I took this image as I know places like this little gem are quickly disappearing from our neighbourhood, both here and overseas. I wanted to make a record of it for myself as the start of a project to record them and celebrate the magazine.
When I was a teenager my mum used to work in the city and I would catch the train after school into Flinders Street Station to go to my favourite newsagency called McGills. I’d spend hours there looking through all the magazines while I waited for my Mum to finish work and we would catch the train home together.
It was well before the days of the internet as we know it today, so I pretty much used it as my weekly visual download from around the world, leafing through all the magazines with my school bag between my feet on the floor.
I covered all subjects: fashion, photography, art, cars, computers, comics and music.
Fast forward 10 years to me living up here in Sydney and I would buy 8-10 magazines a week (mostly overseas fashion and interior mags) to now in 2019 where I maybe buy one at the airport for a long-haul flight.
When I saw this magazine stand in LA it reminded me of a Polaroid I shot of a newsagent in NYC when I spent three months living there between finishing assisting and going out to shoot on my own.
Going, Going by Steven Chee for This Time It's Personal
It literally had magazines wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling - stacked with just a narrow path to navigate the store. I remember being annoyed that I didn’t have a wider lens to capture it all at once.
That will be my next picture, a wide one. Fingers crossed it’s still there.
It was also shot on medium format Portra NC film on a Mamiya 7II as I wanted to capture it in the format of the “glory days of the magazine.”
I take a lot of my personal work whilst travelling. It’s nice to be “given” the light and see how it falls and plays with the ever-changing environment.
I spend a lot of time in the studio for work constructing light. My travels/personal work have created a great visual archive to draw on when I’m back in the studio to make the created light more natural and believable.
I’ve actually been to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse a few times to visit a very good friend when he was there undergoing treatment. They provided him with amazing care and employed a wide range of more holistic and complimentary methods alongside the more traditional medicines.
Seeing my friend and his family today, I couldn’t be prouder to donate a little bit of my time to this charity.