Photo labs are always complaining that people don’t print their pictures any more and how they really ought to, but they do actually have a point.
It’s very easy to accumulate a lifetime of photographs that no-one ever sees, except for a couple of days on Facebook. So you probably don’t want to print every shot you take, but you can’t just let your best shots sink into digital oblivion – especially when there are so many ways to turn them into physical objects that you can keep, treasure or share (or even sell, if you’re turning your photography into a business).
One of the most popular ways of doing this is with photo books, so we’ve just posted a brand new buying guide to the best photo book services both in the US and the UK.
Photo books are great because they let you bring together a themed set of images from an event or a vacation, or just to illustrate your personal or professional photography. Carefully designed photo books can look as glossy, upmarket and professional as regular books. You can leave them casually on the coffee table to impress your friends when they come round (our favorite ploy), use them as birthdays gifts or use them to build your own portfolio.
In the meantime, here are 5 things you need to think about when planning a photo book:
5 things to know about photo books
1. File format: there’s no need to convert RGB images to CMYK before uploading. Just stick with high-resolution JPEGs and you can’t go far wrong.
2. Creation location: most companies offer online browser-based book creators for speed and simplicity, but downloadable software can offer more options and more exacting customization.
3. On the edge: edge-to-edge printing maximises a photo’s impact, but the borderless look will also slightly crop your shot. It’s more apparent on a hardback cover, as the edges wrap around the board.
4. Flat out: a lay-ﬂat binding avoids the problem of images disappearing where pages meet the spine. It’s ideal when a photo spans across two pages, plus the binding ensures that your book will stay open by itself.
5. Finishing touch: Glossy paper helps boost colour vibrancy and contrast, whereas a matte ﬁnish can be better at hiding ﬁngerprints. Soft-sheen lustre pages strike a good compromise.