If you are like most people today you have 100s if not 1,000s of digital photos tucked away in misc files on the computer. You do not have to be a Landscape Contractor to use photos to your advantage. Many Retailers display inspirational resources all over the place to engage and entice homeowners to dream big and do maybe just one more project.
In the past, photo books were something that involved taking a roll of film to a developer, receive prints, buy a book with clear pages, take hours to insert and possibly label each photo, then pass it around carefully attempting not to lose pages or have photos fall out or worse, the book gets wet.
Today, digital media makes life much easier in many ways and has huge advantages over print media. Create your own digital portfolio to help tell a story of how your company was established, or create a portfolio of what products\services you offer; either way, read how 2 weekends of your time can create a lasting impression, much like a book.
There are several companies online whom offer a create your own photo book platform. Some of our customers have used Blurb, SnapFish and Shutterfly all of which tout they have benefits over the other. In our opinion it is not about which company you choose as much as the style of photo book that best suits your desired look. (See Reviews)
How to begin:
Step 1: Determine what you want the purpose of the book to be
Deciding what you hope to achieve with the photo book is important from the begining as it will help layout the design style, the imagery and the content. Your finished book may be for inspiring landscape ideas, telling a story about your business or what services you offer.
Step 2: Identify who the book is for
Will you be making multiple copies of the photo book for your design staff or will it be used in the showroom floor of your business? Knowing the answer to this will help with printing costs, the quality of print and what type of materials the book should be made of.
Step 3: Capture and collect your photos
It is time to dig deep into your computer files, the hidden USB thumb drives, etc. to collect the valuable photos to help you paint the picture and tell your story. Photos should be of high quality, high resolution, crisp and in focus for best results. Non-digital photography will require extra time to scan into a high-resolution format. This type of scanning can be outsourced if needed.
Step 4: Oraganize your photos
For iMac users, iPhoto can help you organize photos rather quickly. Otherwise create folders with appropriate titles to organize your landscaping photos, your water garden photos, fountain pictures, etc. Showcasing before and after photos are really effective!
Step 5: Tell your story through words
Even though a photo is worth a thousand words, try typing\writing just a short paragraph (3-4 sentences max.) for key photos- not every single one. The important part of copy for photos is to tell something the photo cannot.
Step 6: Select a publisher
There are plenty of options as we mentioned before, so review closely.
Step 7: Have fun creating your photo book
Following the format of your selected publisher click and drag photos dropping them into place in a design style that is easy to read, appealing to the eye (get other's opinions) and has some WOW FACTOR!
Step 8: Proofread everything, then proofread again!
Having a co-worker, friend or someone else you trust read over your photo book is critical, as revisions and reprints can be costly. A special book like this deserves a few times over of proofreading.
Step 9: Play Flip Book
Many of the platforms have page turn commands that allow you to flip through the book as though you have the actual book in front of you- do so, noting any obscure or out of place photos, text and format errors.
Step 10: Check out and wait!
You have completed your book (likely in just 1 or 2 weekends) and are now ready to sit back and wait for your beautiful, inspiring, and absolutely original book to arrive. We imagine after this first time you will be back to create another landscape photo book, personal collage book or even a book telling the story of how your business was started. Remember, have fun!