When Pryme Magazine closed it’s doors at the end of 2015, the instant film community lost an amazing resource. Typically, as instant film photographers, we value the tangible. Holding that print in your hands and watching it develop, or peeling the two halves apart on a shot of 3000b, there is just something about viewing images without a screen in front of you. For 18 months, Pryme Magazine offered quarterly, curated publications, showcasing some of the best instant film photography in the community. Sadly, when they announced the end of Pryme Magazine, the idea of viewing our peers work outside of social media, went away.
Fast forward to July 31st, 2016. Michael Behlen, one of the key people behind Pryme Magazine, introduced us to Pryme Editions. The mission of Pryme Editions, is to give a global audience to photographers who use instant film exclusively for their photographic work by giving them a place to sell their products. They have moved away from publishing a quarterly curated magazine, and are now dedicated to releasing special and limited edition books, ‘zines, and projects to your doorstep. We had the chance to talk with Michael and find out a little more about Pryme Editions, and what may be in store for the future.
1. You currently have 3 books available. How did you choose the artists for these books?
When the ‘zine ended at the end of 2015 I knew I wanted to continue making books and ‘zines that were Polaroid related, I just didn’t know which direction to take. I had previously featured Amanda, Nate, and Rudi on the PRYME Magazine blog and loved their work. The three of them represented three totally different styles of instant photography all of which I deeply respected.
When I decided to pursue PRYME Editions, I immediately reached out to Amanda Mason and asked if she would be willing to shoot a body of work for the book that would become Aphelia. I asked her because her current body of work was incredibly magical and dark, and very different from what everyone in the instant film scene was doing. To me it was the perfect pairing of launching the crazy idea of an instant film zine publishing business with her one of a kind style. I knew it would be an instant commercial success.
Nate Matos originally reached out to me and suggested the idea of doing a compendium of his four part zine Serif and Silver through PRYME Editions and I was of course very excited. I immediately agreed to get on board with his idea and we launched the 92 Page limited edition book with the rest of the books in August.
I respect Nate’s business sense, his follow through, and commitment to instant film and to have him apart of our launch was very special. He is a staple of the community and I couldn’t be more thrilled to support his work by releasing the compendium of his work through PRYME Editions.
As we got closer to launching the store in August 2016 I had two books: one that represented a fantasy aspect, one that was more documentary in nature, and I had not yet planned a book that appealed to avid portrait photography enthusiasts. I realized that I needed to an additional book that would provide a diverse product range that would meet all instant film lovers tastes. I reached out to Rudi Amedeus who had been shooting beautiful large format Polaroid portraits at Burning Man 2015 on expired 4×5 and 8×10 film. The images he captured were glimpses of so many different types of people and personalities that I knew he would be my best bet to fulfill a book of portraits for PRYME Editions.
2. How do the PRYME Editions and Special Editions differ?
PRYME Editions are books that we have developed from scratch including concept and presentation which includes Amanda’s book Apehlia. Special Edition books are books that allow us to partner with artists who have already put out a book that is now out of print or want to do a small run of an idea they already have. These Special Editions are very small runs that include new forwards, added images and pages, and are printed in a new size or format that add to the collectability of the book. In both cases, a signed and numbered print from the book is included giving the purchaser a truly one of a king package from the artist.
3. How often will you be releasing books?
That is a great question! Ideally I want to release as many books and ‘zines as financially possible. To be as transparent, people don’t go into zine publishing to get rich. As long as we are staying afloat and we keep selling our products, we will continue releasing PRYME and Special edition books. At this point, it looks like 4-6 editions a year will be doable, increasing as we grow year over year. We have planned the first half of 2017 with one Special Edition reprint coming out January 2017 and three PRYME editions in late Spring 2017. What Fall and Winter 2017 holds for us, we will have to see what sales are like early next year. If everything is going well we will release 2-4 more books in Winter 2017.
4. Can we expect any theme related books with various artist, or will each edition feature a single artist?
That is yet to be determined so it is hard to give you a definite answer. If we do release a book featuring more than one artist it will most likely be in the form of a “split-zine” and won’t happen until the end of 2017. So for now, the answer is a temporary no. We do plan on making PRYME Magazine Issues 1-5 available again soon for a limited time to enable our new fans to pick up the publications what made us who we are.
