A Brief Guide To Your First-Ever Photo Book
Have you ever absent-mindedly scrolled through your social media pages and thought: “God, I’m so good. I should take up photography for a living.”
Well, stop right there. You’re probably not that good. Your photos might be great, well lit, well staged, all of that, but until you move from a phone to a camera and take a few photography classes, you’re not going to be hung in a gallery any time soon.
But you know that, of course. What you’re really thinking is: God, I wish these photographs got the recognition and home they deserve.
And you’re right to think that. Honestly, so many Instagram and Facebook photographs are brilliant, but all of them exist inside a bubble. Never to be touched. Never to be seen beyond a screen. And that’s a big shame. There’s nothing like giving photos the glossy treatment to really let them shine.
That’s why people turn to photo books. With a photo book, you can gather together your favourite photos and bind them together into their very own package. You can give each photo its own page, its own place within your home, and you can ensure that not even a network crash can stop them from living on.
But how exactly do you create your first-ever photo book? Where do you start, and what should you do with it? All of these questions are likely buzzing around your head, so we’ll put you out of your misery with a quick guide for the photo book newbie:
First Off, Choose Your Subject
The best thing about making a photo book is that it’s easy. Seriously, you can make a beautiful photo book in 2 clicks – the tricky part comes when deciding exactly what to include. Just as you would create and name an album on Facebook, your photo book will need a definitive subject and theme to avoid clutter and incoherency. This can be anything from “Your Dad’s 50th Birthday” to “Your Year Of 2015” to “A Day In The Life Of Your Cat”. Anything you want to do, go for it!
Don’t Worry About The Story – For Now
For now, don’t worry about the story too much. The great thing about a photo book is that it makes you happy and includes all of the photographs that make you happy. Of course, when you get a bit more seasonal, stories can be introduced into the equation later. These will include a beginning, middle and end, designed to be a satisfying tale that invigorates the reader – read our blog on how to tell a photo book story for more information. But for your first photo book, just pick the photos that make you smile!
Find Your Showstoppers
As mentioned previously, one of the best things about photo books is that they give your best photos a platform to shine. Some of them can shine more than others, too. Although you can include multiple photographs, some of your photos – the best ones – should get their own page entirely. This is a way to really direct the reader’s focus and show off the photo on another level.
Find Your Stage
When you’re creating your first photo book, you need to think about every aspect of it. This includes where exactly you are going to put it. There’s not much point in going to the effort of creating a photo book if you’re going to let it get dusty at the back of a bookshelf. Your photo books need a stage – like a coffee table in the centre of the room or a book stand on the window sill. Look into beautiful ways to display your books and make them look enticing enough for guests to go and pick them up.
Show Your Friends
Hopefully, after you’ve made your first photo book, you will immediately want to create more. Before you do this, however, make sure you show the photo book to your friends and get a bit of feedback. Obviously, this is all a bit of fun, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything in your power to make your photo books beautiful and professional. Getting some feedback from your friends can be a good way to understand what works and where you should go next with your photography.
Rate Your Pics
As well as this, you should rate your pics yourself. So far, you’ve been looking through your photo book with a loving gaze. After all, we don’t want to toot our own horn, but it was made by a professional photo book maker and we take pride in making all photo books beautiful! But it’s important to look critically for a moment and work out which photos you like the best. What angles did you use? What lighting really catches the eye? Which showstoppers really work? Flick from page one to the last page and mull it all over.
Make The Next One Even Better
All mulled over? Good. Because now, you can put those thoughts to work and get cracking with your next photo book. You want to make sure that every photo book you make is special and – if you can – better than the last one. Delve deeper into our blog to find some photography tips, and maybe think about what photo book you want to make before you take them. Above all, though, enjoy it. There’s nothing quite like catching the photo book bug. Just make sure you’ve got enough space to display them all!