Making Your Own Photography Book
Photography books, are as the name suggests
printed and bound books that are based around photographs. They can be
hardback or softback, various sizes, have printed covers or dust
jackets, bound in different ways and have most of the other variations that
you would find amongst other books in a bookshop. They can be produced in number
through a traditional publisher but today with print on demand services you can also produce a single copy.
Photo books are an ideal way of presenting your photographs to others,
either in a general format or specific to a project or place. They allow you to
present them in such a way that makes them enjoyable to look at, and they
can lay around on your coffee table for friends, relatives, visitors and
colleagues to pick up and put down when the mood takes them. So how do you
go about creating a great photo book.
Firstly you need to think about what is the
purpose of the book you are trying to make. Is it merely to allow you to
show off your work and abilities, like
or do you want others to
be able to share in your pleasure of having that fantastic holiday or life
changing experience. Photo books are different in that their main purpose is
to show off the images with minimal text, the text being there either, as a
caption or small paragraph to tell the reader what it is or who it is they
are looking at. Then you need to determine how you are going to achieve this
and how many you want to print. Is it going to be a one off publication that
you'll keep and show off, or do you want to share it with others, either
on a small scale with family and friends, or on a larger scale by selling it
to the public.
The stages in building a photo book are:-
Decide the theme of the book.
Sort out how you are going to get it
produced. There are currently three ways, you could use:-
One of the many online on-demand digital
photo book producers who use a standard template format for the images and
have a base number of pages in their initial pricing and then charge for
each additional page above, and have set sizes. Most of these have a free
software program for you to download onto your computer to be able to
build the pages and you upload via their instructions when you are ready,
some do have direct web templates with no software to download. This
method is for those who feel they don't have the skills to create the book
from scratch, however one downside is they can be more expensive, but if
you are only producing one copy this may be an option.
One of the internet based services that
will take your print-ready file and send you back a printed book. You have
greater control with this method, normally you can put together the pages
within another software package you are used to using and already have on
your computer such as Apple Pages, Word, Photoshop, QuarkExpress, Adobe InDesign etc and then
upload a PDF to them to print. There are also companies, particularly
aimed at the Wedding market place who have their own software with
templates already included, some you buy the software extra with others
the software is free.
Producing the book yourself and using a Print On Demand Service. This
is usually a more cost effective way when you want to sell the photo book
to the public. We will take a more detailed look at this method another
With options 1 and 2 above, once you have
uploaded your completed book they will then get it printed and posted to you
usually within 7-14 days. Although some in the wedding marketplace can take
longer depending on where they are based. We have put together a listing of
some of these companies -
Suppliers of print your own Photography books.
If you want to produce just a single high
quality copy then you could consider buying one of the blank albums
provided by Innova, Lyson, or Hanhemule and print it yourself on your
inkjet printer. We have a separate article on this,
Printing Photo Books Yourself
Once you have decided by which method you want
to get it produced, which may have been decided by design, cost and speed of
delivery, then you can start planning on how to put it together and what to
include. The stages for this are:
Decide on your theme for the book.
Decide the book size and other
Decide on the number of images you want
to include. This will be determined partly by the method of printing you
are using, which in turn has probably been determined by the size of the
book and cost of production.
Select those images from the many that
you have, that you want to include. This may involve using a
star rating system
initially to indicate those that you want. Your first selection pass will
probably end up being more than you need, so using the star rating will
allow you go back through again and slim it down to the number you need.
Edit the selected
images, using your
to make this task easier. The edited pictures need to be
output at 300dpi and for most systems need
to be JPG, although some will ask for TIFF (these are higher quality and larger files).
Once all the images you want to use are
edited then you need to place them within the page layout. If you have
selected one of the many online photo book printers you may have to
download a piece of software onto your computer. The templates will have
areas for the pictures to go, as well as areas where you can add a
text element if you want. Don't be in a hurry with this task, take your
time, if necessary move things about and try different layouts. Make sure
you spell check any text elements, if the software doesn't have a spell
checker then type it first into a word processing package with a spell
checker and copy and paste it into the template. Also ask another person
to read it through for you, as even the best of us will make mistakes and
you don't tend to spot them as you read what you expect. You don't want to let
your book down with sloppy text editing.
Once you are happy with what you have produced the next stage is to get it
With options 1 and 2 this will involve
uploading it to their system and make payment and wait for delivery -
which is typically from 7-14 days with option 1 above, or anything up to 6
weeks for those dedicated to the wedding market place. Many of these
printers are printing overseas and mailing it to you.
Whichever method you choose enjoy the
process. It may be if designing and producing a photo book seems a bit
daunting then you could choose one of the online options to get one done and
try out the process. We hope to come back to this subject in 2009 and take a
look at some of the services on offer in more detail.