Published on March 19th, 2014 | by GreatGets
Obsessed with Style: How to Make a Great Fashion Book with Blurb
Anybody who has met Izzy knows she is obsessed with fashion and organizing and documenting anything and everything related to style and fashion. And as annoying as it might be in the moment, there is something to be said for obsession—particularly when it’s the obsession to get “it” just right. The right fit, the right look, the right mood. That is exactly what has made Izzy so respected professionally and why she is able to create what seems like an endless stream of outfits out of a limited but quality closet. She focuses on the details and gets them right. I think it is time to take this obsession and turn it into a book about her personal fashion journey. And of course, we will turn to the folks over at Blurb for guidance. The fact is they have already created a little book about fashion she can look to for inspiration.
Our partners at Blurb are very much like Izzy, obsessed with two things: books and fashion. Maybe it is because Blurb is headquartered in San Francisco with an office in London⎯arguably two of the world’s most fashionable and literary-minded cities or maybe it is just the like-minded nature of people who value beauty and make an effort to surround themselves and immerse themselves in beautiful things. The fact is that Izzy has already dipped her finger into bookmaking having written and illustrated an adorable Beginner Reader Phonics Series for students in Ghana. Today, however, looking at the books with fresh eyes and having just watched the video above, I realize she should definitely consider re -publishing and re-formatting the series using the Blurb self-publishing tools and possibly even try to market her Wrap2gether book line in the Blurb store. Technology and our knowledge of self-publishing options has improved tremendously in the four years since she spent hours copying and printing her mini books at our local Staples. If we had only discovered Blurb sooner 🙂
Aaah but we digress. Back to today’s topic – HOW2 create high quality fashion books. We even found a Blurb newsletter exactly on point and not surprisingly, it emphatically states that the starting point of any well made book of fashion is with quality photography. With book-making, as in fashion, the details are important and the pictures are everything. Here are the key photography tips Blurb suggests you consider when shooting the photos for your own fashion book.
- It’s all about lighting. To make your fashion really pop, choose natural light or some studio light with a soft box (you can even make one from a lamp and last season’s white t-shirt). If you’re using a flash, you’ll probably want to bounce it or stick a diffusion filter on it.
- Make a shot list. This is a critical step, and even more important if you are photographing models. Even if your model are your best friends more than happy to help you out, they will appreciate it if you know exactly what you want to shoot. Think about the poses you want to capture, the outfits you want them to wear, and the details that you want to highlight in every shot.
- White balance (WB). Accurate color and skin tones come from making sure the WB function on your camera is set to your lighting situation.
- Choose the right lens/zoom setting. If you’re using a wide angle, you’re going to lose your beautiful lines (and your models may never forgive you). If you have a camera with different zoom levels, zoom out to minimize lens barrel distortion.
- Keep it stylish. It’s a fashion shoot, after all. Play music, keep things moving, try new angles. Attitude, attitude, attitude.
- Dress it up. Make your book as fashionable as the clothing featured in it. Choose a simple design that doesn’t upstage the clothing, but still looks chic. Pick a size and paper type that showcases the work brilliantly.
Fashion means different things to different people. For one person it may be all about hats. For another, bow ties. Another can hear the siren call of a beautiful jacket from miles away. There is always the one who can’t leave the house in anything other than heels. And then there is Izzy who likes it all but should probably heed Blurb’s advice when compiling this book and focus her energies on a cohesive theme whether that be a specific accessory, a unifying print or color, or even a snapshot in time (i.e. since Isabelle is studying in London right now, she has chosen to focus much of her academic energy on the mod movement. That visual sensibility could make for a very interesting fashion book.)
We encourage you to follow your own fashion obsessions and document them in a fashionable book. Dare to be great and start your Blurb book today. For a limited time you can even save 25% on print book orders of $75+ at Blurb.
Finally, be sure to watch our featured webinar given by Daniel Milnor about How to Make a Photo Book that Works. It is detailed and empowering and really helped us move beyond feeling overwhelmed by the daunting nature of the project to being excited to get started. The video is a bit long but definitely worth watching if you are at all interested in exploring creative bookmaking. Hint: if you want to save a little time, skim through the first 5 minutes or so of introductions and accolades and skip right to the heart of the lecture.
Here are a few fashionistas who actually did it – they published their own books of fashion. Check them out – you may be inspired!
Dare to be Great!
Summary: Be inspired by this informative how to make a photo book that works video and then take advantage of the Blurb self-publishing platform to follow your own obsession and create a fabulous fashion book. Dare to be great!