Light Leaks, Issue #19, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. It was a bittersweet moment, because I knew one of my images was being featured in the gallery, but I also knew it was the last issue ever. Yet another one of my favourite magazines is no longer being printed. Here is what Mike Barnes and his wife, Rachel, had to say about their decision, in an email sent out about 2.5 months ago:
"As you know, we have struggled to keep Light Leaks in print over the past year. We had an excellent plan—with the addition of the Light Leaks Shop and Holgapalooza we felt the financial difficulties could be resolved. Unfortunately those additions required more of our own time. With a growing young family, free time has quickly become our most precious commodity.
While we enjoyed working on Light Leaks over the years, we have come to a point where we must focus on our own careers to support our family. My own interest in toy camera photography has always been a hobby, not a profession. Unfortunately as much as I loved putting together Light Leaks I spent most of my time putting together a magazine about toy cameras, but not actually being able to use those toy cameras myself!
Contributing to each issue of Light Leaks magazine was (I think) an excellent use of my time, and I think all those who contributed will feel the same way. It was always a labour of love for an end product that never lacked in quality. For all of you that have been scoffed at for wielding your beloved low-fi cameras, Light Leaks represented you and why you love what you do.
For current subscribers, you believed in us, and we thank you for that. We would be honoured to have you consider your unfulfilled subscription a donation into helping us pay our final printing payments. We can offer you some of the remaining back issues that we have left, or some of the digital versions we have created (which also includes The Toycam Handbook), however supplies are limited. In addition to creating some revenue from the digital issues, we have had to sell off our entire store inventory to help get this last issue to you.
We will be closing the Light Leaks shop, but keeping www.lightleaks.org open along with links to the digital versions.
We want to thank you all for supporting our humble magazine, and especially to those who contributed over the years, particularly Gary Moyer, Steph Parke, and of course my wife, Rachel who did a lot of the work behind the scenes. Best to you all in your future low-fi photographic adventures!
Mike Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org)"