Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Monthly Challenge 2 of 12: a "4 a.m." Portfolio Book

For my February challenge, I created my first portfolio book. I've created my own self-published photo books a few times in the past, but they were never created with the intention of being a "portfolio." I received a coupon code to make a photo book through Saal-Digital (and they asked that I share my experience). So I got to work and downloaded their book-making software.

[click each image to enlarge]

Inside their software. Pretty simple and relatively intuitive.

Previewing the book as it's nearly complete.

Note that once you pick a book style and start adding photos and pages, it continually updates the price in the lower right: $142.59 right now (which was great because I had a $150 coupon code). My book ended up being 40 pages with a total of 51 images. About my only issue with the software was that it didn't have (or I couldn't find) a "fit frame to object" -like option when inserting images. I was constantly re-working their frames until they were about the proportions of my photographs. (I got an email from someone at Saal asking how I was doing and if I had any questions, and I asked about that, but got no response.)

The software - along with the saved project - is small. Once I completed my order, it then sent the design and the files along, and that took just a few minutes as it uploaded the full size image files from my computer:

It was shipped, and actually came a few days before expected. It was just over a week before I got my book. Here are some photos of my new "4 a.m." portfolio book:

[click each image to enlarge]

The cover is under 1/4" plexiglass, so here's a close-up of that detail.

Another image to show the thickness of the plexiglass cover.

The first spread: a full bleed on the left (that's just the edges
of the cover peaking around) and some small borders on the right.

Some full bleed Minneapolis bridges.

Some of my 4 a.m. "mini mural project" from a few years ago. Click here for more on that.

Three 4 a.m. images from my mini-photo residency this past spring.

Two more recent images to close out the book.

Notice from those photos above that it's nearly a true "lay flat" design - there's no forcing pages open or losing detail in the gutter. And the pages are very thick and glossy. The book is quite a presence as one flips through it. The print quality is what I had hoped (and I had high hopes) - no complaints there. As mentioned above, the book contains 40 pages and 51 of my "4 a.m." pieces from the last 6 years, arranged (loosely) in chronological order.

Nice work, Saal-Digital! Thanks for helping me with my February "monthly challenge."


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