We are excited to announce our next big contest. It’s called The Great American Photo Book. Over the course of the year, we saw some amazing images coming in from every American state. It got us thinking, it would be great to see these images come together into one photo book.. to show the richness, the texture and the history of America. So, we decided, hey we run a great company that produces amazing photo books, we can do this! So this is where you come into the picture. We will be taking photo entries from photographers around the country from each state. Heck, you don’t even have to live in the state to submit your picture. If your photo wins a spot in The Great American Photo Book, then you receive a free 8×12 Aluminyzed Metal Print.
Plus, this is for charity! Profits from the sale of these books will go to The American Red Cross. We couldn’t think of a better charity to give this money to, than an organization that helps rebuild America after natural disasters.
So here is a general breakdown of how the contest will work. Now through December 31st, 2012, we will be accepting submissions for The Great American Photo Book on our Facebook page. The top two entries with the highest votes per state will be submitted to the Adoramapix Judges. We will then choose the best image to represent that state in the photo book. This way it is a collaboration between you the photographer and us the publisher.
Now, with any contest that we run there is a list of Rules and Regulations. For this contest, you must:
1. Be a fan of ours on Facebook. (This is where the actual contest will run on Facebook)
2. Only one entry per person. You must put the name of the state in the title of your submission.
3. Photographers who submit images, must own the copyright to those images.
4. And of course, any contest we run contestants must adhere by our 2012 General Contest Rules and Regulations.
* Please note.. #19 in our General Contest Rules and Regulations has been amended for this contest. Photographers will retain rights.
(Copyright: By entering the Contest, Photographer will retain all rights to photograph he/she submits. By entering the Great American Photo Book Contest, photographer hereby grants Adoramapix (sponsor) (1) a nonexclusive, unconditional, unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable ,royalty-free license to reproduce, reformat, adapt, creative derivative works, distribute, transmit, display, make available and perform the photographs photographer submits to Adoramapix (sponsor) in and/or through any and all medium or media, now known or hereinafter developed or discovered, and (2) the right to use your name, city and state in promotions and other publications. Sponsors’ use of the submissions may include without limitation, advertising, promotion and marketing for this contest only The .Great American Photo Book for this year and subsequent years. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use. Additionally, by entering, each entrant grants to Adoramapix the unrestricted right to use all statements made in connection with the Contest, and pictures or likenesses of Contest entrants, or choose not to do so, at their sole discretion. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.)
5. Contest runs from November 1, 2012 to December 31st, 2012 midnight EST.
Winners will be announced in January. Winners will receive an 8×12 and or an 8×10 Aluminyzed Metal print of their winning image. Their photo will be published in The Great American Photo Book and your name will be featured in the book credits, as well as an online announcement. You’ll also receive an icon you can put on your website or blog, to let friends or clients know you won. The finished book will be made available for purchase online. The luxurious photo paper pages of this beautiful lay-flat hardcover book will make a great addition to any household, and last a lifetime. Best of all, profits from the sale of these books will go directly to the American Red Cross.. an orgranization that helps those in need during natural disasters in America.
I wish I could tell you that every photo book I’ve done has been a wondrous masterpiece – inspiring the amazement and admiration of all those who are fortunate to gaze upon it. But admittedly even I make mistakes sometimes (gasp!). Honestly, I don’t think I would feel qualified to write my photo book review blog if I didn’t hit a few bumps along the way (and learned from those mistakes). It enables me to share my experiences with you and hopefully I can help point out potential issues ahead of time. My blog is all about encouraging everyone to make a photo book and to not be intimidated to give it a go. I’m a firm believer in trying everything at least once (okay correction – most things at least once). I bet when you see your photos in a designed book (or when that special someone gushes over the professional-looking gift you made them) you will be quite addicted to photo books as I am and will want to make more and more! I have repurposed these tips from an earlier blog post, but this time with AdoramaPix in mind.
Here are some of my best tips. Before you hit that order button make sure to go through this checklist!