5. How will PRYME Editions differ from PRYME Magazine?
Our primary focus for PRYME Editions is publications. In the past, PRYME Magazine focused on promoting instant film artist’s work by featuring them in quarterly multi-artist zines, and conducting interviews and features on our blog. That process allowed instant film artists a place to show their work and a chance to be published. While that pursuit was very fun and rewarding for everyone involved, it was incredibly time consuming. After coming home from my day job, most nights would be filled with interviewing, curating, editing, and posting work to the website. A big part of why the ‘zine ended was I needed to spend more time with my family and less time with my computer. The great part about PRYME Editions is that we still get to publish artists’ work and promote the instant film medium just in an evolved and more elegant way.
On that topic. I really missed interviewing and talking to instant film artists as much as I did in the ‘zine days. In November 2016 at the latest, we will begin releasing a monthly PRYME Podcast that will interview the artists we have come to know and love. Stay tuned for more information on that soon!
6. Will there be a hardcover option in the future?
That is a hard question to answer. Ideally yes, absolutely. The problem with that is a financial one. If we are printing 50 copies of a book for a limited run our costs go up by about $1,100 dollars opposed to a soft cover edition. The goal of PRYME Editions is to get books and ‘zines into people’s hands that are both unique and collectable. I feel like we are already riding a line of affordability of the everyday consumer and releasing a hardcover book may result on us sitting on a pile of books that are out of our customers’ price range. Perhaps in early 2018 this will be a possibility for us, but for now the answer to this question is not at this time.
7. How can readers submit work to you for review?
I would love to work with as many artists as possible in 2017! If you have an original idea for an instant film publication or project or have an out of print book that you would like to re-release, we would love to hear from you! You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org! On a different note, If you simply need assistance or advice with getting your Polaroid project off the ground, we can consult with you to to get you headed in the right direction! We love hearing about everything instant film and would be excited to help you!
Name: Michael Behlen
Link to Amanda’s Book: http://prymeeditions.com/shop/
Side note, Pryme Editions is a sponsor of the Instant 085 Photography Festival in Italy that starts 09/30/16. They will have books available there for purchase. Amanda Mason and Michael Behlen will also have their own work, not related to PRYME there on exhibit. Link to that: https://www.facebook.com/
Aphelia, by Amanda Mason, is the first zine to be released by Pryme. It is a beautiful body of work, offered in a single, two chapter zine. Chapter one is a collection of B&W work, while chapter two is filled with the muted colors and warm tones we have come to love with expired Polaroid film and new film offered by Impossible.
I received my copy of Aphelia a few weeks back. As luck would have it, it arrived the day before I was leaving for a trip out west. I had the chance to open the packaging, and I have to admit, I was impressed. While this book would have shipped fine in a padded envelop, Pryme Editions went above and beyond. What I had in my hands, was a black craft box, with Pryme Editions letterhead screen printed on the top. Inside, my zine was nicely wrapped in a fabric bag, stamped with the title of the book and a feather attached to the drawstring. The selection of images chosen for the zine were wonderful, and the layout is perfect. Like I mentioned before, having a tangible item in my hands makes the images even more special. Being able to pick up the book and thumb through the pages, without logging in somewhere is great. Each time I look through the book, I find something I missed previously, and I end up with a new favorite.
From Pryme Editions:
Amanda Mason’s “Aphelia” is in some ways a love story, yet not in the traditional sense. There is no ending, happy or otherwise. It is the space between, it is a celebration of what just is. There is a sense of a parallel existence. The differing elements are on their own orbits, yet constantly come close enough to reach out and touch, or gloriously eclipse. Different forms emerge and are offered as an acknowledgment and adoration of the others’ presences and as an appreciation of their importance. The two orbits are depicted in both black and white and in color. They read as their own story, yet overlap and intertwine throughout.
-8″ x 8”
-176gsm Uncoated Paper
-Laminated Soft Cover
-Limited to 50 Signed and Numbered Editions
-15 Copies of Aphelia come with a signed and numbered print from the book. (7 Color, 8 Back and White)
Below, you will find a few sample images from the publication. You will need to get your own copy to view the entire collection. 😉 The zine itself runs $45.oo and can be purchased under the shop tab on the Pryme Editions website. While you are there, please check out the other products that Pryme Editions is offering, you can even get back issues of Pryme Magazine in a box set.
As a special gift to our readers, use coupon code “SnapItSeeIt” when you purchase your copy. This will give everyone who uses it 5% off at checkout. The coupon will expired on 10/16/16 at midnight pacific time.