There’s no doubt, photobooks are photography’s most beautiful invention. From their coming into being as albums in the 18th Century to their evolution into modern picture books complete with seamless, spruce prints of text and awe-inspiring photos, they are photography’s most exciting aspect.
Unlike in the past when people stuck or put photos in albums, most clients today prefer to have their memories stored professionally in picture books. Their significance has come of age and the future of photography lies in the ability to store these precious moments we capture in an enduring, futuristic way. This includes quality mounts and frames as explained in our previous article, and most tangibly, in picture books. But, to understand their importance in photography we must dissect what these books help both photographers and clients achieve.
First, it is imperative to note that picture books are a more expensive venture compared to photo albums. This being the case then, both the producer and consumer have an obligation to ensure that the content that ends up in this book is of great quality. It is the responsibility of the photographer to make sure they produce good work based on the project at hand. This ensures the photos that end up in the book are worth the investment. In the case of a wedding, for example, shortlisting photos to include in a picture book is a daunting affair, but if the photographer does their work in the first place, everything else falls in place quite well.
At Virtual Studios, we believe photobooks help build stories through photography. This, without doubt, is their greatest forte. They breathe life into the photos we take by giving them a visual narrative. To the consumer, this not only helps organize their photos, but it also creates a reference, a string of memories that make up a beautiful story. Photographers must appreciate the fact that today, photography is regarded as a form of conceptual art. A photographer is an artist, a narrator who uses images in the place of words to tell a story.
No wonder, ‘American Photographs,’ one of the best picture books in history, was compiled by photographer, Walker Evans, a literature graduate who combined his storytelling and photography skills to produce an amazing work of art. He demonstrated that photographs, like other forms of art, can speak in a literary way.
Needless to say, therefore, a good photobook should have a theme. A leitmotif articulated in a unique voice, fully expressing the purpose of the book, and also, the artistic style of the photographer. This gives the photographer a chance to explore and utilize their artistic minds. For a picture book to stand out, it must have the qualities and uniqueness of art. Most importantly, it must keep the interest of the client first, maintaining exclusivity.
To the photographer, photobooks are an asset. They act as catalogs that easily provide a framework for the next exhibition, which is every photographer’s dream. If not, then picture books, judging from their size and portability, can travel far and wide, giving the artist more exposure than any exhibition would.
All said and done, the big question remains; in addition to frames or mounts, why do you need a photobook? Here’s why. Picture books are the most tangible way to safeguard your most precious frozen memories in a sequential, artistic, and most literary way. Photobooks are the beautiful proof of the story you’ll remember and narrate many years from now.