Fine-art photography magazine transitions to St. Anthony Park

Doug Beasley and Elizabeth Flinsch hold copies of “Shots” magazine, a fine-art photography magazine now being published in St. Anthony Park. Photo © Mary Virginia Swanson

It didn’t take long for Doug Beasley and Elizabeth Flinsch to decide on a theme for the upcoming issue of the quarterly photography magazine “Shots.”

“Elizabeth immediately suggested ‘Transitions,’ ” Beasley said. “It was perfect.”

That’s because the 31-year-old “photographer’s photography magazine” is in transition, as Beasley, a well-known photographer who lives in St. Anthony Park, acquired the publication in June. Flinsch, a multi-media artist and also a St. Anthony Park resident, is the new editor.

Shots has been Beasley’s favorite photography magazine for years, he said. “The magazine has a really unusual selection of photography that resonates with me.” The work is not seen in other magazines, he said. “There are some very good photo magazines . . . with pretty work, but “Shots” isn’t pretty. It’s not glamorous, and it’s never what you expect. I love that.”

The magazine was created in 1986 by Dan Price, who produced it on a solar-powered laptop from his tipi in Oregon. “Shots” was sold twice before the latest change. When the most recent publisher, Russell Joslin of Minneapolis, decided to move on, he asked interested buyers to submit blind bids and write a statement about their vision for the future of the magazine. Beasley’s submission “won him over,” Beasley said.

Beasley, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from the University of Michigan, set up shop in the Twin Cities in 1984. He worked in commercial photography for many years but now works on fine-art commercial projects around the world and teaches photography workshops through his Vision Quest Photo Workshops.

“I was a longtime subscriber [of “Shots] and usually ran an ad in every issue, either for Vision Quest Photo Workshops or for my own photography if I had a new book coming out or something similar,” he said. “I also strongly promoted the magazine to my classes and workshops. My students all knew how much I loved the magazine and I strongly encouraged them to subscribe, so strongly I actually had to tell them that I was not affiliated with it at all. I guess I can’t say that anymore.”

“Shots” is a reader-supported magazine with an international subscriber base that includes emerging and established photographers, educators, galleries, museums and collectors. Beasley, Flinsch and co-owner Deborah Saul, who is in charge of advertising sales, are hoping to “grow it,” Beasley said. The magazine currently has more than 1,000 subscribers and is also sold in bookstores and education centers.

Longtime readers will notice a few changes in the issue set to come out at the end of September: “We are going a little bigger, adding pages, adding advertising: bigger issue, better printer, better inks.” It will be printed at Bolger Printing on Como Avenue in Minneapolis, just west of Highway 280. Bolger’s CEO is another St. Anthony Park resident, Dik Bolger.

Beasley and Flinsch are initiating two new features in the magazine: showcases of an emerging artist and a “luminary” artist in each issue. The inaugural issue will feature two women in their 70s: Evy Huppert, a New Hampshire photographer who has taken workshops with Beasley, and Nancy Rexroth, an American photographer who pioneered the use of the Diana camera in fine-art photography. Initially marketed as an inexpensive novelty item, the Diana is a plastic-bodied box camera that uses film and is used to take soft focus, impressionistic photographs.

How the magazine solicits photos will remain the same. The theme for the next issue is announced in the current issue and anyone is invited to submit their work.

Beasley and Flinsch met through one of Beasley’s workshops, Urban Zen, held in Lowertown, St. Paul. Last year, Frisch attended one of his workshops in Ireland.

“That’s where we work together amazingly well,” Beasley said.

As his work has moved toward judging more photograph shows and curating exhibits, he says he has become more interested in promoting the work of other photographers. “[“Shots”] is a natural extension of that,” he said.

You can learn more about the magazine at shotsmag.com.

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