Last Thursday I joined several of my friends attending an event at XL Xplor Senayan City. It was a sharing session, titled ‘Coaching Clinic’ about ‘How to Make a Photobook’, with the speaker Mbak Marrysa Tunjung Sari, also well known as Sasha of @poeticpicture, her update Facebook page can be found here.
If you ask me what is a Photobook, I’ll answer it simply: It is a book, with a story, presented with lots of photos and minimal text. You can check more detailed definition and history in this Wikipedia page.
According to Mbak Sasha, once you set your mind to make a photobook, it will affect your photo style, the thoughts and ideas when taking a picture. And yes, the story you want to tell in a photobook, is the most important thing. For beginners, you can start with the things you care most, perhaps it’s family, food, the sky, shoes.. etc. Set a theme/idea, then you select the photos from all photos you’ve collected. Or, make new photos, right?
The next task, is composing the photos lay out in a photobook. Exercise more then you will also sharpen your sense of composition, in taking pictures as well. For Apple user, you’re lucky because there’s a feature of ‘creating photobook’ in iPhoto. I haven’t checked it out myself. For non Apple user? Here comes PhotoKlip, who shares their software for free, and also provides printing service as well! PS: They’re having a photobook competition as well in their website.
Don’t forget, also design the cover for your photobook, and the title as well. Mbak Sasha shared that these are the hardest part of photobook making in her opinion. I guess she has a point here.
So that’s the basic of photobook making. Here comes the tips:
- Keep your photos. Let’s say you take lots and lots of photos. Most are failures.. but just keep it. Even the blurry and failed ones. After a while, say about 6 months, look at it back. You might learn from the photos, what did you do wrong, or perhaps you get a new idea to make a certain themed photobook? Who knows
- Be neat in archiving. Make your (photo) files in neat folders, named with year month and the occasion (or even with the date if you like it). Keep all the original size/ raw files. Always create a new folder for edited ones. I have a good example here from Pitra and mas Gum:
Okay, now what?
Make your first photobook. Then the next one, and the one after. Then look at your first photobook. See what you want to fix from your first photobook, and you might realze how you have improved. Keep making new ones and do look at the previous ones for learning.
You can also use someone else’s photos, but it’s best with permission, and once you’re going the commercial way and sell the photobooks, there should be written agreement on the copyright and profit sharing.
I got lucky answering the trivia quiz and won free print for one photobook from PhotoKlip, can’t wait to make it happen!
Still can’t decide what to make though.. What would be your first photobook’s title, if you make one?
Disclaimer: All photos in the gallery were taken from @XL123 account.