Oct 20, 2013

Making Your Own Photo Book..

You can make your own book.  The more knowledge you have in this area the better.
 Here are just few things to consider.

Bookmaking will take you a bit of time. In my opinion it is way worth the time, and you don't have to do it in a day.  If you are somewhat organized  you can cut that time down by a huge amount. One of the best ways to get organized, is to organize the photos first. 
 If you have decided to make a book, you most likely already know what your topic is going to be, so that is a good thing. So lets get started, I am assuming we are doing digital photos here. Otherwise see my post on scanning photos.
  • So the first thing I do is organize those pics that are going into the book. One of the first things I do is make a new folder, give it a name, like Wedding, vacation, whatever, drag or copy all the folders with the pics you are going to use to it. 
  • Make another folder in there named no good or not in book. go through all the pics and mark pics you don't want in your book or are no good. Mark them with a flag or star or something. After you have gone through them all, click on that star or flag, drag all those to the no good folder. I don't delete them. That should cut out a bunch of pics. so you wont have to keep going through them. Also now go back to that folder and select those pics and untag them or unmark them.
  •  Note here:  If you open them in windows or iphoto you can set your view to date and then time, it will give you smaller bunches of photos, that makes them so much easier to sort. Also if you only have one or two shots of of something special, even if they are bad you might want to use them. remember they can be printed small and still look ok. .. that is better than missing something you really want to remember.
  • Next step, Edit.. I go through the main folder and edit, check for color, to dark to light what needs to be cropped etc. If you need a editor that works really well and is free, download Picasa. I use it all the time. It has a lot of editing features. You can also add text to photos pretty easy. 
  • Note here:  I also use Photoshop Elements for removing unwanted things in photos, among other hard to edit photos that I want to do. This is not a requirement by any means. Picasa will do most of the editing you need, and again its free. 
  • Do you want to make your books online or use software. Several photo companies have free software. I have made many books both ways, I by far prefer using software. This is my preference, because you don't have to wait for pages to keep reloading, worry about loosing all that you have worked on, which I have done! If you don't get right back to it, you don't take a chance on loosing all your hard work. You don't have to be worried about passwords and logging in, transferring photos to someone else's site. It's not my thing. But if your prefer it, buy all means go for it! LOL.  It is much easier to upload the whole book when done. You have everything right on your computer. Any you can save your book-file to a jump drive etc. This is my preference by far.
  • Most of you know just by looking around I prefer using Blurb Publishing! Blurb's free software, Booksmart,  is excellent for a beginner or a Pro. I love that you have a bookstore, super simple to reorder, you have a multitude of ordering options, even ibook, and PDF. 
  • Ok you have all that done, start putting all those great photos in that new book! When I am making a book, I do NOT add ALL my photos at once, it is to many to work with, I open my Booksmart, and Picasa and I drag and drop into my layouts. This automatically adds them to booksmart. Here are a few tips I use consistently. In booksmart, where it says my photos, set that to show unused, then when you delete a photo you have dragged onto your book, then deleted it, it will show unused photos. Also I most always work in two page spread. You will learn the software pretty quick. In Picasa.. when I drag a photo (or just before) I put a star on it. When I go back to look for more pics, I can automatically see what is already in the book, from the stared photos. After I am finished the whole book, I will click at the top select all stars in the main file and create a my book file, drag them all to it. Or copy them. there you will have all the photos in your book in a separate file.
  • You will need to create a Blurb account before uploading your book. Once you do one, you will be hooked forever! Especially after you get your book back!

Oct 18, 2013

Weddings.. To Hire A Pro OR NOT..?

