I recently had a clear out of my Hotmail inbox and I found a blog comment that I had saved. It is a comment from Ingvild on this post. She says she likes the way I put my photos together and she asks if I would mind sharing a few tips on how I choose photos for my Blurb books.
Click on the image to view it bigger.
So far I have made 26 books using the self-publish service Blurb. Most of my books are filled with memories of everyday life and special occasions, like our wedding, a trip to Paris with our friends, the celebration of my in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary, hiking with my parents and girlfriends' hen parties. (You can see glimpses of a few of these books here.)
Note: These tips are from a happy photo book making amateur; I'm sure a book making professional will give you different tips. Blurb has some tutorials you can watch (I haven't seen any of them).
Choose a theme
Making a book starts with choosing a theme or a concept for your book. For example The Dinner Project, Look Down or 2010: from summer to winter, where the examples below are from.
Now you have to choose the right size for your book. For small books (up to 80 pages) I like the square format, and for bigger books (up to 200-250 pages) I prefer the standard landscape format.
Organize your archives
The next big job is to sort through your photo archives to find the photos you want to include in your book. If your archives are a mess, this will be a time consuming job... As I've mentioned before I'm an organized girl, so this job is rather easy for me.
Choose photos and layouts
The content in most of the books in the photo above are sorted chronologically, which in my opinion makes the whole book making process easier. (It's not the right way to do it for all books. Neither of my public books, except The Dinner Project and Everyday Stories, are chronologically organized.) But then comes the hard part; how to choose photos and page layouts. I use the layout templates provided in Blurb BookSmart and I'm happy with that. I like a clean and simple layout; the photos are the main focus.
I choose layouts according to the photos I want to display on each spread, and I very often choose photos for each spread according to colors and light.
Did that make any sense to you?
I think this is hard to explain, as this process has become kind of natural to me. So I'm not sure I will be able to explain this in an understandable way. Hopefully the examples below will be a bit helpful.
Matching colors. I like these shots a lot, so I chose to have them big. Another example. And another one. Even another one.
Matching colors and light. These are taken with the same kind of film. Another example. And another one.
A batch of photos taken the same day. I like how they tell a story of the day when grouped together like this. Another example.
This is a layout I use a lot in my annual everyday life books. The size of the photos are not too small. These photos are from within the same month. I think they work pretty well together like this when it comes to light and colors. Another example. And another one.
This is also a layout I use a lot. Big is sometimes better. When choosing the full bleed layout (to the left) make sure there are no important details where the two pages meet. Another example.
Instead of full bleed I often choose this layout, with the white border around the image. That way the whole image is "safe", if you understand what I mean. Another example. And another one.
As I said; big is sometimes better. Another example. And another one.
Sometimes a group of photos are better. When choosing layouts with several photos on one page, I try to keep the balance by having a simple layout on the other page - ideally just one medium size photo.
These examples are from my newest everyday life book; 2010: from summer to winter. It is a standard landscape book with 250 pages. You can see some more glimpses in this set on Flickr.
For some reason I try to limit myself to 200 pages for these books. In 2009 that resulted in 3 books á 200 pages (one of them was mainly our honeymoon), and last year I made one with 200 pages + this last one with 250 pages. I'm however not yet done with 2010; I plan to make a book from our New York trip. I love having my photos in books like this instead of just on the computer.
So, any questions on making Blurb books? I will try to answer the best I can, but you might want to check out Blurb.com too.