Handmade books for photographers : one day online workshop

Handmade books for photographers : one day online workshop

There's no doubt that one of the most positive things to come out of the troubled last couple of years has been out online book making courses. We ran our first course in April last year and found that the ability to interact and to share our images and ideas was a really valuable part of the course. Since that time, we have run multiple courses and it's been wonderful to see so many people creating wonderful handmade books. We have been joined by so many fabulous photographers, with a huge range of styles and experience, and we've been thrilled to see the creativity that has found life in the resulting handmade books.

Alex and I started with teaching how to make concertina books with a hard cover, and this is ongoing with new photographers still joining us for our course 1 content - more details of this below. Most of those taking part in the first course, have since joined us for course 2, where we cover how to create templates to allow you to print direct to the pages; as well as how to make a soft covered, Japanese stab bound book. Then, this year we finally found time to create our course 3 content, where we take things a little further and explore a few other types of book. If you'd like to learn more about what we cover in these two courses, please do get in touch. For course 1, read on...

Whilst producing a single print is incredibly gratifying, creating a series of prints is even more rewarding. Creating a hand-made book is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive way of displaying your work. Course 1 covers an introduction to some of the types of books you can make and then we cover the steps required to make a concertina (or accordion) book with hard covers. For this course we will be sticking our photographs into the book, with our pages made from watercolour paper, rather making the pages about of pre-printed inkjet paper. We wanted to find a way to deliver this content to our clients online, whilst still being able to enjoy the group dynamic and intereaction with our fellow photographers and we've found Zoom has been perfect for this.

If you don’t have the kit yet, don't worry. As part of the course fee, you receive a free kit list (and links to buy items).  Once your kit arrives you are ready to attend a course!

You will also receive supporting documentation and free access to a complete video tutorial on book making.  This video is your companion to the workshop and demonstrates the whole process and all the techniques so you can refer back to it at any stage you need to.

The course will run over two sessions - morning and afternoon, from 9.30am to c.4.30pm. We will invite everyone to a Zoom meeting and then use this platform for our group sessions. We break up each morning into segments, which helps to keep everyone fresh and allows breaks from the screen, time to make a cuppa and so on. We will have a good break at lunchtime.

When you sign up to the course, we will send you a kit list with an explanation of everything you need and links of where to purchase. Bear in mind delivery times are variable at the moment so you should order everything as soon as possible. Expect to budget around £80 for the kit you need, though it could be far less if you already own some of the items – cutting mat, scalpel, bone folder, etc.

As part of the course we’ll send you a link to a series of step by step videos and also a document that shows and describes the steps you’ll need to go through to make your book, with measurements for everything included and you can refer back to this as many times as you like.

(* We are also happy to offer a more remote learning experience through use of the videos and supporting documentation and 1-2-1 support. Please get in touch if this is a better option for you.)

 Session 1

Intro to book making and different book types

Series of ‘how to’ sessions so we can start planning and making our book – we will cover cutting and folding the paper for our pages, and cutting the book board and cover material/paper. 

Sequencing session – where we will discuss some of the methods by which you can choose and sequence your images, and show a few of the books we’ve done and share our thoughts behind sequencing the images within. 

Session 2

Sequencing review. We’ll share each set of images on screen, via Lightroom, and invite each of you to talk about the rationale behind your choices (<5 mins per person).

Continue making our books, step by step – we’ll go through each stage again, then give you time to complete this, gradually working through the remaining steps. Alex and I will always be on hand for any help you may need.

End of the day – ideally we’ve all finished our books – if not, then don’t worry as you can finish anything else afterwards in your own time. You’ll need to stick in your images after the course, according to the sequence you’ve settled on. If you don’t have a printer, then we can print the images for you for a small fee.