In the digital era, it can be hard to find an authentic platform with an analog heart. London-based PYLOT is one of them, publishing carefully selected works with a “strict no beauty retouching policy, celebrating the unique artistry of analogue processes.”
We had a chat with Max Barnett, Pylot’s editor-in-chief and Patricia Villirillo, their fashion director and talked to them about the roots of this interesting photography magazine.
Hello Max & Patricia! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. How did this whole journey start and what was the motivation behind it?
This journey began in 2012 when Max started planning and developing the concept of the magazine. He was researching the magazine market through his studies and found that no other fashion magazines were exclusively using film, and no other publications in general were not retouching for beauty. Max started to assemble a team which brought him to Patricia in January 2014, and the first issue of PYLOT was complete in May 2014.
What are the challenges you face when it comes to publishing all-analogue photography, especially “untouched” fashion photography?
The main challenge, which is also a huge benefit, is time. Analogue slows us down, and helps us to consider each shot more carefully. Money is also another challenge (shooting film is expensive!) from the film itself, to the processing and scanning or darkroom printing. It can be a costly process. Not beauty retouching was only really a slight challenge at the beginning in terms of how it was received, but now we feel a lot more people are understanding how great it is to not beauty retouch.
How did you get involved with photography and what are your views on digital photography?
We love digital photography. It has changed the way that everyone in the industry works, us included. PYLOT exists to explore analogue photography as a concept, as a separate entity from digital, we just want to remind photographers of the relevance of analogue in contemporary photography.
What is the process behind the selection of the works you publish?
We like to think about the context in which work is made, and what motivates the photographers to make the work. We aren't as interested in images shot for commercial purposes, unless there is something clever intertwined within that, something topical or political.
What is the main goal of PYLOT Magazine?
To spread a strong message about photography and how we can use it in order to present stories in effective and thought provoking ways.
Currently you are running an open call for an exhibition in London. What can we expect?
We are collaborating with theprintspace to find a group of photographers who have shot series based on the theme of our latest print release - 'The Perspective Issue'. Photographers are submitting bodies of work that are personal to them and the people in their lives. Political and social views are becoming increasingly polarised and information sharing proliferates through news and social media outlets – we want to know what this means to them. This is the opportunity to provide their perspectives, or to explore the perspectives of others, with whom they may not always share the same views.
Since the start of PYLOT magazine, what have you learned about the analogue world inside of the digital universe?
We have learnt that we can utilise digital technologies to get the most out of analogue work. It isn't our aim to be ignorant of the digital technologies that have brought photographic imaging into the 21st century, we're just exploring the reemergence of analogue practices and celebrating the character shooting with film brings to the final images.
Any cool upcoming projects we can look forward to?
We are currently working on our next issue, issue 07, and our webshop which will be launching soon. Our website and instagram are also regularly updated with exciting new stories to see. We feel like we are just at the beginning of where PYLOT may take us, so keep an eye out and I am certain that many more interesting projects will come to light in time.