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Create Your Own Photo Book: Design a Stunning Portfolio, Make a Bookstore-Quality Book

Create Your Own Photo Book: Design a Stunning Portfolio, Make a Bookstore-Quality Book

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Create Your Own Photo Book: Design a Stunning Portfolio, Make a Bookstore-Quality Book

Lunghezza:
543 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 25, 2012
ISBN:
9781457166617
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

These days, photographs live on hard drives and DVDs in the company of several thousand other images, coming to light on a computer screen only for a short moment, if ever.

In that respect our computer is a one-image-at-a-time exhibition of our photographic work. But as photographers, we like to print our best images, frame and show them at home or at an exhibition, or present a collection of prints in a portfolio.

This book will guide you through the process of creating a printed and bound portfolio of your photographs, or even a bookstore-quality coffee table book. Learn about every step of the process, from selecting a book publishing service all the way through designing and proofing your photo book. You'll get practical advice on how to work with software provided by services such as Blurb or Viovio, and will learn about relevant concepts of book design, color management, and digital printing.

Create your Own Photo Book is the perfect guide for the aspiring amateur photographer as well as the seasoned pro.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 25, 2012
ISBN:
9781457166617
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Petra Vogt has a background in art history, philosophy, and German language and literature, which she studied in Bonn, Germany. She has worked as a journalist for many years and has published 4 books. Today she is an instructor of digital photography with expertise in photo books. Among her current clients are photobook vendors like myphotobook. Learn more about her on www.fotolotsin.de.


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Create Your Own Photo Book - Petra Vogt

Index

Foreword

How to Create Your Own Photo Book

Photo books conserve memories, present our best work, and provide a platform for the stories we want to tell. A simple book can be created quickly and easily without extra guidance, but a high-quality book that begs to be looked at over and over requires a little more knowledge and expertise.

This book aims to help you produce your own perfect photo book. The process begins while you are shooting, but doesn‘t end as soon as you make a print. I have included precise guides and real-world tips for all the individual steps involved, including things like adding decorative visual effects and skillfully formatting text. I teach courses on creating photo books and, over the years, have found answers to nearly all the questions that have come my way. I have also included lots of tips to help you avoid making common mistakes, whether you want to preserve family memories using a digital compact or create a pro-grade book as a commercial product.

Private or Commercial

This book covers the complete range of photo book formats, from personal scrapbooks through professional portfolios, all the way up to commercial, artistic coffee-table books with their own ISBN numbers. The final chapter details some real photo book projects to give you some ideas to get started.

Navigating Your Way Through the Service Provider Jungle

In addition to explaining the different types of books you can produce, I will also guide you through the often complex world of photo book service providers. Here, I emphasize what is possible rather than telling you explicitly who to approach or what to do. Once you have gained some experience, you will most likely end up using a number of different providers for various aspects of your work, whether you’re looking for a provider who can produce a book with a particular page count or cover size, or simply because you want to try something new.

Choosing the Right Software

This book introduces a wide range of free and commercial photo book software for all levels of expertise, and leaves you to decide which best suits your own particular project. Descriptions of individual programs and online sources are listed in the appendix.

Unless otherwise stated, the software mentioned is available for both the Windows and Mac operating systems. Programs that work on only one or the other are labeled appropriately. Most aspects of the book creation process are covered by Windows, Mac, and sometimes even Linux-compatible software.

How to Use this Book

The callout sections that accompany the text will help you to find your way. They contain warnings, tips, and discussions of interesting sub-topics, and are divided into six different categories:

EXPERT ADVICE Advice from specialists about a specific aspect of photo book creation

TIPS & TRICKS Tips for improving your efficiency and enhancing the look of your photo book

WARNING! Indicates typical pitfalls and problems to watch out for

PRO-GRADE SOFTWARE Introduces functionality provided by pro-grade software that enhances the options offered by the photo book software discussed in the text

WORKAROUND Shows you how to produce specific effects that your service provider’s software isn’t actually designed for

GOING DEEPER Provides additional information on a topic that is relevant to the current main theme

Thanks

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me turn the idea for this book into reality, including everyone who allowed me to use their work as examples. I would also like to thank Martin Groth, Rolf Katzenberger, Ute Vogel, Uwe Wagner, and especially Marianne Koepke for their eagle-eyed proofreading and creative input. Susanne Hock was a great help with my InDesign and print questions, and Monika Leirich generously shared her experiences with epubli. Christian Laakmann at myphotobook gave me some invaluable insights into the subjects of color management and print processes. Thanks also go to Deborah Klein for her help running the myphotobook workshops, which gave me firsthand experience with the questions and pitfalls that crop up during the photo book creation process. I would also like to thank Matthias Rossmanith and Gerhard Rossbach at Rocky Nook for all their help and support, Jeremy Cloot for his able translation, and Petra Strauch for her great layout. A special thank you goes to my husband, Werner Pluta, for his patience and support during the entire course of the project.

