Photo Zines selbst erstellen

photo zine

My way to the first two photo zines

Zine - what is it actually?

The word ZINE is a short form of the English word magazin and stands for magazine. The word ZINE has existed in English since 1949.

A zine is a self-published magazine with your own text or pictures as content.

It should be easy and cheap to duplicate, with the quality of the print and paper usually taking second place.

The edition is also rather small and limited to a certain number.

The topics are varied and individually selectable.

The first zines appeared in the 1940s as SciFi fan zines.

What is the appeal of a photo zine?

A photo zine is a fairly simple way to tell a story through photography. 

It is not shown a picture or a wild, random compilation of "beautiful" pictures as for example on Instagram, but a small (or larger) series, a report or a photographic essay. Just a story. 

It's the content that matters in the photo zine, not the form. At least in theory. Personally, it's also important to me that the zine looks good, the print quality and the tactile feeling when turning pages are right. And that works! 

But it's also fun to flip through photo zines that are printed on newsprint, which also makes the images look a lot faded than they would in a glossy catalog. If it fits the story, a lousy print is a fine thing. 


My way to the self-created photo zine

Photo zines have been with me for a while, but rather passively, I just enjoy looking at them and being inspired by the stories.

Last year I started the first two zine projects with 8001 and #NEU01.

Both projects are so extensive, at 48 and 60 pages, that they almost surpass the character of a zine.

I would like to introduce you to the two current zines here and will write again later about how they came about. It's a lot easier than I thought. 

By the way, I had the zines with me Affinity Publishers created, which I can also highly recommend. It costs just 55 EUR (one-off, not as a subscription!) has a modern, not overloaded interface and a range of functions that I probably didn't know about until 20% even after creating 2 zines. 

Creating a zine is pretty easy. There are still stumbling blocks!

In the beginning there is the idea

you have a topic Collect images and text. Story telling is also a buzz word in photography. Or? maybe I'm in a story telling - photo zine bubble too... dunno. In my very personal opinion, pictures should not just be beautiful, but say something and stimulate the viewer's thoughts. A series in a zine should be varied but also self-contained, in terms of content and form. The viewer should feel that the images belong together, but not get bored because there are too many repetitions or similar images.    


I had my zines with me Affinity Publishers created, which I can also highly recommend. It costs just 55 EUR (one-off, not as a subscription!) has a modern, not overloaded interface and a range of functions that I probably didn't know about until 20% even after creating 2 zines. 


Less is more. When creating the zine, the number of pages will probably increase anyway, usually you have to come up with a page number that is divisible by 4. Reduce to the max! Reduce yourself to the essentials, the best of what you want to show. Or even better, what best fits the topic of your zine.

Another tip:

Before you start designing your zine, think about how many pages you want it to have, its format, and where you want to print it. You will usually get millimeter-precise specifications for the cover and the content pages from the print service provider. In Affinity, set up the layout pages accordingly. If you only do that at the end, you have to realign a lot again….

Editor, proofreader, curator

Unfortunately, I'm not very good at ottography myself, but even if you're better at it, have your zine proofread and pay attention not only to the spelling but also to the content. Editors and curators usually do that, but for me it's my girlfriend who I annoy with it.



Photographic essays from Cuba

Photo-Zine 8001 Heidelberg

A photographic exercise at Lichtwert eV

Photo Zine lichtwert eV

Together with Friedhelm Böcker, I designed an exhibition for the Cuba-Hilfe Dortmund in which photographic essays by my friend, the Cuban photographer Antonio Hernández, and I are shown.

There is also a 60-page exhibition catalog with the pictures from the exhibition.

You can find him on the Website of 8001 order. Do that! 

The proceeds go entirely to the humanitarian projects of the Cuba aid.

But you can also watch it online here.



The second zine project is #NEU01

In January 22 I made a zine together with photo friends from Lichtwert eV. It is called #NEU01 and shows works by 6 photographers from the group #reinterpreted. In this group we take on works by artists that inspire us to reinterpret them.

We hope for a #NEU02. By the way, you can be there too, take a look at the Lichtwert eV website. 

On the homepage of Lichtwert eV there is a contribution:

#reinterpreted, review and outlook

#NEU01 was only printed for the photographers involved, iBut you can browse online here.

My conclusion:

The zines were fun to create and fun to browse through.

 I will make more of this. In the future, I think it will be stapled zines rather than bound hard covers, as has been the case up to now. Hard covers only work from a certain number of pages (at my print shop from 48 pages). 

Magazines with staple binding, on the other hand, only up to a certain number of pages, above that the adhesive binding is used. Both projects were collaborations between several photographers, so it was particularly difficult to keep the number of pages small. 

For my own projects, I would prefer to limit myself to about 20 pages... But I will definitely continue!




Don't miss anything!

No spam! Honest!

Be the first to receive news and offers:

We respect your privacy. Please note our privacy policy.