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Make Memories, Make Photo Books

A big part of my enjoyment of taking pictures is making memories and then recording them with photographs. Myself and Ellison both love photographing the beautiful places we visit and those photographs become the most precious thing we take home. We often use those precious photographs to create Photo Books. Photo Books are a great way to remember a special holiday or event, they're a way of savings memories in a format that's much easier to look back at than just leaving images on a computer. For that reason photo books are hugely important to us as you can see from the heap below which is just 6 years worth. We love looking through them, they take us right back to the place they were taken and for me they tell a story of how our photography has progressed over the years.

For me Photo Books are also another reason to be more disciplined with the organisation and storage of the photo's we take. We take loads of pictures, on a 2 week holiday anything between 1,000 and 2,000 images so the big question is what do you do with all these images? If all you do is download them to a computer, realistically how useful is that? Are you really going to spend time, beyond once, looking through 1,000 + images? Worse still are you going to subject friends and relatives to the horror of looking through that many pictures, a fair few of which won't be great.

I would thoroughly recommend investing some time, pretty soon after you've taken the pictures, to do a couple of things. Firstly file them separately in a folder dedicated to the trip or event. Secondly delete anything which isn't up to snuff or is a repeat, I keep probably 10-20% max. The litmus tests for me on whether I keep a picture are things like; is it a good picture? If it's an ordinary picture does it record something that's important? Does it tell a story? Will it create a memory you want to keep?

So you've got a greatly reduced number of images, what next? If an image is worth keeping it's worth spending a bit of time editing it. You don't need to do much, maybe just a bit of cropping to improve the composition, adjust the exposure, perhaps adjust the tone (or contrast), check the White Balance (see previous blog) and if it needs it have a play with the colour (adjust the vibrancy or saturation). You don't need a fancy editor like lightroom or photoshop. If you don't have a fancy DSLR these are also all things you can easily change with a phone. I use editing to further thin out the images maybe ending up with around 100 images (which I store in a separate folder for edited, finished images). These are the ones which are destined for a photo book.

There are loads of companies who do photo books, I've used Photobox, Jessops and Bonus Print but maybe surprisingly it's Bonus Print I've now settled on. I like Bonus Print's online editor (to create the book) and the quality of the product is excellent. Photo Books aren't a lot of money (compared with the cost of the holiday or event of which they're a record), the last one I created in September was £41 for 34 pages, it's lay flat and made of Bonus Print's best quality gloss paper. Here's a couple of piccies of it.

There is some effort needed to organise and edit your pictures (which I'd heartily recommend you do anyhow) and some effort needed to get used to the application (Eg. Bonus Print) that's used to create the Photo Book. However I guarantee you'll be thrilled with the result and unlike pictures on your computer you will enjoy a trip down memory lane by leafing through them on a cold winter's night.

More soon,


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