La Pura Vida Editorial Mission

In this post I will outline what type of formats and features you can expect as well as my reasoning for them.  I believe in transparency and establishing a dialogue with those interested in what we’re doing. If something doesn’t work, I’d like to hear about it. I always enjoy hearing feedback and many of the insights people have offered in the past have led to changes in my approach, so if you have feedback, criticism or observations, please feel free to leave a comment of shoot me an email.

On the Road to a Mission Statement

In the previous post I stated that I thought the objective of a blog should transcend merely “exposing and promoting” photography that appeals to an editors or curators taste.  So, on that note I will attempt to sketch out a clearer editorial objective for la pura vida.

The mission of la pura vida is as follows:

  1. Collaborate with photographers and editors to create and publish unique individual and group essays.
  2. Work closely with editors from a select set of Flickr groups to create features based on the group style or theme.
  3. Publish OpEd pieces on the the intersection of photography and digital media; the photographic process and philosophy.
  4. Publish, promote and distribute our print magazines ‘Photographs on the Brain’ and ‘Street Reverb.’
  5. Promote and feature independent books, zines and shows that share our sensibility.
  6. Aggregate and share interesting, relevant content produced by the photography community through our Twitter and Tumblr feeds.

I’m certain other types of formats and features will develop over time as well. The internet moves quickly, with new ideas and trends emerging sometimes within a day. So, it’s always a good idea to remain fluid, but I think these objectives will form the cornerstone of what we’re trying to achieve.  I’d like to add some thoughts on a few of these objectives as well.

Monthly Shows

When we started LPV in September of 2007, our objective was to take some of the good work we were finding on Flickr and present it in a more meaningful way than the group pools.  What evolved were the monthly shows that were inspired by quotes, phrases, ideas, etc.  We were never really interested in doing the literal type of themes that are all too common. I understand why people go this route. The concepts are typically easy to grasp, and easy for an audience to quickly connect with.  But we wanted to go another route. Perhaps it’s not entirely unique, but I do think our themes tend to be more lyrical and ambiguous.  One of the unique elements of LPV is that our submission process for the most part is completely transparent.  Our contributors can literally watch the edit evolve before their eyes in the LPV pool. This gives them an idea about what the editor is looking for, and often times a visual dialogue will develop between the editor and the contributors.  I know for some, this probably isn’t appealing, but having watched it first hand it feels like a unique form of collaboration.  The monthly shows are conceived with an idea or phrase, and then grow and evolve from there through the collaboration between the editor and contributors, before finally maturing on the day of publication. I believe these monthly shows offer something unique and interesting to our audience.

Photoessays & Features

I’ve been impressed with what Burn Magazine and a few other website have done with featured photoessays.  I’ve always been interested in working with photographers, and interpreting their work.  I’ve grown a bit fatigued with the standard format of selecting 5-7 photographs from a photographers portfolio, putting their name in the subject line and then calling that a feature.  I enjoy these type of posts to some degree, but creatively I want to move in a new direction.  So I’ve been working with a handful of photographers to develop unique photoessays and features for LPV.  As with all creative collaborations, it can be tricky, but ultimately I think these longer essays are more rewarding to consume.  Some of the features will be almost entirely edited by myself, others will be more collaborative.  My goal here is to give photographers a platform to present their work in new ways.  This might mean presenting photographs from a new project, creating an essay from an existing body of work, or experimenting with an idea for something completely new.  I want to give photographers a platform to test ideas, show new work and test new interpretations.  For me, even if these fail, it will be much more rewarding than presenting a handful of greatest hits from their portfolio.

The LPV Collection

In the near future, we’ll be launching The LPV Collection, Volume 1 with prints from five regular LPV contributors. Volume 1 will contain 20 photographs and will be rolled out at regular intervals. There will be more details to come in the upcoming weeks.  There are a number of great websites offering prints right now, and doing a good job experimenting with new ways to finance photography.  With The LPV Collection, I think we can offer something unique to the LPV community.


Moving forward, the editorial objective of LPV will be to produce features in collaboration with photographers and contributors.  Creative collaborations are exciting, frustrating, difficult, enlightening, and when well executed, inspiring.  There are many exciting, and interesting blogs and online magazines out there right now. It’s a crowded space where your attention is pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis.  My goal is that when people come to LPV they know it’ll be worth the visit because they’ll be viewing unique content that’s thoughtfully presented and created through the collaboration between editor and photographer.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting LPV.

  • hendoe

    ah, nevermind. just found the link on the top right (small though)

  • hendoe

    uhm, where are those Tumblr feeds mentioned in point 6 of the mission?