In my last post, I spoke about my most recent experience producing a Blurb photo book as a family album. The album was of a very high quality, however the price was on the high side. If you want you photographs in print (which you absolutely should) there is another option.
In addition to photo books, Blurb also offers other book formats including trade paperbacks (best for text) and magazines. While the magazines don’t have quite the print quality of the dedicated photo books, they offer a cheaper alternative for getting your photos printed and bound.
This is the option I took at the end of 2015. With the (very) recent arrival of our first son, I knew time and money for gifts would be at a premium for Christmas. So I prepared a magazine with photographs from the previous 12 months to give to family, with space for one very important 6x4 of our new arrival at the back, who came just too late to be included in the magazine proper.
Although the images from 2015 were more fresh in my mind than previous years, it was no less rewarding going through my catalogue, reassessing previously discarded images, and building a good selection of images. Once again, I undertook the magazine layout in Adobe InDesign, affording me much more design flexibility than with Blurb’s own in-house software (I must stress though that Blurb’s own software is thoroughly decent if you just want to make a basic photo book from a selection of photographs. But if you have any Adobe skillz at all, InDesign is worth the effort).
140 pages later, I had a magazine. 140 pages may stretch the definition of “magazine”, but Blurb’s print services can handle it and that’s all that matters. Oh that and the familial reception. They loved it; it spawned the usual “oh Richard it looks so professional you should do this for a living because it’s so professional” question/statements that ignore the practicalities of profitable publishing. My 104-year-old grandmother sits it proudly on her table, telling me every time how much she “thoroughly enjoys” reading it.
It’s nice to have an appreciative audience.
And it’s nice to have a physical thing. Yada yada yada, DIGITAL DARK AGE, yada yada yada. No shit, you will lose your shit at some point. Shit being your bits and bytes of data. Either through neglect or nefariousness. A physical printed thing is a hedge against that.
Besides, a physical product like this one is pleasurable to read again and again. You don’t read them every day, but it’s much nicer flicking through them and reminiscing than swiping through 12,397 images on your tablet/smartphone of choice.