Hamburg, January 2012

Our Team of Experts

Dietmar Bührer is a master book printer. He lives and works in Berlin, Germany and is publisher of the photo magazine brennpunkt (focal point). He is coauthor of more than 40 epubli books and is a member of the German Photographic Association, DGPh. In 2011 he was honored for his work with the German Federal Cross of Merit.

Uwe Steinmüller has been taking photographs since 1973. He moved to California in 1997 and began his digital photographic career in earnest in 1999. He currently lives and works in San Jose. He has written a number of books, two of which won the prestigious German Fotobuchpreis award in 2004 and 2005. Uwe is the human face behind outbackphoto.com, a popular website dedicated to quality outdoor digital photography.

Mike Larson is a private estate and vineyard wedding photographer based on the Central Coast of California in the heart of wine country. He started his business in 1997 and now runs it with his wife, Rachel. They are passionate about traveling around the world, exploring new cultures, and meeting new people. Mike‘s workshops and photography clients have taken him across the globe.

Sascha Steinhoff is a journalist specializing in applied information technology. His books about scanning techniques are bestsellers in the U.S. and Germany, and his website find-a-scanservice.com is the first port of call for anyone who needs to locate and compare scan service providers all over the world.

Judith Stenneken studied photography at the Ostkreuz School of Photography in Berlin. Her graduation project Last Call, which documents the old Tempelhof airport in Berlin, won a Blurb prize, a newcomer’s prize at the International Photography Festival in Leipzig, and an honorable mention at the 2010 New York Photo Festival. The U.S. magazine Photo District News included her in their 2011 list of 30 emerging photographers. She now lives in New York.

Mat Thorne is an American photographer and designer working in coastal Maine. He is co-founder of the design company Sevenbay and has designed books and promotional materials for some of photography‘s most celebrated artists. Thorne leads courses and workshops, and lectures at Maine Media Workshops, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and NORDphotography in Oslo. He is also cofounder of the nonprofit publisher Obscura Press.

Chapter 1 Getting Started

> Why Make a Photo Book?

> Photo Books – The New Generation

> Ideas Gallery

> Overview of a Book Project

Why Make a Photo Book?

A photo book can fulfill the needs of everyone from the snapshot photographer, to the aspiring amateur, all the way to the professional photographer. A beautifully designed photo book may be the ideal way to share a collection of your best images with others; and professional photographers find that photo books are an excellent solution for creating portfolios that can easily be carried with them and shown to prospective clients. A photo book may even be created with the intent of selling it commercially.

With digital photography, the fact that you don’t have to limit the number of shots you take can at once be a great advantage or a disadvantage. The advantage is that there is no cost factor to be concerned about as there is when using film. The disadvantage is that many digital photographers end up with huge collections of photos on their hard drives, and often wish for an effective way to select and present the best ones.

Even in the age of the tablet computer, a printed book is a very pleasing medium. A book is easy to carry, requires no external power, and makes a wonderful gift. A well-printed book can also have a higher resolution and more luster than some computer monitors. Creating a book is a practical way to combine a handful of prints, and is a great way for pro photographers to assemble a portfolio to show to potential clients.

Books also stand the test of time. We can still leaf through old photo albums without having to make any extra effort or use special equipment. I can’t help wondering if the same will be true for today’s digital image files 50 years from now.

And last but not least, a book has a physical presence—people simply love to handle books and have them around. I could list a whole lot of additional reasons for creating photo books, but the fact that you are reading this indicates that you probably think books are a good idea.

It is easy to imagine that tablet computers and other viewing devices will soon be a permanent part of our everyday lives, but I still believe that a well-laid-out photo book will have its place within the media of the future. A photo book comes alive from a careful and artistic arrangement of a well-thought-out selection of images, and text is an added bonus. The ideas for image and text layouts described in this book (as well as the design of interactive elements) play just as important a role in electronic media as they do in print, because when viewed on an electronic device, a nicely designed photo book will always be a better alternative to a simple folder full of image files.

Figure 1.1: Travel and family events are typical subjects for photo books

Photo Albums – The New Generation

The ability to design and print custom books of photos that don’t cost a fortune is a direct result of recent progress in print technology. The invention of digital offset printing has made it possible to print small print runs or single books at an affordable price, giving birth to the idea of creating individual photo books.

The advantages of a printed photo book over a traditional photo album are many. Pictures can’t fall out of a photo book the way they do from a traditional photo album; the options for adding decorative elements such as frames and titles are virtually endless; and design elements such as background images are also impossible to implement in a traditional photo album. Take a look at the example photo books shown on the next couple of pages—Always a Marine, by Clyde Adams, for example—and ask yourself which of these would have been possible using traditional photo album design techniques.

Ideas Gallery

The most common themes for photo books are travel and family—whether simple photos of your kids or of special events such as birthdays, weddings, or perhaps a baptism. But there are no limits to what you can do with a photo book, and it is relatively simple to create an affordable, permanent memento of a day trip or an important party. Professional photo portfolios are another common use for photo books.

How about reviewing your family’s year in a photo book? The years rush by, and you will soon be glad you have a reminder of what you were up to just a few years ago. Or how about going a step further and making an illustrated book of your family’s history? The younger generations love to see how their ancestors lived, and it is exciting to document your life for your children.

