A home for the things I think are worthy of sharing. Will largely be photography based.

Buying Photography Magazines

Other than an introduction course in studio lighting and one in Black & White development (which I did a month before buying a Digital SLR so never developed myself after that) I’m self taught. Either from books, friends, online forums or magazines.

Over time I’ve bought or subscribed to various magazines : Practical Photography, Photography Monthly, Amateur Photographer etc, and more recently Professional Photographer.

In addition to wanting to learn more – I will happily admit to being a photography geek. Although I work in IT to some extent it’s just a “job”/career – it’s not a passion – I don’t read IT books at home – and I have tried. But Photography is different – it’s a passion.

These days I read Professional Photography Magazine – not that I’m a professional photographer (I’m not) but mostly for 2 reasons – 1. I consider I MAY turn pro some time. But also I work (IT) in the photography industry so some elements are relevant there. Also 2. There’s only so many times you can read about what filters are and how they’re used – or other such topic.  The more amateur level magazines tend to cycle such articles and this can get frustrating.

Professional Photographer magazine doesn’t have photography technique tips at all really – but does have some on elements like editing, or planning a shoot, location scouting etc.

Aaaanyway – getting to the point of this post – Getting the most out of Magazine Subscription.

 If it’s not obvious to you by now – I am, what I shall call “careful with money”. I joke that I’m a skin-flint but in reality I’m not – I’m more than happy to buy my round at the pub. Instead if I can get something at a cheaper price or offering more value for money – I will most certainly look into doing that – especially if buying something for myself.

Yes – I have been guilty of making spreadsheets in the past 😉 However I do get some level of enjoyment from it – plus savings to be had can be quite significant e.g. I believe I saved £400 on a mattress from Tesco Direct rather than buying from Dreams. Anyway – I digress.

When subscribing to magazines a lot of different savings can be made but some of them only come visible with a little looking.

Generally offers fall into two categories:

  • Free gifts
  • Money off


Free Gifts

Over time I’ve managed to get two free photography bags through Magazine subscriptions: a LowePro Orion Trekker (no longer available) and a LowePro Trekker AW.

Someties free gifts that come with subscriptions are so-so – but on occasion I’ve waited to subscribe and only gone for it once a gift I actually wanted came along e.g. Lowe Pro Trekker. Both of these are very good and I still use them – I think price new would have been £50-£80 or there abouts.

The “trick” with getting more free gifts is that you cancel your subscription after the year (usually subscriptions with gifts have minimal duration of 12months. But if you’re an organised person and use some form of diary or calendar (I have to be as my memory for dates is so shockingly poor – I use Google Calender which sync’s with my phone) then it shouldn’t be an issue. Is ti worth the hassle – hell yes – for a £80 bag it is!

From the magazines I’ve listed above one had a free gift option:

Practical Photography Bag offer.

The no gift offer is 12 issues for £12 – very good in itself (more on these below) but the bag offer is :
A Jessops Tecno rucksack + 12 issues for £51
Pretty decent if the bag is worth the £79 it claims, but digging a little deeper shows you can buy the bag for £40 from Jessops at the moment. So not such a great deal – BUT hopefully you can see my point if this bag did sell for £80.

Other options I’ve seen in the past
Black rapid RS-4
Lowepro DryZone Rover bag

Looking around

For both free gift subscriptions and money off offers (below) a little work can be beneficial.
First off don’t just go for the subscription full value that usually is on the magazine subscription sites – instead shop around. Some places worth looking :

  • The magazine website itself
  • Subscribe to the magazine’s newsletter – sometimes offers here will be better than on the site!
  • Check older newsletters – offers often change

I’ll give examples below.

Money Off

A lot of money can be saved on money off subscriptions either off the full cover price or from the basic subscription price.

E.g. A series of offers I’ve just found for Professional Photographer:

Cover Price : £4.20

Basic subscription from subscriber website : £35.50 for 12 months = £2.95 per issue

Googled offer to cheapish subscription : £12 for 6 months = £2 per issue

Professional Photographer website link to cheaper subscription : £10 for 6 months = £1.67 per issue
Magazine newsletter email link even cheaper offer : £5 for 5 months = £1 per issue

And this is including postage in the UK, paying by direct debit.
All these are to different offers on the same subscription site!
So for a year – a saving of £38.40
In the grand scheme of photography costs not a huge amount, but for 20min work – certainly worth it. (Or for you the 5min it took to read this post)
But these offers usually only last for a set period – that mentioned. So e.g. £12 for 12 issues will only last that long, if you continue the subscription without cancelling etc it will then go up to £35 per year. They vary.
So yes – I will have to cancel after 5 months or pay the increased rate – but as above – I’m organised and with everything inc direct debits being online – a very easy and quick task. These £5 offers are always around too.
Other examples for other magazines:

Practical Photography
Cover Price : £3.99
Subscription : £12 for £12 – £1 per issue

Photography Monthly
Cover Price : £3.99
Full price subscription (36% off) :  £33 for 12 months = £2.75 per issue
Cheap subscription (77% off) : £5 for 5 months = £1 per issue

So hopefully you’ll find the above of use and it will save you money.
(And not make you think I’m a spreadsheet-making, penny saving scrooge 😉 )

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