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Tips for Making Photobooks

The following information has come from members after their experiences of making their own photobooks and is here for all members to share -

 

Tips for making Photobooks

These hints and tips have been gathered together following a programme on making a photo book at the Pixels' September club night.  There is probably a lot of other useful information available and if you wish to add to this, please contact pixels@photopnz.com

 

 

There are a number of different book making programmes

available online.

 

There are sample books you can view on line to get ideas for your own.   Most book making programmes provide templates for you to choose from, or you can plan your own book.

If you are planning a book on your travels, develop ideas for your book before you travel.  When making books for family occasions, plan ahead by thinking about what you want to include.  See the separate article entitled "Creating a Photobook" for further suggestions to help you plan the layout for your book.

 

So, you have decided to make a photobook:

  • Talk to others who have made books about their experiences. - good and bad!

  • Select your book making programme - try some of those listed below to make your choice.

Blurb                           www.blurb.com

Albelli                         www.albelli.co.uk

Momento                     www.momento.co.nz

Apple                          www.apple.com/nz

Snapfish                      www.snapfish.co.nz

Vistaprint                    www.vistaprint.co.nz

Harvey Norman

 

  • Practice with the software so you can decide whether you like using it.   Are there video tutorials to help you learn  the programme? - some companies even offer online workshops.
  • Read the  software FAQ's carefully.  This is where you will pick up a lot of useful information.
  • Factors in your decision will be,  ease of use of the programme, the reason for your book, cost, how good the result of the printed book is, whether there is good help available either online or whether you can telephone the book making company for advice.
  • Ensure your computer monitor is calibrated
  • Check your photos are good enough to start with.   The use of Jpeg images is standard.  Place the images for your book into a separate folder so that you are only working with images that you are considering for your book.
  • Edit your images in Photoshop or Lightroom or other editing software before you start making your book.  It is not recommended to use the book software editing functions.
  • Image editing - In Photoshop the use of Levels is recommended rather than Brightness and Contrast
  • Image editing - The use of Clarity is recommended in Lightroom
  • Check your book software programme for the format your images should be presented in:    i.e. sRGB, Adobe RGB, etc and ensure all images are presented in the requested format.  Wrong format can = poor printing result.
  • Some programmes have warnings that will activate if you put in an image that is not suitable for some reason ie size. You may wish to ensure this feature is active.
  • Ensure your images are set at the software's  recommended  DPI for best printing results.
  • Gloss paper should give a better result when printed.  In fact Albelli quote that "with the gloss option you can be certain of a professional photo finish and the colours will look even more sharp and vibrant".  Most companies offer a gloss option for an extra cost per page.  If you do not choose a gloss finish, ensure you select a good weight of paper for your book - with lighter weight papers text and images can show through.
  • Check to see whether the software you are using has an automatic image enhancing function.  If you have edited your own images, you probably wont want the software to do further enhancement and will therefore need to turn this function off.   Check with the book making company if necessary.

 

  • When you are ready to send your book on line for printing, CHECK, CHECK and RECHECK.  Any mistakes are yours.  If you are in doubt about anything, phone the software company and ask their advice.

 

  • Many companies offer a book shop service where you can make your book available to view and be purchased by others.  If you are interested in making your book available for sale, check that the software you are proposing to use offers this option.

 

SOME TIPS IN CREATING A PHOTOBOOK

CREATE A FOCAL POINT

Busy layouts can be distracting and deter from the inherent beauty of your photos. This is especially true of layouts with equally sized photo boxes. Create a focal point on each page using a standout photo, surrounded with smaller, supporting images. For particularly eye-catching photos, opt for a panoramic spread, in which a single image is spread across two pages, similar to a two-page magazine spread.

LESS IS BEST

In the same vein as the first tip, always remember that less is more when you make a photo book. Take a minimalist approach to designing layouts, allowing your photos to take center stage and shine on their own, without the use of distracting graphics or too many photos.

 

MIX IT UP

While you want your photos to be the focus of your photo book, you don't want to use the same layout on every page. This will result in a boring, uninspired photo book that lacks visual interest. Create diverse but balanced layouts on each page. For instance, if a page has a one-photo spread, use a layout with two or three supporting images on the opposite page.

 

 

 

CONVEY A STORY

Your custom photo book should flow naturally and tell a story, especially if you are making an event-based photo book. Organize your photos chronologically and present them in that order. You want the people you share your photo book with to feel like they are experiencing your past with you

UPLOAD ONLY YOUR BEST IMAGES

Chances are, not every single photo you took on vacation is going to make it into your photo book. If you upload every single one into the service or software you use to design your photo books, you're likely to be overwhelmed by all the photos and have a tough time choosing which ones to use. Narrow down the photos to your favourites and those that are essential to the story (see the previous tip) that you are trying to tell.

Give it your personal touch

Predesigned templates provide a great foundation for custom photo books, but you can give your project your own personal touch by tweaking your chosen layout in any way you want. Resize your photos, insert text, or add graphics and embellishments to make the template truly your own