of the role but also had “many ideas in terms of content that didn’t quite fit where I was working at the time”. The answer was simple – she decided “to start my own platform”.
She launched Paper Journal online in 2013, with the aim of showcasing photography, fashion and culture in an exciting way. Featuring photography from unknown or new image-makers alongside more established names, Karallis says, “we love to promote new photography and I think that’s been a really strong point for us, and one that draws readers back to the site.”
Karallis was still working as a freelance photographer when she set up the magazine, but she decided to focus on the journal after 2015, when she became a mother. Over its five-year life so far, Paper Journal has run more than 500 interviews, features, photo book reviews, fashion features and studio visits, and invited over 300 photographers to take over its Instagram feed (@paperjournalmag), which has 154,000 followers. The Paper Journal team has also been part of the jury and nomination process for a number of prestigious awards and competitions.
Now, to celebrate its fifth anniversary, Paper Journal is presenting its very first print edition. “In order for us to continue sharing high-quality content, we felt it was an important step forward to engage with our readers in a new and different way,” explains Karallis. “Our first issue sits between being a magazine and a photobook. We have many different sections on the site, which we have translated into the print edition.”
Essentially, the print magazine will mirror the content they publish online, sharing interviews and essays, as well as featuring new work from emerging artists and publishers. “Considering our love and ongoing support for photography, photobooks, and the community at large, we thought it was a natural transition and one that will hopefully cement us more firmly as a respected resource,” says Karallis.
The print issue spotlights previously unseen work by photographer Nguan, for example, whose book Singapore was included in the New York Times’ 2017 Best Of list, and Daniel Shea, who recently won the Foam Paul Huf Award. “Alongside this, we share a visual conversation between Stefanie Moshammer and Patrick Bienert, and there is also a focus on photographer portfolios, particularly new work from Joseph Kadow and Lola & Pani,” Karallis tells BJP.
Other photographers highlighted include Rafal Milach and Phoebe Kiely, plus interviews and fashion editorials with designers and photographers including Luke & Nik, and Ottolinger, amongst others. The bulk of photographers in the print issue were discovered by Karallis in her own research, but she’s also chosen to feature work that was submitted directly to the magazine.
Despite its success, Paper Journal has always operated independently, without sponsorship or advertising, and the team is made up of volunteers. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough funds to cover the cost of making the print magazine, as well as supporting the team and contributors.
“We rely on the photography community as much as that, each step we have taken throughout the past five years has been possible thanks to you,” writes Karallis on Paper Journal‘s Kickstarter page. “Without your help – editors, curators, photographers, collectors, designers, photographers, students, readers; all that we have achieved would not have been possible.”
To back the campaign and support the publication of Paper Journal’s first print issue, please follow this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paperjournal/paper-journal-1st-print-edition/ Issues can be pre-ordered at the special price of £20 until Thursday.