2020 Family Photoshoot – Tips for Photobook Design
4h15am – I received a text from Kimeshan of Exquisite Photography “weather isn’t good… change of venue?”. Now, if we were any normal family, we might have gone with his suggestion to move the shoot indoors or to somewhere more suitable – but our choice of venue was very intentional and we had no intention of changing, despite what weather was thrown at us!
We started at THE BOND SHED – a venue we often meet at for coffee after a Durban Promenade walk. We loved the textured wall so quickly began shooting each family, the grandchildren, grandparents, siblings and spouses – before the next flash of rain. Our second location was the CANALS of the Point Area – we needed the umbrellas and tried to keep our hair from getting too wet. I love the architectural lines of the bridges and buildings and the fact that they are woven around the water. Next stop was the SAND – we are all true Durbanites and just love the beach. Each week in some way or another we enjoy the promenade, sea, waves, restaurants, cycling, walking, park runs, hotels, views, ships, stadium, coffee, people watching and so much more. Then as we headed back we fooled around on the cobbled STREETS.
I highly recommend booking a professional photoshoot. As an extended family, we really enjoyed this time together, even though we felt a little unnatural having so many photos taken. My children who usually dive out of sight, willingly participated, as they realised the value of the memories for their grandparents. My mother recently had a mild stroke and we were all reminded, of how we need to be grateful for each moment we have together – we just don’t know which will be our last. I am normally the person with a camera in my hand, so getting behind the lens meant I was also in the photos.
Kimeshan sent us some WhatsApp teasers from the shoot, which was so exciting – we decided that photo books and framed photos, were going to be the family gifts under the Christmas tree. I involved my Mom in selecting the photos for her walls – a task she found quite difficult, as she loved them all. I was making the photobook as a surprise, so I wasn’t worried because I knew I would be using most of the photos anyway.
Tips for photobook design
- Choose your size
- I have chosen an A4 landscape photobook as my standard size, I like the books to line up and be the same size on my shelf. So if you are about to embark on a number of photobooks – consider future copies.
- Landscape books – horizontal images entirely fill a landscape page and provides plenty of space for images. Square books – often require cropping of images and fit less of the image on a page.
- The larger your book the more opportunity to show off your images. But think about where it will be kept – will they be carried around or remain in one place – choose what suits the use.
- I love one large image for the cover with just a simple title.
- Search the internet for ideas and keep them in a folder to refer to when designing your books.
- Don’t forget to put a title on the spine, I generally centre mine.
- The Story
- I was intentional with the grouping of my images in this photobook.
- Cover – Whole family and date
- Opening page – Location 1 – Grandchildren
- Siblings, spouses and parents
- Oldest sibling and family
- Second sibling and family
- Third sibling and family
- Location 2 – Whole Family
- Oldest Sibling, 2nd Sibling, 3rd Sibling, parents then family
- Location 3 – mixed
- Location 4 – mixed
- Size and number of the images per page
- This was a photoshoot with a professional photographer and good quality camera, so I wanted to make the images as large as possible and have as few as possible per page. The design style is simple with a white background, which makes the colours pop and doesn’t detract from the photos.