 I have photographed weddings off and on for 20 or so years. I know for most people, your first choice for Wedding Photographs is to hire a professional photographer. I still recommend a Pro for a large formal Wedding. Or at the very least someone who is REALLY good with a camera! Note here: Someone with a point and shoot can get really great pic with a few camera skills. Its not the camera that takes the pictures folks!!
 Also I have to add one note here, when you hire a Professional Photographer and your wondering why they get what seems to be ridiculous prices.. Photographing weddings is exhausting work, You don't get to miss one thing, and its not done the day of the wedding, it takes about an average week to complete a Pro wedding! Say nothing about all their expenses. Just FYI here.  
 I started out photographing weddings, because one of my husbands friends asked me to take photos of his wedding. I said sure, someone saw those pic, and asked me again, and again, before I knew it I was photographing Weddings on a regular basis. Then came Senior Pictures for yearbooks and I never looked back! lol. There are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to get some pictures for you, and do a great job at it.  
 Most people are looking for a few great shots so they can remember their special day. With the abundance of digital cameras, it seems like everyone has one these days. You don't have to hire a pro to get great pictures for your book. 
I believe a Wedding Book is the way to go, it tells your story, it highlights your day, you can put hundreds of photos in different sizes in one place, you can add vows, and notes and poems, and guest list.. and it will last for years!  
So even if your friends and family are not the greatest shot, you can still have a beautiful Wedding Book.  With a few digital files, (In this case.. more IS better) anyone with a few editing skills can come up with a great book..       ummm..  ME! 


This book was compiled of just shots from guests. I was given approximately 100 shots that were gathered from several guests digital images. You can make some beautiful shots from some.. "not so great shots"!
If you plan ahead you will have many more photos to work with, therefor you will get a much better book. This was an after the wedding thought! I had approximately 100 digital images to work with  for this book, which still came out great! It was a gift from a guest.    The Bride and Groom said it was the best gift they received..   Don't you just love that! I do.

This book is 64 pages, 8x10 landscape, and 129 photos. 

Oct 12, 2013

Why Photo-Books..

Printing your photos into books is absolutely one of the best ways to preserve your images. Photo books can hold hundreds of photos, they last for years, and do not deteriorate at the rapid rate that photo albums do and take up a very small space.

Your photographs are your precious memories, they should be preserved and seen OFTEN.

These books take up way less space than conventional albums, hold more pictures, and you can have several different size pictures all in the same book! I can't think of a better way to preserve those memories than in photo book form.

Most people put their albums and or photos in a box and stick them in a closet, (oh wait.. that was years ago, now they are on your computer until it crashes!) to only be seen maybe on that one special occasion, When you go and drag out all those old boxes of photos, or you paste a few special on the social networks, where they downgrade the quality immensely and it gets downgraded each time someone downloads and saves it. We keep buy cameras with 12, 16, 18 and more megapixel, only to post on the computer at about 1/10 of that quality! 

We store them on our computers until it crashes and you lose them completely. I have seen people loose years of photographs. Never making a printed copy, never backing them up and they are gone forever. So please do both! Print them in books and back them up!

I have a tendency to back up whatever photos that are in a book and stick that copy in the back of the book. I also do year end copies, every year, right after the new year. (Just a tip here), at least you are only loosing one years photos, not (years) of photos. Also by making a book with Blurb  Publishing you can most likely get another copy for years down the road. (Also I am not saying you can't with other companies, I have no idea, I use Blurb, because their quality and service is outstanding).

 Keep your books out, let people see them and enjoy your photos, if they wear it out, yea, that means they enjoyed it! You can always get another copy.

Happy Bookmaking!

Oct 18, 2012

We love feedback..

We would love your feedback.. Leaving feed back and comments in my Blurb Book Store, under your book is greatly appreciated. Just click the Blurb link and click on any book.

Leaving feedback on this blog is also appreciated! We appreciate the good, the bad,
   But please.. don't leave ugly! lol.. and Thank YOU.

Oct 28, 2011

Using Small Files

You can use small digital files in your books. The book Lillian Sky was made with tiny digital files, her mom took with a very old cell phone. You wont be able to use those file for a whole page layout, but you can use them in layouts. I added embellishments like scrap pages to enhance this tiny photos.  I will make a huge difference in the way your book prints out! I LOVE this book!.