Oakland County Michigan Glamour Photographers

So I started working on book/album layouts.  I know absolutely nothing about laying out books.  I’m starting small, very, very small.

I don’t plan on selling books from Costco but I’m using their site to get use to the idea.  It’s actually been good.  I want to mentally get over my aversion to them.

Well I’ve learned a wee bit the last couple of days.  They offer one book and it’s horizontal… hummm.  Most of my images are verticals.  What do I do with the leftover space?  Well my quick workaround is to do overlays of the same image and some minor flourishes.  It’s actually been fairly quick and easy.

The other thing I’ve found is to do the layouts first then upload them.  I uploaded a bunch of regular images first and was overwhelmed, now I upload just the finished collages.  I know, I know Costco!?  I don’t plan on selling them, just using them to test layouts ect.  Hey for $20 why not?

I know some books are square… that’s a whole nother can of worms

I’m showing just one page  of the layout, so with the second page, there’s a lot going on.   I’m doing full bleed, no borders.

This can show clients the feeling/style of the book and that’s all I’m really using this for now, to develop my style.  I definitely see there is a lot of work to an book/album, which is what I’ve always heard.

So with this technique I guess I don’t need any templates.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  Any tips would be appreciated!

3 comments category: Glamour

1 Aurora Vanderbosch August 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Phooey. I typed up a nice long post earlier this morning, but it disappeared into cyberspace, when I posted it…and a second effort is NEVER as good as the first…but here goes, anyway. 🙂

This looks terrific, Mary–great first effort! Can’t wait to watch your efforts in this area evolve, as you continue to refine things–so please keep us posted! 🙂

You are correct, that you don’t NEED templates. The primary benefit to them is that someone else has done the work and built a book that already fits a lab’s offerings. That’s nice–because the bleeds are built in, and, well, it’s just really easy to delete the template’s backgrounds, drop in your own, and then use clipping masks to drop your images into the layout. I like the ease involved. (It would be even easier, if you just stuck to their backgrounds, etc–but who wants to look like everyone else? ;))

The Album Cafe has some nice book templates at reasonable prices…or they can just serve as visual inspiration. 🙂 (They’ve even got two boudoir templates listed.) There are lots of other places, but if you’re planning on doing your own design work, then a template is just a jumping off point–so only the layout really matters. 😉 These are geared towards individual client sales–not towards limited edition coffee table books.

If you’re thinking of a limited edition coffee table book, then two photographers come to mind: – (warning: while his images are lovely, there’s a lot of nudity!) I like his use of book “themes”…and the way he weaves text into his books. I’m never completely satisfied with just pictures–I like some words in a book, too… – Jean-Sebastien Monzani is one of my all-time favorite photographers–I love the way he weaves the real and the surreal together in his images. His books show his clean, simple design aesthetic, and he gets around full bleed issues, by keeping his images away from the edges. He uses Blurb for his print on demand books.

As far as tips are concerned…I haven’t a clue how automated your workflow is–but when working on projects like books, I concentrate on shaving off as much time as possible, and so two things I do are to create actions for anything I do repeatedly on a project (ie, applying a border and drop shadow), and then a create a panel for that project, with only the tools I’ll need for it–reordered in a way that makes sense to me.

That might not sound like it does much…but creating a panel for the last stage of my proof process shaved 1-2 minutes per image off–which adds up to a good bit, when you’re talking about 100 or more proofs!

If you have PS CS4 or higher, you can download the panel configurator here: Here’s a link to my proof panel, to give you an idea of things you can add to a panel: The buttons with a triangle on them are all links to actions…at least two of which–the Proofs Master and Proofs Touchup, I customize per proof set, so that in one proof set Proof Touchup might run Nik’s Contrast filter +4 darks, +11 lights, modify the reds and whites in the image, and smart sharpen, while in another, it might just modify the blues and reds. I don’t believe in “one size fits all” actions–other than, say, resizing for web–so the ability to customize the back end is great–which having the same items in the same place every time, means I do less reaching, and saves arm strain, as well. 🙂

I have the panel saved to a proofs workspace…which is only used on proofs. The rest of the time, I use different workflows, and different workspaces. If I wind up doing more books–then I’ll create a book workspace and panel, too. 😉

(And on a side note, the gallery I uploaded that to is where I keep samples I share with students…and I see an old color palette of mine, with skin tones. Which is ironic, because I made that years ago, right after I discovered your Pbase site for the first time, and was blown away by your mastery of good skin tones. I sampled from your images to create my own skin tones palette, and used to use it to make sure my own were correct! :))


2 Mary DuPrie August 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Aurora…thanks so much
ARE YOU A WRITER TOO!?? you should be girl! maybe we should start a blog together 🙂
thanks for the configuator tip…i’ve downloaded it, i will spend some time on it. We should skype and screen share…hint hint Maybe you could walk me through it

Hey this blog thing is workin out for me!


3 antonio toscano August 22, 2010 at 10:46 am

if this is the first I guess then, excellent work, I told you one day, yours is the creativity, the picture I think, is to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary and you get it in the photo, in every work, each thing to offer, has a soul of its own, every day I see your posts, and hope to find what I find, every day a great shot. excuse my terrible English, greetings from your fan number 1 in mexico


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