1) Consistency – typically I advocate using no more than one to two font styles in your books for a cohesive look. Go back and make sure that you’ve been consistent in both font size and type. I usually use one font for the main narrative, and a different font for the titles. I have accidentally used a different font on a couple pages of a book before, but luckily they didn’t look that noticeably different (except to me because I knew!) Had I checked more closely I would have caught it. When using AdoramaPix, I just copy the same text box and paste it on the new page so I know that the size and font have remained the same without having to reselect any settings. AdoramaPix’s text tool also automatically remembers your last font and size selected, so it makes it easy to be consistent. Change your mind about the font you want to use? With AdoramaPix, you can select more than one text box and make changes to all the text boxes on that page with a single action. Just make sure to go back and double check that your global font change hasn’t altered your layouts unexpectedly;
2) Alignment- are your photo boxes and elements aligned properly? There are two features I recommend checking in AdoramaPix. If you hover over an image, you’ll see an “X” and “Y” coordinate. The “X” represents the horizontal coordinate while the “Y” represents the vertical coordinate. So, if you want to make sure two photos are aligned on the left, make sure the X numbers are the same. If you want to make sure the photos line up at their tops, make sure the Y numbers are the same. You can also turn on the “moved objects will snap to grid lines” feature which will make sure the photos align with the grid when you lay them out;
3) Margins – did you put anything too close to the edge? Most programs have guides that show you a safe zone. Anything inside those borders will print, but anything outside may get cut off when the book is printed and bound. Sometimes this safe zone is rather generous, but the printers have to have some leeway. If you have chosen one of your photos to be printed as a full bleed (where your photo fills an entire page or spread) make sure there’s nothing on the edges of the photo that is essential. If there is, then you may want to think about making the photo a bit smaller than the entire page (and add a background) so you’re guaranteed no image loss. When you check the book preview the software will give you a warning if you have elements too close to the edge so you can go back and make any edits before ordering;
4) Gutter – “mind the gap” – similar to #3, typically I suggest to folks not to place anything important in the center of the spread, especially text or people’s faces. With AdoramaPix however, there is no split or gutter, so you’re free to design across the center of the spread which is great if you want to do a full page bleed (where a single photo spans both pages of a spread). Still, whether or not you want to put someone’s face in the middle of the spread is a personal preference, as you may not want to have the focal point of your image appear with a crease down the center;
5) Spelling and typos – use the software’s spell check where possible (AdoramaPix’s is built-in and you’ll see a red line appear under a word the software doesn’t recognize). If it’s not available, copy and paste your text in your own word processor (like Microsoft Word) to double check your text. For more on the right way to add large amounts of text from an external source such as a document you already typed in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect, check out the link. I can’t stress this enough – if you choose to paste directly from Word or an e-mail, chances are you will also copy some formatting code that will be “invisible” to you and will not show up as an error in the preview, but will only show up after you get the printed book – eek! It also may be helpful when possible to have someone else check your narrative or captions – spell check won’t catch errors such as missing words for example;
6) Photo Quality – AdoramaPix has a photo quality indicator that pops up telling you your photo is not of sufficient resolution, but keep in mind that it’s not an indication of whether your photo is too light or too dark or whether your subject has red eye for example. So make sure to scan through your pages to see if any photo stands out in a bad way, or appears off in comparison to the other photos. Sometimes you can’t tell a photo is a bit off (such as one photo being considerably darker than the others), until that photo is put along side another photo. I have often gone back after running the preview to adjust some photos and re-upload them to the book. Some photo companies have some photo editing tools within the program, but many do not or they are very limited. Err on the side of brightening your photos – most photos end up printing darker than what you see on your screen (it’s hard for printed matter to match the luminosity of our computer screens). Don’t have post-processing software? Check out my posts on free photo editing tools here.
So, there you have it! Be sure to run the photo book software preview before you order while keeping these tips in mind!
Are you new to photo books? You won’t want to miss my “How To” series on photo books. This is the best place to start and has my best tips! Happy Photobooking!
One of the promises that I made after I had my daughter (among the many) was that I would no longer let my personal photos collect proverbial dust in the vortex that is my archiving system. Vacation photos, holiday photos, family photos…if they weren’t for clients or as part of a photography project, once I started shooting digital I would rarely make prints. Everything changes when you have kids and for me that included not just how I make memories but what I do with them once I’ve recorded them. To this day my family goes through old albums and I love when my dad posts old photos on Facebook…especially when I’ve never seen them before. Making prints of memories is important!
So I solved the problem of my personal photos taken with my dslr because I started to make books and prints for gallery walls but what about my iPhone? I have over 11,000 pictures on it! (#issues #hoarder) I’ve made prints of those before too but I wanted to make a special photo book just for Lucia.
While most kids play games and watch shows on the iPad my girl likes to go through the camera roll and scroll through old photos – “remember this day, mommy?” is one of her many catch phrases. So I teamed up with my friends at Adorama to make an 8×8 photo book of some of our favorite family memories as recorded by my iPhone and processed on Instagram.
