My Personal Photo Books

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Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten into the practice of making a photo book out of any major photography event in my life. Those events might include workshops I’ve taken, travels I’ve made – or, for each year, an annual portfolio book. These books are one of the rare times that my images get produced on paper. In fact, I don’t even own a printer at this point – and, for the rare occasion when I do want a print, I’ll most often do a print at my local Costco warehouse!

I’ve primarily used iPhoto and Apple’s book capabilities for these photo books. The quality has been excellent – and the tools in iPhoto make the creation of the book reasonably straightforward. I’ve done one book using Blurb and the book module in Lightroom – my “Faces of Cuba” book. I plan to explore more of Blurb’s capabilities in the future.

Last night I pulled together my most recent photo book – Paris 2014 – based on images from a wonderful week last fall in Paris as part of a street photography workshop led by Valérie Jardin. It was a wonderful experience – perfect weather, beautiful city, and a great group of workshop colleagues who enjoyed each others’ company. Most of my images from this book came from this album.

I used iPhoto again for this book – probably for the last time given how Photos is soon to replace iPhoto on my Mac. I’m looking forward to receiving the final printed copy of the book and adding it to my archive of my other personal photo books that document those special photography events in my life!

Creating Photo Books to Journal My Recent Photo Adventures

Over the last year or two, I’ve developed the habit of putting together a photo book following each photo adventure I take. Creating a photo book is a great to bundle together those photo experiences into a convenient format for sharing with friends or just to keep on your coffee table to help you keep your own memories.

I just finished putting together the one for the Mystic Forest Workshop with Michael Frye.

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A few weeks ago I did one for the Jay Maisel Workshop.

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I’ve been using iPhoto ’11 for these books and enjoy the editing process of putting them together. For my photo books, I’ve been using iPhoto ’11’s Picture Book theme – in softcover and the medium size option (8×6 inches). I find this format is just right for these adventure-specific books. I use Lightroom as my primary photo management application. To create a new photo book, I first find the images (“selects”) I want to use in Lightroom and export them as full size JPEGs to a folder. I then fire up iPhoto ’11 and create a new library (important!) – putting it and the selects in a new, separate folder in my Photo Books folder. It’s important to just do one photo book per iPhoto library – keeps things simpler and better organized. I think import the selects into iPhoto and start creating the new photo book.

I also do an annual portfolio photo book of my “best” images from the year – something I start in November and like to have finishing in time to have portfolio books to use as gifts with family. For my annual portfolio books, I use the same Picture Book theme also in softcover but the larger version. It’s more expensive but provides a more substantial book of great images.

On Friday, Apple announced that it would be moving to a new Photos application beginning in Mac OS X Yosemite – and no longer enhancing either iPhoto or Aperture. I’ve really come to appreciate the quality of the iPhoto books – and I hope that Apple continues to provide great photo book printing options in the new Photos app going forward!