The New York Magazine covers almost always displays portrait of people however they have a very unique approach in the way the portraits are taken. You would see portraits of politician to models to ordinary people. NY mag doesn’t go with any set formula – you would see head shots, close-ups, medium shots to full length shots however it is rare to see more than one person on the cover. In the past special issues I have seen pictures of food or landmarks on cover but it is really an exception not the norm.
Except special features dedicated for food, interior design etc. you will always see pictures with people in them. A lot medium portraits taken in studio or group shot of people which are mostly staged.
NY mag likes to use big pictures for the main features. Usually on the front pages of a feature – a picture covers three quarter or half of the spread. After the first spread – the features tend to get very text heavy. In some – you won’t find any pictures after the first pages. In most of the portraits used – people are staring into the lens – there is lots of intensity and drama in the portraits achieved through use of light, colors and expressions.
Images are used in square and rectangular format – you will very rarely see photos with chopped off background or photos in circular shape etc. Photos are bled off the margins when used on three quarter of the page otherwise they remain inside the margins.
I saw two very interesting features the way pictures are used. The first one is a photo feature about immigrant families and their businesses. These are environmental portraits but posed and all pictures seems like the part of the same thread.
The second is kind of a photo story but a little bit more text – with people and their choice of presidential candidates. The use of images to give it a personal touch is phenomenal.
There is some use of circular images, cropped images on FOB’s like these: