Project Evaluation

For our final major project, we had from January-May to produce a portfolio/book of work. Our book had to show individual photographic style and show what we are capable of as photographers. We were advised to tailor the style of our book towards the career path we want to take in photography. As I like photographing colours, portraits and fashion, and could like a portrait or fashion photography based career in the future, I decided to focus my images on this style of photography.

The project was broken down into 3 stages and time frames- Research stage from January 15th-February 5th, Practise stage from February 5th-March 19th and Publishing stage from April 16th-May 15th. The research phase was a short amount of time to get your ideas and inspiration together, that will help you generate ideas and images for this unit. During the practise stage, we had to shoot and reshoot a number of times to ensure we were generating enough images and improving each time with the help of weekly tutorials with Geraint and reshooting our shoots. The final publishing stage was for us to put our book together, adjust it where necessary and send it off to be printed.

During this project, I faced a few minor problems, nothing really major which I was surprised about. One of the minor issues I faced was some technical faults with the lighting on two of my shoots, these were larger issues at the time of the shoots but afterwards it wasn’t such a major issue as I was able to fix the lighting in Capture One and Photoshop. Another minor issue I faced was my time keeping. At the start of the project I was on a roll with it, I was planning, shooting and reshooting all on schedule, but towards the end of the unit we were set another project brief, meaning it was a stressful time and I had to plan my time management skills well. As I work as well, it did become a challenge at times, however I am proud of how my project went and that I managed to get everything finished in time for hand in.

As well as a few minor issues, I also had a fair few amount of positives to my project too. The first positive of the project being that I was able to book the studio for a big chunk of dates each week, meaning I knew I was going to have plenty of opportunities to shoot and reshoot the images that would build my final portfolio. Another huge positive to my project, is the fact that I created my whole portfolio by not paying anyone for their time, it wad all created on a TFP basis. The only thing that I paid for was to get the final book printed, and I was proud of myself for finding these friendly, fun, and willing people to work with. In addition to these positives, another one is that I have developed and improved my photographic skills so much that I am a lot more confident in myself and the work I have produced. Lastly, a nice positive to finish off on for the project was that I got my book back perfect the first time. There were no printing issues or anything like that, meaning I didn’t have to send it back for adjustments.

I found that this project unit did get very stressful at times, and there were so many times where I wanted to give up, and felt so worn out that I couldn’t keep going. Shooting and reshooting a new shoot each week really took its toll on me. Trying to organise people to model for me and help me out, style my shoots for me, try and book equipment and some other little bits for the shoots all got so much at times, but I kept telling myself that this project is the largest one of our final year, and I knew I would feel so pleased and rewarded once I had completed everything. And I do. I feel very proud of myself and the rewarding feeling of having my final book completed and finishing off my wordpress feels so good!

If I was to redo this project, I would probably try and arrange my shoots and reshoots a little bit further apart, having them each week seemed like plenty of time in between each one, but a few extra days between each shoot would have been a lot better and more beneficial to organising everything for the shoots.

Overall, I am beyond happy with how my project has turned out. I feel that my final book and my images meet the briefs criteria. I feel I have managed to stay on track pretty well with this project and got everything completed on time. I managed to stick within the time frames for Research, Practise and Publish and this really helped me succeed in this project. I am really pleased with the quality of images I have created throughout the many months of this project, and feel that I can definitely showcase these images at job interviews in the future.

My Final Book…

This is a video of my final printed book I have received back from Mixam. I am beyond pleased with how it has turned out, they got it perfect first time! I was worried I would have to send it back and adjust it, but I am not going to have to!

The printing quality came out really good and I love how the colours look altogether! All for a really cheap price and really quick delivery!

I am ecstatic to say that my book is complete!

Printers, Costs & Paper Type…

After looking around a lot of different printers and figuring out which would be the best one to use, I decided on using an online based printers called Mixam. I was looking at printers such as ExWhyZed, Blurb, ABC, The Magazine Printing Company, and BOBS Books.

I decided not to use any of the others I had looked at due to a number of factors that put me off using any of them. Factors including the price, delivery, bulk buying and print quality paper. Maxim seemed to tick all the right boxes in all of these factors, which is why I chose to use it.

