Blurb Presentation Boxes

I’ve had a fair number of people ask about these Blurb presentation boxes. As you will see, these are fabricated by a company called Process Supplies in London. I purchased three different sizes, have used one so far as you can see by the attached images.

I’m sure there are other outlets for products like this if you are willing to do a little online searching, and I also think it well worth your time to build your own. Customizing books and their packaging is something I’m intrigued by, and also puzzled by how little I see this being done. Kudos to those are who doing it.

“Future of Storytelling” Photo Plus Expo

I get to go to Photo Plus Expo in New York. For those of you who know me you know this isn’t a shock; I go every year. PPE is the best and biggest trade show in the land, so it’s a normal routine to descend on New York city when the chill hits the air, or in the case of last year, when the freakish blizzard slams the city.

My presentation is as follows.

Thu, Oct 25, 2012 – 8:45 AM to 11:45 AM
The Future of Storytelling
Daniel Milnor
Type: NEW!
Track: Better Business
Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate levels
Sponsor: Blurb

With the advent of new technologies in digital authoring software, the future looks bright for visual storytellers and bookmakers alike. All photographers’ dream of presenting their images in book form. In this informative, three-hour seminar, accomplished artist and author Daniel Milnor will demonstrate how to make a professional quality photographic book highlighting your work. From concept to production to promotion, Milnor will walk you through the process of what it takes to make a book that shows off your images to best effect. Focusing on Blurb, he’ll guide you through the process of using print-on-demand services and he’ll compare and contrast this method to traditional options for self-publishing and publishing. Milnor will cover the process from creation to editing to sequencing of the work, as well as defining what it is you want to make. After that, he will talk about one specific book and how many lives that one book can live. Additional topics covered include: what makes a great photographic book; defining a personal project to help achieve your goals; editing, image sequencing and writing supporting text; book design and preparing images for print; color management and proofing; enhancing books after printing; project branding; promotion and sharing your images with the world. Whether your goal is a physical book, an Ebook or both, this program will offer insight into the future of visual storytelling.

This year my presentation is a bit different, and I’m very curious to see how it goes over. I’m building a new presentation in regard to what I feel is the future of storytelling, which oddly enough is beginning to happen now, in the present. Come to the seminar and I’ll explain.

New Direction

Yesterday I drove 850 miles.

On and off, the entire way, I was thinking about this image. I’ve posted this before, but it has taken some time to sink in. You know how things sink in over time? Like gnats buzzing around your head on a camping trip, at first a small annoyance and then at some point they become the entire focus of your existence.

As many of you know, on December 1st I stopped shooting commercially. No mas. No portraits, weddings, magazine work, commercial shoots, etc. I needed a new direction, and so far the grand experiment has been enlightening, making me think I should have done this ten years ago.

However, it’s not enough, just stopping the work for others focusing only on the work for me. Within this shift lies another, smaller, but I’m realizing perhaps more important, micro shift. The direction of the work. And when I say direction I mean the content, the style in which it is created and the method of presentation. Again, this image has been what haunts me.

So over the drive, a drive that started near the ocean and ended in the mountain peaks, I thought only of this photograph. What it means, how it was made, why I made it and how I wanted to share it with those that want to keep it for themselves.

In essence, I had time to isolate myself and think critically about what I was doing with my creative life. You might think this happens all the time, but it doesn’t. In fact, it feels rare. Like many of you, my life is cluttered, cluttered with mostly good things, but cluttered none the less. So when I get a break, like this drive, my mind, like the landscape, opens up. And then it narrows down.

This morning, as I checked my Twitter feed, someone wrote to me and said that my magazine, Manifesto, had changed their photographic life and direction. Now for me, there are few things that could be happier to my ears and eyes. If I can make something that has this effect on someone then I feel I’m doing something right.(Issue #2 on the way)

Over the past few days I’ve been scouring sites about design, something I know little about, but something I feel is opening up another opportunity for me, the opportunity of a new direction. I can’t tell you how good this feels.

Now the challenges still remain. In fact, the challenges of my new life and my new direction are what are so exciting. Every minute of every day my mind races with the possibilities. I feel that this change of professional focus, and micro-direction with the work, are only two of the many changes to come.

As I sit here in the cold, crisp air, my notepad is filled with sketches, dimension and direction. A map lies open with notes around the edges and the future fills my stomach with butterflies.

Book Presentation for Photo Plus

Hey Campers,

So over the years I have made a variety of books. In October I will be in New York presenting a program on book publishing. Now I’ve never had a book published with a mainstream publisher, but I hope to do so one day. I have however showed work to mainstream publishers with the idea of getting published. While there was much promise, it was this experience of showing work that led me to self publishing.
Today we have so many options in terms of publishing, but a few short years ago…not so much.
These books you are looking at are dated from the 1994 period on, and although some of them would be considered “outdated” I think they are all still very viable in today’s world. Viewing work electronically is one thing, but having something tangible is something else.

As you can see, there are a variety of “book” types here. I pulled these from my presentation, which is basically a walk through of my history making books. These are just a FEW of the many things I’ve dreamed up over the years. Some of these ideas came from my head and others came from suggestions from friends, fellow photographers, etc, And, some of these, some of the most basic, were real hits with those I was trying to gain access to or gain work from. I think today, in the electronic world, the idea of “making” something still hits home.

In fact, I will sometimes make something unique for one client or another, if they are at that level of importance in my work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got MANY electronic versions of these things. I think we need all of these choices today.

And as you can see, some of these are not traditional books. I have everything from over-sized color copies, small spiral bound flip books and even print boxes. I still consider a print box a book, and in fact, sometimes these boxes are referred to as “books.” I think making these is as important as a book because they make you edit your work. No sense in printing junk pictures, and when it comes time to print, typically you will really edit. Sometimes with my electronic portfolios I’ve found myself not going far enough on the edit. But, that might be just me…

A few days ago I made three new books in one day, all for clients. They were all the same style of book, and I’ve done many of them before, so the system-Blurb in this case-is also very familiar. Blurb is my preferred system, and there are several reasons why, product, cost, software, bookstore, visibility, etc, but there are many choices out there. If you haven’t made a book, my advice, MAKE ONE. And, don’t think that first book has to be a world beater. Just make one and learn the process, not only the mental process, and the editing process, but also font, page count, design, software, etc, THERE IS A LOT TO LEARN.

A few days ago someone mentioned another photographer to me, and mentioned they had a book of the photographer’s work. When the name of the photographer hit my brain I thought of his work, and also his book. The work is great, the book was not. A great book is far beyond the sum of the parts. A great book is not just a book of photographs. It takes on a life of it’s own. Don’t believe me, go online to Photoeye or Radius or Twin Palms and take a look. I’ll just say this, book design doesn’t happen by accident.

Believe me, I’ve made a ton of crappy books and a few good books. I’ve still got a lot to learn. So whether you are making handmade jobbies or using a modern bookmaking process, give it a go and see what happens. Again, if you are going to be in New York for Photo Plus, I’ll be there going over some of this stuff in more detail.