I’ve made hundreds of books with the Blurb system. And many with Magcloud as well. And now that I think about it, I’ve been making books and magazines since 1996. I’ve used dozens of platforms. None of which were perfect but I never cared.
When it comes to print I’m a lean forward person. There is always something to complain about and boy do photographers love to complain. (Me too at times.) But rarely do complaints solicit the response we so desire. My view of printing platforms is that it is our job to find a way to use them. It’s not our job to find the things they DON’T offer then say we are going to wait until all these things exist before we make an attempt. (If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this I could buy a midsized American sedan. Not the top of the line model but certainly that midlevel package with extra cup holders.) It’s that simple.
Blurb reached out and asked me to test something so I stopped what I was doing and spent three hours making a test book. I’m not after perfect, whatever that is, and my primary goal is to test the system but I do also want to make something usable.
I decided to make a journal. My Uruguay work was on my desktop because I was creating a sample showcase for the AG23 microsite and had compiled a wide range of work from my project down south. I grabbed the black and white images and the color images with a bit of copy thrown in. Again, I needed to test the type tools, the shape tools, the image tools, etc. so I’m not after a narrative or a book that shows off my ability as a photographer.
It had been a while since I made something like this. My current journal was created by Charlene but it’s getting close to complete, so I need something new. I have a stack of empty journals waiting to be utilized but none of them contain my work, so here we are.
If you haven’t made a book before, and you are feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed thinking about the possibilities, do yourself a favor and start with a journal or notebook. There is no right or wrong with notebooks. There is no need for a masterful edit or sequence. There is no need to feel the pressure of being judged for your cover art. This is the essential throw against the wall and see what sticks experiment.
And most importantly, it’s fun.