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Photo books are a great way to display and preserve your memories, and services like iBooks and Blurb make it easy and affordable to create professional quality bound books. But your design choices are what make them special. Join designer Nigel French as he covers the basics of planning and building a photo book, reviews the qualities of good photo books, and examines the design principles at work in their creation—regardless of the software used. This course provides both inspiration and practical techniques for creating your photo book.
Adding text to your photo book can give context to the images, as well as fill in any gaps in the narrative and aid navigation throughout the book. You might choose to include an essay, either before the presentation of the images or mixed in with the photographs, perhaps in the form of extended captions. If the photographs in your book are someone else's and you are championing that persons work, you might write a foreword or an afterword explaining their importance.
If your photo book is broken into sections, you might consider section titles to create a pause and control the pacing of the book. You might also consider a table of contents to make it easier for readers to navigate. This in turn will necessitate the use of page numbers. These should be unobtrusive, and be stylistically consistent with the rest of the text. You can choose to put them on both left or right pages, or just on a single page of each spread.
Captions are by no means compulsory within a photo book. You should only include them if you feel they add information that the photographs do not already offer. Such as the title of the image, its location, date, details of the event, or the type of print. Don't repeat what is already obvious from the photo. Captions typically accompany the photos, but you can instead run the captions as a list at the back of the book. This has the advantage of keeping the photo pages uncluttered, but isn't very user friendly because the reader has to constantly flip back and forth. Lastly, programs like Bridge, InDesign and Lightroom can automate working with captions by creating live captions derived from the images metadata.
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