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All projects go smoother when you have worked out a timeline. Visit the website of the photo book service you are using and find out how long it takes to print and as importantly how long it takes to ship your book. Rush shipping will be available but it will also be expensive. You don't want to blow your budget on express mailing so that you receive your book in time for any birthday or event for which is intended. You will also need to factor in your design and production time, including any time for learning on the job. Even if the photo book is a personal project and you are the only client you have to answer to.
It's still worth formalizing this with milesestones like the date of the first draft. The date of the second draft. The date of the finished book. Organizing your photos into a book is different than organizing them to be displayed on a wall. A book is a three dimensional object. It will likely be viewed by a single person at a time at a viewing distance of about 12 inches or 30 centimeters. The photographs follow a linear progression.
Visual relationships are strengthened and the meaning of the image is potentially altered by how you group them with other images. How you position them on the page and the relative sizes of those images. Two simple tools make it easier to decide what photos go where. The first is a flat plan, which is simply a page plan of the book. If you have the room, you can stick or hang pieces of paper to or from your wall and move them around freely. Alternatively you can use InDesign to print a plan of the number of intended pages in your book and then mark in pencil what image or images go on what page.
So that you can better conceive the flow of the images and how the left-hand pages are interacting with their facing right-hand pages. You might also when you print your first draft consider making a maquette or dummy of the publication. This can literally be held together with staples and or glue. Its value is that it offers you a three dimensional view of your photo book in progress.
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