Planning my first photo book

Over the years I’ve pruned most of my print books in favor of ebooks since I needed space to live, ease of moving around and my reading habit didn’t seem to slow down as years went by. Yet there were a couple of them that I kept because of their beautiful photos. These books were usually on obscure topics I’d promise myself to get back to when I’ll have more time. One of these topics was creating a first photobook myself so lately I’ve picked up a copy of “Create Your Own Photo Book” by Petra Vogt.

Although I haven’t finished all the seashell sculptures I’ve sketched for such a project, I’m glad I read this book since it already influenced my artistic direction. I was familiar with print-on-demand options from my previously written books, but producing a photo book is another ball game. I was getting lost among the many printing options and while I can recommend this book because of the detailed comparison among service providers, the nugget of wisdom I derived from it is the wizard from  which takes me step-by-step to narrow my selection depending on the type of photo book project I’m working on.

There are other ways in which this book influenced the direction of this project, for example by the types of photographs I take. I now find myself shooting details and close-ups all the time to use as possible background photos in the book. Deciding on a coherent color scheme is another idea I got from this book and this influenced future seashell work. It also didn’t cross my mind that I could include scans in such a book and now I just may.

I’m still not decided on which software to use for the book’s layout. I already started playing around with drafts on Blurb, Scribus and Canva. Admittedly, the latter is not ideal for a photo book since I can’t add pages in a double-page spread format and I can add a maximum of 30 pages only, but I find it so easy to use that it was my first option for trying to narrate a visual story through the photographs I have until now.
There are way more decisions to take when creating a photo book than I knew of, but I love the challenge and I’m so glad I read this guide on the topic before finishing the sculptures and the photos.

Update: I published a full photo book series since I wrote this blog post. If you’re curious it all looks like, take a look here.

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