Typically after an engagement photoshoot, a boudoir session, a family portrait session, or any other portrait or event, you choose your favorite image for a large wall piece – either a canvas Gallery Wrap or a Framed Print, then perhaps some loose prints, a few extras for gifts, and then the rest in a gorgeous Leather Album or a beautiful Coffee Table Book. But rest assured, all photobooks and albums are NOT created equally!
What makes my books and albums so special is that each is uniquely and artistically hand-designed. Most photographers just use templates to make them. They drag and drop a batch of photos onto an app, and the book is automatically populated in moments. They hit “submit” and the order is done. There’s not more than 5 minutes of labor on their part. It’s just upload and sent and you get your standard press printed book. Some photographers even call their inexpensive press-printed books “albums”! Buyer beware! A professional book or album is quite different than those inexpensive photobooks you can order on line yourself. Many lower end photographers use these consumer sites themselves. True professionals use professional labs that offer a much different and higher quality product. The quality of the end product is a reflection of the quality of the photography itself. A true artist wants to show off their work in a product that reflects the loving care and time that went into creating their images. Price is a HUGE reflection of the quality you’ll receive!
As an artist, I personally could never do that. I would never use an app or pre-made templates to design my books and albums, nor would I ever use consumer grade books. I can’t even bring myself to use a standard binding, even at a pro lab! I pay extra for premium paper and specialized “lay flat” pages to show off the images in all their glory without the curved gully in the middle that swallows them up. I create every book and album page by hand, as beautifully crafted as each and every image. My albums and books typically take me 6-12 hours to create the perfect layout, end to end. I start with a blank page in Photoshop and meticulously and lovingly arrange and size every image and background from scratch, according to the way the images speak to me. I also change up the order of images to beautifully tell the story of your day. This gives me 100% full creative control to crop every image to precisely the size I want, arranging it precisely in the arrangement I want.
No two books or albums are ever the same! Each is a painstakingly created piece of art. I even obsess about the page colors, sampling colors from the images over and over again to find just the right tone and intensity to enhance the images it surrounds, creating a cohesive look to the entire book or album. Density and variety of each background also changes as the content of the page changes – sometimes a solid color, sometimes even an image overlay, tenderly softened to surround and support the main page image. And then there are the added page embellishments… I might spend 20 minutes on to find just the right one, which then gets resized and re-positioned and toned for the page on which it sits. And sometimes I even create my own custom page embellishments from a portion of an image – like the time the Mama loved a fox theme for baby’s nursery. I picked a little fox off of baby’s onsie and let it randomly show up in different places on the pages, to play off the theme!
Yes, it’s obsessive, but it is a labor of pure love! I am obsessed with creating books and albums that are works of art that satisfy my Soul! I then choose cover materials that are beautiful and well above the average standard, perfectly complementing the images they enfold.
I always aim for world-class. And that is why my company is named Defining Imagery – I seek to define a standard of quality imagery that few can attain. And this takes massive hours of labor to make everything the finest in custom artistry, for my clients to treasure for a lifetime and pass through the generations as their legacy. I call it, “Your Life in Fine Art!”© and I’d love to create a heirloom treasure for you!
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