The hardest part for me was selecting the pictures (no surprise). The book itself was so simple to make because the program online is very straightforward and you have full control over the style and design. There are many different templates to choose from for every size book available and in fact for someone like me who is terribly indecisive there are almost too many templates. I narrowed it down to five and then just went with my favorite. After selecting your images and loading them up to the website (a process that is very fast depending on your internet connectivity) you just drag and drop them into the space in your blank book and save as you go. Ta-da! I even cheated a bit and was able to drag a few photos into blank spaces that weren’t meant for images and I was able to play with the size a bit to make photos larger than the space allowed them to be. You can select photos from a number of different sources including Picasa, Flickr, your Adoramapix account and your computer.
I’ve been working with Adorama for personal and professional projects for years so it was no surprise to me that the quality of the book is top notch. The pages are printed on real photographic silver-halide paper with a lustre finish so the colors are bright and saturated with great flesh tones. For photography junkies like me this is a huge deal. They use real archival quality photo paper so it’s fade-resistant and you even have several paper choices. I also really like how thick and sturdy the pages are. Another really important feature for me when I made this book was that the HD glossy paper is fingerprint resistant! Hello? Amazing! I usually prefer matte paper for my prints but I was making this book specifically for my toddler to thumb through, carry with her, and put her hands all over it so this feature was a major draw for me.
Here’s what I did: so simple…
1. Visited Adoramapix.com and chose the perfect book size
Once I decided that I wanted to use my Instagram photos (since she loves them so much) I realized that the 8×8 format was perfect for the square-cropped pictures. Since I’m terrible at editing to make a concise collection I went with a 26-page book. Not too many, not too few. I felt like it was the perfect number of images to keep my toddler’s attention and just enough to capture the feeling of the general “theme” I decided to go with.
2. Chose my images
With so many pictures to choose from I had a very difficult task ahead of me so I just went with favorite images of the last year or so that were strictly of our family. A NYC-themed book of Instagrams is up next but I wanted to make this one for her first.
The front cover gave me the option of choosing four photos. I opted to leave the title off the front and put it only on the spine. You can choose from several different fonts and sizes.
The back cover. I loved that I was able to have one large photo on the back to balance out the four photos I chose for the front.
Thank you to Monica Shulman who inspires photographers and artists through her blog called Ciao, Chessa! . It is a photography and lifestyle blog dedicated to people who appreciate the little details that make life amazing. Since its birth in 2008, her blog has evolved into a place where she talks about art, photography, travel, motherhood, living in New York, and the people and things that inspire her.
It`s spring and changes are happening. We have some exciting new updates that you will find helpful.
1: We have now added Genuine Leather to our line up of beautiful lay-flat photo books. Our premium line of photo books offers rugged durability with a striking presentation. It comes in square, portrait and landscape shapes and four different colors, onyx black, quarry gray, ruby red and saddle brown.
2 : Custom title functionality for Leather Lux & Genuine Leather photo books. Members can now select from default titles or enter your own title for the book. There will be 2 lines, each one contains not more than 18 characters.
3: We’ve added no foil embossing for Leather Lux and Genuine Leather cover photo books. So members will be able to choose stamping with gold, silver foil, or without foil (debossed).
4:Fixed import. Now our import will work faster and be more stable for large number of photos from our different import sources.
5.Fixed fit/fill functionality for rotated images. After applying fit/fill rotated by 90 degrees, the photo element will keep its rotation.
6. Fixed inner move in pan mode for rotated images.
We hope these updates and fixes will help you on your way to making beautiful photo books.
Tips for Making Better Photo Books
#1 – Customizing Colors with PixPublisher
PixPublisher’s color fill feature is incredibly powerful and versatile. It allows you to change the color of any decoration or frame to any color you choose. This can come in handy for virtually any photo book in which you want to match a specific color palette.
When you select any decoration or frame by clicking on it, you’ll see an option called color fill appear on the toolbar above the workspace. Just click the color fill option and pick a new color from the color selection panel that appears. The panel gives you three options for choosing a color. You can:
1. Choose your color from the palette provided
2. Enter a color code manually
3. Use the dropper tool to choose any color on the screen.
Whatever color you choose will be applied immediately to the selected decoration or frame. If you’re looking for ideas for a color scheme for your photo book, check out the kuler website by cilcking HERE.