Intrigued by a very clean and sober magazine design we stumbled upon on the internet, we reached out to the founder of the printed ‘Retromotive Magazine’, Nathan Duff. As a fulltime automotive photographer, Nathan was left behind quite disappointed five years ago when the Australian Car Classic Magazine ceased its activities. As often, from a rather negative experience, arises a new opportunity and Nathan decided to launch his own Classic Magazine. After a year of preparation, the first issue of Retromotive Magazine made its appearance mid-June 2018. We sat down with Nathan and looked back to the last 12 Months.
Nathan, what is your professional background?
I started working as an automotive Photographer in 2007, just before the online hype took off. I always worked as a freelance Photographer for magazines such as Top Gear, Wheels Motor Street Magazine and Classic Car Magazine in Australia. As my business grew, more and more manufacturers contracted me for assignments, and I started working directly for the big automotive brands. After a few years my focus was less on the printed Magazine press…
What occasion ignited the spark to make you decide becoming a Magazine editor?
When one of my clients, Australian Classic Car Magazine, ceased its activities in 2014, I felt disappointed. I had an online blog as a hobby and started creating a portfolio from my Professional work. Once I had the portfolio finished, it occurred to me that printing 50 or 500 issues wasn’t a huge price difference. That’s when the idea of editing my own magazine popped into my mind. I had no experience whatsoever in writing, editing and designing a Magazine back then. Nevertheless, I started studying InDesign and reached out to my professional Network to form a team of contributors. After a year of preparation, the first issue of the Retromotive Magazine was launched.
Creating a professional online blog sounds easier?
Yes indeed. Thing is, people who love old cars, also have a weak spot for the feel and the craftsmanship that goes into making a classic Car Magazine. They love the smell of printed paper and the idea of taking some ‘me-time’. To be able to sit back, take a coffee, read and relax, in these times of rush hours and never-ending online feeds, feels like a relief for many Classic Car lovers.
As a person formed by images, where do you find the inspiring stories?
Ever since I am taking pictures of Classic Cars, I was always curious about the story behind the car and its owner. Mostly there is a really good story behind every car. Often, the average oldtimer owner is a bit older, let’s say between 40 and 60 years and has a hobby he is passionate about. Lots of these people have a history with the car from their youth and have now tracked down that specific Classic Car. Often the stories involving the hunt, finding and restoring process of their favorite car are quite heroic.
What kind of stories do you focus on?
As a photographer aesthetics are key. The magazines have a clean and uncluttered layout, beautiful imagery and engaging stories. We only write about iconic, heroic and design changing cars who meant a big deal in car history. Most of our stories have an artistic view and inspiration. We like the craftsmanship that goes into a Classic Car. The same goes for the Retromotive Magazine. If it doesn’t stand out of the crowd, our mission isn’t accomplished.
Can we buy the magazine worldwide?
It started exclusively in Australia. But since a few Months I have an editor based in the UK. They are sending out to USA, Canada, Europe and the UK. So yes, it’s possible.
You can follow Nathan on Instagram @retromotive_magazine