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Fraction Magazine’s David Bram Talks about His Favorite New Faces in Photography

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From ‘Boyscouts and Indians’ © Roderick Fincannon

Founded in March 2008 by David Bram and Joshua Spees, Fraction Magazine is dedicated to showcasing photography not yet published or widely exhibited. Focusing primarily on fine art, contemporary work, the monthly online publication has now cataloged more than 300 diverse artists from all over the world. By presenting larger portfolios and in-depth stories, the staff at Fraction challenge the viewer to explore beyond the surface of the image to get at deeper concepts and gain a broader understanding.

David Bram is the editor, co-founder and curator of Fraction. Aside from constantly working on the magazine, Bram is the co-creator of Flash Powder Projects, committed to helping photographers maximize their full potential and get their work seen. He has been a part of over 25 national events and portfolio reviews including PhotoLucida, Fotofest, PhotoNOLA, and has been a juror for Critical Mass for the last 4 years. Fraction Magazine recently turned over its large backlog of photographers and content over to a brand new Squarespace site. We spoke with Bram about the transition and what excites him about photography now.

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From ‘Home Stills’ © Bastienne Schmidt

Describe the goal and vision of Fraction Magazine.
“The vision has always been to show new and (mostly) unseen work. I love discovering new photo projects that excite me and the Fraction audience. I look for contemporary photographic projects that have a solid and fresh story, are tightly edited and sequenced, and are ready for promotion.”

How did Fraction get started?
“The concept of Fraction was born in 2007 on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first issue went live in May 2008, and featured four New Mexican artists. Without any advertising and just an announcement through social media, the Fraction website got thousands of hits. Within days, the issue was viewed by people in 11 countries. The second issue went live July 2008, and the audience and the traffic continued to grow. With that growth came a widening of the scope of the magazine to include artists from outside the region and then outside the United States.

“Fraction Magazine began as a way to showcase photography that deserved to be seen and perhaps was not getting exposure, and that impulse still guides the selection of every photographer featured. Fraction challenges viewers to look beyond the single image and explore each photographer’s vision and story by viewing full portfolios of photographs.”

What are some of the challenges that come with managing an online publication like Fraction?
“Time is the biggest challenge. Fraction is a full time job, and I travel a lot for Flash Powder Projects. Luckily, I can work on the site from anywhere because Squarespace is web-based.”

What are you looking for when you receive submissions?
“I am looking for new and exciting work. I am looking for work that is not all over the Internet. I am looking for quality projects, meaning projects that the photographer has invested time and effort in.”

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From ‘Living Abroad’ © Ingvild Melberg Eikeland

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From ‘Northwood Journals’ © Kurt Simonson

Whose work are you excited about right now?
“The current issue of Fraction features Rod Fincannon’s Boy Scouts and Indians which is a terrific project. While I have been familiar with Kurt Simonson’s work for years (he was featured in Issue 32), I recently heard him speak about his work at the Medium Festival of Photography, and I am excited about some of his new projects and the way he weaves common themes throughout them. I also reviewed Ellen Garvens’ Parallel Play project at Medium, and although it would not read well on Fraction, the work is really smart.”

You do photo book reviews on the site. What is one that has caught your eye?
“I’m pretty fond of Memory City by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. The book was reviewed by Leo Hsu, who is a terrific writer. Radius Books make some truly beautiful art photography books.”

Tell us about ‘Fractions Editions’ and the Fraction Acquisition Fund.
“Fraction Editions are small edition, small prints made and shipped by the artist. They are 8×10 and priced at $100. Ten dollars from every sale goes into the Fraction Acquisition Fund, which is used to purchase work from a Fraction artist. The work is then donated to a museum. In 2014, Fraction donated 11 photographs to the University of New Mexico Art Museum.”

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From ‘Memory City’ © Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, published by Radius Books

Tell us about your old site and your issues with it.
“In a nutshell, I outgrew the old site. The back end was not very user friendly and the support was awful. I don’t know HTML or CSS very well, so the customization was limited without hiring someone, and very few people wanted to work with an antiquated CMS. Squarespace is very fresh and up-to-date.”

Were you worried about transitioning such a large amount of content over to a new web platform?
“Initially I was, but then I hired a very capable web person who did nearly all of the content transition. Moving over to Squarespace was easier than I thought it would be. The customer support really is top notch, and they answered our questions very quickly.”

What are your favorite features of the new site?
“I love the larger pictures. I love how easy it is to set up new pages. The drag and drop features are really nice too.”

Why does Squarespace work for you as an online photo publication?
“I am able to move at my own pace, which sometimes is really quite fast. If I get an idea for something, I can execute it easily and quickly with Squarespace.”

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From ‘Living Abroad’ © Ingvild Melberg Eikeland

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From ‘Memory City’ © Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, published by Radius Books

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From ‘Boyscouts and Indians’ © Roderick Fincannon

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From ‘Northwood Journals’ © Kurt Simonson

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