Hand made books for photographers

Hand made books for photographers

There's no doubt that one of the most positive things to come out of the troubled last year 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. It's been such a lift through the various lockdowns of the last year. 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. 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. However, we are going to run a second course that will cover how to create templates to allow you to print direct; as well as covering how to make a Japanese stab bound book.

Covid 19 makes face to face group learning impossible at the moment, so 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.

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 consecutive mornings, from 9.30am to c.1.00pm. 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.

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.

 The night before 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. The idea is not to make a start until we all go through this together, so we can demonstrate and answer questions as required. However, you may wish to familiarise yourself with some of the content if you have time.

(* 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.)

 Day 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. 

Homework! You then have the rest of the day to refine your image choices (if required) and to email us 6 to 10 images that you plan to include in your book. Please size these at 1600 x 1600 pixels. If you can number them sequentially so I can put them into your intended order for us to look through and discuss on day 2. Also you’ll need to measure and cut out your pages, board and cover material ready for gluing on day 2. 

Day 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 day 2 – 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.

We’ll try and share what we’ve done over our respective webcams but we hope everyone will be happy to do a little product shoot of their finished book and/or make a little video of it which we can all share through the group in the days thereafter.