From zero to a hundred

Hannamari Shakya

Photo Raw magazine was started five and a half years ago in March 2007.

The cover of the first issue 0 featured the Finnish singer Paula Koivuniemi, as immortalised by photographer Joonas Brandt. The debut magazine weighed 350 grams and was a great source of pride and joy to its makers.

Over the years, Photo Raw has developed into a photography magazine that is taken seriously. The systematic running down of the print media has created a situation where fewer and fewer photographers get their work published in newspapers and magazines. Photo Raw has been plugging this big gap.

In the past five years we have published photo series from both unknown and established photographers. We have taken a peek into the photographers' camera bags, searched for the perfect light and let the photographers take images of themselves for the Self-portrait series. It has been a little strange but also delightful to see that when a photographer produces a self-portrait, it's almost invariably involves undressing in front of the camera.

The self-portrait for this special issue has been taken by Joonas Brandt who also took that first cover shot. He has participated in the making of the magazine since the very beginning. The magazine has brought together an irreplaceable group of people devoted to photography. Their attitude towards producing the magazine is both ambitious and uncompromising.

The magazine is in a constant process of development. In honour of the fifth anniversary issue we have a new design and there are also some interesting activities emerging around the magazine. From now on we'll be celebrating the creation of each issue with a party. A new group called the Raw Activists has also joined the production team. We'll be hearing more about them in the future!

I would like to extend a warm thank you to all the photographers, journalists, sub-editors, managing editors, photo retouchers, graphic artists, picture editors, translators and other people who have contributed to the magazine. I am especially grateful to those people who just keep on going, regardless: thank you Susan Villa, Antti Kirves, Lauri Soini, Markus Jokela and Joonas Brandt! Without you Photo Raw would not be where it is today.

The biggest thanks, however, go to our readers for whom the magazine is produced. If you have not already subscribed to the magazine, please do so now! As I'm sure everyone can guess, producing this magazine is not a profitable business venture. Subscribing to the magazine is important because the income from single issue sales mostly ends up in the jaws of the corporate world. But when you take out a subscription through Photo Raw's own website at, it makes it possible to keep on publishing the magazine for another five years.