The following subjects – and a few ideas as to material and presentation are not exhaustive.
By feature based I mean an inkjet photo album around a subject – a town, a building, a landscape, a garden, birds and other wildlife etc. – a subject of particular interest to the producer.
Think of what one has to cover and don’t try to do too much! If it is an album on common British birds, do not try to cover everything about the sparrow, the starling and the blackbird. It is an introduction to each. So we are talking about one or two pages per bird. If you want to do a lot about the starling – then produce an album on the starling – and nothing else.
The same applies to these other subjects. The good thing is that you never run out of subjects – the same one from different angles – periods of history, seasons of the year, from a town to a building to the garden or a room etc. You are limited only by your imagination.
Event based albums may cover a period of events or one specific event. Do not mix the two: specific events call for specific albums. An example may be a football team in the 2006/7 season. You may create an album for the season – but then you may focus on a series of matches – or even a single match. However don’t do an album for every match and expect any but the most ardent aficionados to look at them all – to the average football watcher they will become boring.
Remember too what you are producing the inkjet photograph album for. If it is a record you need to capture the atmosphere as well as the happenings. See more on material below.
People and people/event based
By people based, I mean a subject where one person – or maybe a couple is the centre of the theme. This may be the person alone (perhaps a child over a year), or a particular major event such as a wedding or graduation. The object is to bring out that person or those persons to the best and not divert with irrelevancies. For example a wedding album needs to focus on the couple – as individuals and together, the main events of a wedding day, and the guests as related to the couple.
Do not be tempted to divert attention by other happenings which would detract. The wedding album therefore should not have damaging views – however amusing – which would be embarrassing two years later. Pictures of the stag night or Uncle Harry getting drunk at the evening dance are best left to a separate album!
Variations may depend on what it is for: the version of a wedding for the bride and groom may be different for the parents, grandparents etc.
A family album is just that – one for the family. It needs to bring out the private things to be cherished. If it is not for the world to see – then don’t be inhibited to show the amusing things. But make sure what is to be private remains private!
If the album is for your visitors to look at, then don’t assume that the viewer knows all of the people. You may have to explain the relationship in your accompanying story.
Holiday albums may be considered family or event. A party album can be centred round the people or the family.
Remember that home produced albums are not necessarily fixed productions. You can add to them or change pages. This is a big advantage over the use of outside album production services.
In business your image is vitally important. Producing an album round a significant event or a product can have very worthwhile results. If it helps promote the company’s image in the community it can be left in the reception area for visitors or deposited at the city business bureau or library. If it brings out the features and benefits of a product it can be a valuable sales or training aid. Focus on the need.
If there is a commercial aspect remember copyright and model release requirements.
Albums to show off the author as a professional – a photographer – an artist – a model are outside the scope of this document. If this is the case then the document has to reflect you at your best. Do not go for unprofessional material and if necessary get professionals to prepare the work for you, even if you print your own on advanced products such as the OPUS Photo Art range.
Even if you are sending the album out, then it is well to produce and print your own first. You have something whilst you are waiting for the results and you can test out various versions before you spend big money on the ‘real thing’. There is also the advantage of being able to keep your presentation record up-to-date.
If, however, your presentation is to show off your knowledge of a subject – as part of a University project, then the subject matter is more important than the image. But don’t forget the image – you need to retain the interest of the reader – and the reader can be impressed!