How To Start Your Own Photo Book

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  By Michael Moodie
How To Start Your Own Photo Book

Photography has gotten so advanced into the digital age that we now find everything online or on a social media platform. There’s been a significant decline in the number of photographers who now actual print their work and not just post images online. This trend has become so bad that you find where you have photographers who’ve never even printed their work before or have no idea how to get started. The habit for new photographers is now to capture amazing photos to share on Instagram and then that’s as far as it may go in terms of the image being shared. This then leaves the question of how do you share your body of work with those who have no social media platform? In this article, I will be giving you some tips as to how you can start working on your own photo book to share with the world beyond social media, as well as the benefits that come along with them.

1. What Do You Want the Book To Be About

A little like a literature book, photo books should have them or an objective behind it. For example, one may do a photo book strictly about his or her journey through a country for the first time. This book would then entail shots taken which coincide with the theme mentioned. This is the first step to getting your book together. The theme doesn’t always have to be something specific such as a geographic location or date. It can also be something that your shots were inspired by or just you sharing your best work from a certain time period. Always remember that this book is a complete reflection of your creativity and your level of work so you want to put out the best you can.

2. Who Is The Book For?

When creating a photo book you must then ask yourself this question. Your photo book doesn’t always need to be in the public eye but can be for close family and friends as well. This helps to determine the number of copies you create as well as what you put in the book itself. A photo book that caters to just your family and friends will generally have shots which speak to that group. However, if you’re thinking to sell your book to the public, then that’s a whole different ball game on its own. People can be so tricky and in most cases, you tend to have a short span of time to capture their attention, so you must do this at least in the first two pages. This will ultimately determine if that reader keeps looking through your photo book or just toss it to the side.

3. Choose Content

Now for the fun part which is getting all the photos together. This can be both the fun part and probably the hardest part for various reasons. On the bright side you get to skim through all those Images you’ve taken to now publish them in a book and on the other side, it’s hard to choose the right set of Images. My advice is that you think carefully before each image selection and try to recollect the importance of that Image to you and what it means to you as well. Like I mentioned earlier, the book is a complete reflection of you. Therefore, anything you put the book to publish cannot be taken back. You want to also re-evaluate your shots because shots seen on a monitor doesn’t always look the same on paper. This is one of the benefits you learn by printing your work, It makes you a better editor. Spend time and fine tune each image to your liking until you’re comfortable with the result. Bear in mind that this may be the longest part of the process but it is very necessary for you to put out your best work possible.

4. Put Your Book In Order

After you’ve selected and fine-tuned all the images you love, It’s time to put them in an order of your choosing. This is a lot like a recording artist choosing the running order of the songs for their new album, it is also imperative. You only have probably about two turns of a page before you either grab your reader or just wasted their time. Therefore you want to put your best foot forward and choose a few of your best images out of the ones you’ve already selected overall. You can then put them in a particular sequence which is pleasing to the eye or would be pleasing to a general reader.

5. Don’t Be Scared To Add Words

Yes, it is a photo book but doesn’t be afraid to make a few comments here and there. If the book is made for public reasons then you should keep in mind that not all your readers know you personally and as a result, you should introduce yourself and share your story on a few of the shots you’ve taken or how they’ve come to be. For example, if you have a candid shot of a homeless person singing, you can then explain what was your inspiration for taking that shot if you so desire.

I truly hope this article has helped you create a tangible body of work to share with the world and friends. I look forward having one of your books on my coffee table one day but until then, take care!


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Michael Moodie is a Freelance Photographer and Photojournalist. He Enjoys Lifestyle Photography and Traveling while doing all things creative!

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