Figure 1.2: Clyde Adams printed his book about his father, Always a Marine, using the Blurb service. This is a great example of a lovingly designed family history photo book.

Children like to see their scanned paintings and drawings in print, and a book of memories is a great aid to helping youngsters learn to read. There really are no limits to what you can do with a photo book.

Throughout the book you will find inspiring examples of the very different approaches you can take when creating a photo book. Some service providers offer ideas and galleries on their websites, and the Blurb bookstore and photo book competition page Photography Book Now are great examples that contain loads of fantastic photo books. Other sources of inspiration include the Get Inspired page at SmileBooks and the Picablog at Picaboo.

Overview of a Photo Book Project

The bigger your book, the more carefully you have to plan it. The structure of this book follows the basic workflow you should use when creating a photo book, so beginners can dive right in and read straight through. Experienced photo book designers can pick and choose from the themes that interest them most.

Whatever your skill level, it is essential to have a clearly structured workflow from the start. The following sequence has been tried and tested and is a good starting point for most book projects. Consider the basics first, such as how big you want your book to be and how much money you are prepared to spend on it. Once you determine these things, you can look for an appropriate service provider. This is the stage at which you begin to limit your ideas, as various providers offer different levels of service, such as a maximum page size or image resolution. Choosing the service provider for your first project is a big step, but things get easier as you gain experience, and you will probably end up using a small number of favorite providers once you know which are best suited to your personal working style.

The next step in the process is to select and sort your photos, and prepare them for printing. It is a good idea to do this before you start designing a layout, as most photo book software offers only basic image processing functionality, if any.

TIPS & TRICKS PRE-SORT YOUR PHOTOS The greater the number of photos you want to use in your photo book, the more important it is to sort them carefully before you start. This saves a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Figure 1.3: Photobookgirl created a collaborative cookbook with her friends that contains not only their favorite recipes, but also their favorite photos from the year gone by. The book was printed at Mixbook.

You can develop ideas for your book’s storyboard (i.e., the overall structure) while you are sorting your photos. Photo books are often arranged chronologically, but there certainly are alternative concepts. You can then select the format and other basic design elements of your book. The size of the finished book is the first choice you have to make. Some providers insist that you select a particular preconfigured product right from the start, and it is not always possible to change your selection later.

The next thing to consider is the layout. At this stage, it is essential to work carefully and logically, especially if you are planning a big book. A typical beginner’s mistake is to start laying out the book without first considering things like page numbering or font styles. Most photo book software is quite clunky when it comes to making global adjustments to settings that you have already made. Once you have made your basic choices, the template you’ve created is applied to all following pages.

Figure 1.4: Lutz Schnier used his book about the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg to present his best animal photos

It is a good idea to write and edit text before you insert it into a layout. You don’t have to decide in advance exactly how you want to position each picture, but it is always good to have a couple of basic layouts in mind when you start. You can leave designing important elements, such as the cover or the title and end pages, until later, as it is often counterproductive to force yourself to come up with a cool idea too early in the process. You will often find that cover ideas occur spontaneously while you are working on other parts of your project.

Figure 1.5: Cain Cooper used the Blurb service to create his alternative wedding photo book The Wedding of Maureen & Sandy

After you have a couple of basic ideas for the layout, you can begin the real creative work of page design. Try to work one (double) page at a time. This book contains a number of sections that deal with the intricacies of image and text layout and describes how to implement them at various service provider sites.

This book provides a whole range of ideas to inspire your creative thinking, and also explains how to get ideas from books and magazines. The projects outlined in the final chapter also provide a wealth of ideas and show you just how effective the concepts in the rest of the book can be when they are applied to real-world projects.

The final step is to check your book for errors. Using the checklist described in chapter 11 will ensure that you don’t miss any details before you press the Print button.

It is always a good idea to produce a preview. Some providers have built-in preview generation functionality.

Last but not least, always remember to save your finished project—you never know, it might just be good enough to print again later!

TIPS & TRICKS SAVING A PROJECT Don’t forget to save your work regularly. Like all other programs, photo book software crashes every now and again. Some software, such as that provided by Blurb, automatically saves projects at regular intervals, but this is not the case for all of the programs we looked at. It makes sense to save a complete copy after each major change you make to a layout. Most programs use the common Ctrl+S/Cmd+S keystroke to save a file.

If you have made major changes, but are not really sure whether you want to apply them to the whole book, you can save them as a different version with its own name. Blurb offers the Duplicate option for doing just that. I recommend that you name each version using the date and time as well as the version—for example, 2011-11-27_1230_version_A. This makes it much easier to sort your work and find the right file later.

Chapter 2 Choosing a Service Provider

> Why Your Choice of Provider Is So Important

> Selection Criteria

> Print Processes

> Software

Why Your Choice of Service Provider Is So Important

The first step in any photo book project is choosing which service provider will print your book. You are probably asking yourself why this is so, as you can print pictures or text on any printer you like without having to choose in advance which device you want to use.

The reason things are different with photo books is

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