PDN Photo of the Day

Making Magazine Magic

Dallas-based photographer Fredrik Brodén decided to publish what he hopes to be a quarterly magazine, titled Fredrik-the Magazine, consisting mostly of his unpublished work. Within the next few months, he also hopes to release Fredrik- the t-shirt, and Fredrik- the tote bag, as well as another issue of the magazine.

We received the first issue of Fredrik- the Magazine about a month ago. Designed by Tom Brown of TBA+D in Vancouver, it features three bodies of work: “Giro d’Italia,” “Open” and “Devil’s Bowl.” We asked Brodén, a shooter with almost 25 years of experience, and a client list that includes Adobe, Nike, GQ, Die Zeit, Neiman Marcus and Travel + Leisure, why he wanted to start a magazine of his own.

Photo District News: At this point in your career, do you really need to send out a promo?

Fredrik Brodén: I think it’s hard to monitor the success of promos in general but I think you have to get your work out there and not just rely on electronic marketing. I have a lot of loyal clients but to stay relevant and build clientele one has to keep moving, re-invent  and get the work out there. Plus it’s a fun and good exercise to go through your work and decide what goes in the promo and why.

PDN: What was the last promo mailer you sent out before this? Have you ever made a magazine promo before?

FB: The last promo I sent out was probably about three years ago, but this was actually meant as a magazine, not a promo. The idea is to have 3 issues a year. Hopefully it will organically grow. The jury is out on that.

It is for sale at fredrik-themagazine.com, and nearly sold out, which is exciting. I did send out a few freebies but not that many. I’m working on a promo totally unrelated to Fredrik- the magazine, but that will be printing closer to the end of the year.

PDN: Tell us about the three series you included. Did you work with anyone on the editing?

FB: I was following the Giro d’Italia for a month, which was cool and exhausting. “Open” came from buying a gigantic bag of keys from an out-of-business locksmith and finding the most interesting ones. I love how plain they are and where they might have been. Devil’s Bowl is an old dirt track outside Dallas from the 50s and the people watching [are] great. It’s all home-built race cars. Very Americana and great amateur spirit.

I shoot self-assigned projects all the time so I had a lot of projects to choose from. I was looking for the right variety. Some of the projects have been with gallery shows in mind and some just to try something entirely new. [Tom Brown of Tom Brown Art and Design, TBA+D] helped me with the editing.

PDN: How did you end up working with Tom on Fredrik- the magazine?

FB: Tom and I have known each other for about 20 years. He hired me when he was at Men’s Journal, circa 1997. After that we worked together either on projects he hired me for at various magazines or promos he designed for me. After his stint in NYC, Tom moved back to his hometown Vancouver and started TBA+D (Tom Brown Art and Design).

From then on we have worked on countless projects. We think the same way so it’s very effortless. The last several years we have worked on a trade publication called thinkMoney. He is the creative director and I am the photographer. During the spring we were working on an issue and somehow it came up in conversation for me to start a magazine and call it “Fredrik,” which to me is funny and kind of tongue-in-cheek, but it stuck and Tom designed it brilliantly in my opinion.


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