Flawless – a response


Flawless Magazine is available through its Facebook link and is open for submission by all photographers. In trying to discover a little more about this magazine, I was contacted by a Photographic Group to review the Magazine and its direction. 
This might include; the benefits for photographers that were thinking of submitting images, the potential flow on effects, the compensation and any ‘swag’ associated with being aligned with that magazine and organization.
It took 6 weeks to receive a reply to any of my questions, and the responses were certainly succinct. There was no opportunity taken to editorialize, steer my direction or volunteer more information than was absolutely required.
The magazine is new and there can be little if any, revenue to fully staff the organization at this stage – This is very much a part-time hobby interest that is designed to lead to bigger and better things down the road.  By down the road, I mean, when a year’s (or other significant) time has passed, Flawless are able to show their past e-magazines to potential advertisers and go to print. The photographers that have submitted their work are not owed (or paid) anything, but it is their work that is building the fanbase and that will in turn, build the revenue.
Once advertising is paying for paper and e-magazines, Flawless may decide to pay photographers (it is their ‘aim’). Once they are paying, they are more liable to move toward a professional submission base. They may just as easily decide to sell out and start another venture.
There is no company name associated with Flawless. There is no Company address or telephone number – there is simply no guarantee that any submission will be dealt with properly. We know that the owner of that website is a full-time photographer in Mountmellick, Ireland – weddings, babies and models, also on Model Mayhem. Another person has a full time job in Cork, Ireland as a Visual Merchandiser in a Fashion Store. She has her name misspelled on the latest inside cover, but it would sound similar. That means someone dresses store dummies and arranges stock in a shop. Another of the ‘staff” works full time with a Dublin Ad Agency. The last is a full-time fashion model.  Wonderful people, I’m sure, but without a structure, we simply have no way of safeguarding our own livelihoods.
How admirable that these four people in Ireland have given us all an opportunity to work for them, create their business and allow them to sell out, including the rights to publish your images, to anyone they wish to, at any time.
We know that it is illegal for a business to run in Ireland under any name other than the owner’s birth name, unless it is registered. Flawless Magazine is not registered as a business or Company in Ireland. It is not allowed to receive money in its own right and cannot pay bills – it simply does not exist.
Because it does not exist, it has no promise to keep. When you send your precious images to an email address, you have willingly given them away, no comebacks.
This is not meant to say that they are bad people, just that there is no Flawless-Magazine except on someone’s hard drive and that person has not declared their name and involvement at this stage – so I have to ask why….?
One can also see ‘flaws’ in other processes. I may be a designer that wants my work to be featured, and find a potential ‘advertorial’ fee is required. I pay my money, get my shots taken and submitted and the next theme is magically aimed squarely at my design theme – lucky me gets selected, and everyone else misses out.
The selection criteria for submissions is sprung on photographers, the selection criteria for advertising is held by the publishers. Any Ad agency will require a much longer lead time, to make sure their advertising is aligned with the theme.
Personally, I think that all those who submit images should also be able to submit a potential theme, and that theme gets polled to Facebook for approval. That could be a way to include the freelance photographers who are the complete backbone of this organization, in an opportunity to have their favorite genre/theme included.
I also believe that all photographers who are published prior to paper publication, should be rewarded with at least a subscription as well as  the inclusion of their printed work as a part of a retrospective – “How we got started…”  Four pages devoted to ‘Last Years Theme’.
Overall, I feel that Flawless Magazine is a great way for amateur photographers to get their name in e-print, providing they are only expecting just that.
I’m sure that the intentions of Flawless Magazine are wonderful, but in their limited state, it may be years before they can give anything back to the industry that is currently supporting them. I urge their fanbase to lobby for their needs, as that fanbase is actually providing the content and the revenue for Flawless Magazine.
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Emailed interview questions:
My initial impressions of Flawless led me to query whether it was aimed at the Fashion Industry (Apparel Buyers/Designers/Textile Fabricators etc…) the Modeling Industry, (Models/MUAs, Beauty Providers, Tanning Salons, Cosmetics, Nail Care etc…) or the Photographic Industry, (Lighting, Creative Inspiration, New Techniques, Photographic Principles etc…)
*Primarily we are trying to aim our magazine at everyone involved in the fashion industry.
Do you have a statement on your Target Market?
*We currently do not have a public target market statement. Our target market is broadly anyone involved within the fashion industry and is not restricted to those operating in close proximity to a camera.

Your lead-time for new themed submissions currently appears to be approximately one month.

Do you feel that amount of time lends itself to submissions from Amateurs more than Commercial Photographers?
*We have extended our lead time, our current issues theme was released December 19th with the closing date for submissions running up until the 6th of February. We hope this amount of time does not restrict commercial photographers submitting work to us as our magazines aim is to promote both aspiring and established creative artists. As we are a bimonthly magazine the amount of time available to complete submissions is unavoidable.
As no payment appears to be made to photographers, models or other talent, do you feel that your submission base will become purely Amateur?
*Currently we neither charge for viewing or pay for submissions. Our aim is that once we start to generate revenue, artists both aspiring and established submitting work will receive payment.
Does Flawless have a policy that will allow work to be published on its merits, even if it is ‘out of theme’.
*No as this would be very much against what the magazine is trying to do.
How would you describe the main differences between Flawless and other (e)Magazines?
* The main differences would be 
  1. Themed issues  
  2. Actively encouraging beginners
  3. Clear and transparent submission policy
  4. Strict requirements for submissions
If Flawless was described as ModelMayhem’s Pic of the Day or Theme Magazine, how would you respond?
While this would be flattering to receive it would not direct us in any particular fashion.
Does Flawless have a policy on accepting paid advertisements?
Any advertisers featured in our magazine must be related to our target market and must not be viewed negatively by the market as this would reflect on us.
If Flawless was described as a Vanity Publishing vehicle for friends of the company, how would you respond?
* As a team we agreed that we would not publish our own work and to date no work featured in any of our issues has been that of friends or associates. Our submission process applies to all submissions, friends or associates have the same chance of being accepted or rejected as any other contributors.
Carrie Leigh’s Nude -The Art of Women Magazine has been operating for over three years now, apart from the ‘content’ do you see any parallels with that magazine?
* Like Flawless The Art of Women Magazine is primarily full page/spread photographic work.
Eva Borland,
Public Relations,
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