I came across Mixam when searching online for printers. I had a look on the website and it seemed very easy and clear to use. All I had to do was put in the number of copies I wanted, choose my paper type for my covers and inside pages, select the thickness, finish and the delivery date I wanted it by. It seemed the perfect one to use, so I decided to give it a go. Luckily I still had enough time to send it back with adjustments if need be.

I selected the thickest card possible for my front and back cover, I chose 350 gsm and for the inside pages I chose roughly half of the thickness and went for 150 gsm. Gerona tan dI had discussed these thicknesses before so I knew what ones to go for to get my magazine style book.

I was able to choose however many copies of my book that I wanted, and I decided to go for 3 copies. So that I could hand one in, keep one for myself and then use one to take to interviews and things like that. The pricing was really cheap so that made it all the more better to use Mixam. I also knew I would get my copies back within plenty of time for hand in.

Book Name & Font…

I decided on naming my book quite a simple name that is quite self explanatory. I didn’t want to think of some fancy or off topic name that didn’t make sense, so I decided to just stick to calling it something that sued up what it was about.

The name of my book is COLOUR.

I decided on using quite a boxy, graphic font to use on my front page and title as I felt that quite a graphic font would go with my graphic images. Graphic being bold and punchy on the page. The font I also chose as well because some of the outfits styled in some of the shoots were very 90’s kind of style, and having the graphic boxy font reminded me of old 90’s video games.

I got the idea of layering the bold text and the outlined text from an example I saw on Pinterest. I really liked the look it gave and thought it was something different than just having a plain word on the front.

Speaking With Geraint…

A few days after putting my draft book layout together, I had a tutorial with Geraint so I could show him what I had made and get his advice/help on how or what to improve and change on the layout I had made.

I showed Geraint my InDesign document and let him scroll through the pages, and as he was going through I was talking him through it, and explaining why I did what I did and where I got my ideas from. When Geraint was going through it, he seemed to like what I had done and said it was near enough good to go the way it was. Then when going back through it a second time, he mentioned a few little tweaks I could make to improve it slightly. I made notes on what he wanted me to adjust, as he was speaking…

  • repeat the title on the inside page and move my website details down to the bottom of the page
  • make sure there is a colour flow through each image, leading to the next. for example if an image has yellow in it, make sure there is a bit of yellow or another colour the same as the first image in the one following it
  • reduce the size of the text on the last few pages
  • add credit page on how it was made through a collaboration only basis
  • swap paige and precious around as paige is the strongest shoot to finish the book on
  • move the grid of lily around to make sure there is consistent colour flow

I will now go away and adjust these tweaks that Geraint would like me to make and then confirm where I am going to get it printed and get it sent off.

InDesign- Putting My Book Together

This is draft book layout I have put together on InDesign to see how my ideas and images worked.

I have used InDesign numerous times before, I know it so well I was able to use it with ease and have no issues with using it. I started off by creating my pages, and getting the right amount of however many I needed for my covers and inside pages. I then placed text boxes and rectangular frames on the pages for where I wanted my pictures to go, and then started dragging my images in from my desktop.

For a draft layout, I like how this layout style works. I feel I have managed to put together a professional and interesting looking layout, involving text, boarders and colours, yet still letting the images do the talking and standing out.

I will show Geraint the draft book layout I have created and will get his opinion on what I have made and the way I have laid things out. I would like him to tell me if there is anything he would change, add in or takeaway and I want to really work with Geraint so I can achieve the best book possible.

My Final Images Going Into My Book…

Now it has come to putting my final book design together and getting it ready to print, I went through all of my edited images from each shoot and decided which ones would make the final cut and which ones wouldn’t. After a lot of thinking, asking for opinions and changing my mind, I finally managed to select a good amount of images from each model that I feel will make my book bold and strong.

There are more images of some girls compared to others, but I don’t think this is a problem as I don’t want to include images that aren’t as strong, just to make it an equal amount of images per model, so I have decided to stick with the ones I have chosen. I feel that the ones I have chosen are a good selection as they all show a range of contrasting colour ways, posing, and different personalities.

Kiera (Round 1)-

Lily-Rose-

Hollie-

Kiera (Round 2)-

Paige-

Precious-

I will now experiment with these chosen images on InDesign in a draft book layout I will create to start piecing it all together.