Over the past several weeks, I’ve been poring over photos… hundreds of photos, narrowing down the images to include in the yacht-interiors book that I’m authoring. (See “A Book of My–Our–Own,” posted in April.) It’s been exciting and exhausting, awe-inspiring and overwhelming, and everything in between. In the process, I spent a fair amount of time agonizing over which pictures to eliminate. After all, the book is in the 100- to 150-page realm, not 500 pages. In the end, my experience can serve as a valuable lesson for you.
Here are a few helpful hints to determine how to start your photo-selection process, and how to keep it from becoming a monumental, seemingly insurmountable task:
- Go for the “wow factor.” In choosing the initial images, consider which ones stop you in your tracks. If a photo looks like a picture postcard, put it in your “must” pile. That’s why I selected the picture at top for our book. Every time I look at it, I have the same reaction as when I stepped foot in that room: My jaw hits the ground as to how stunningly beautiful and serene it is.
- Choose the pictures that tell a story. Let’s say you have a photo of your kids with the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas. It’s a great snapshot: clear, terrific colors, and even better, your kids have ear-to-ear grins. That photo speaks volumes! Put that, and similarly story-oriented pictures, in your “must” pile next.
- Skip the so-so snapshots. If something is blurry, no amount of PhotoShop magic will make it crisp. In fact, it will detract from the overall beauty of your book. (A smart design director like ours will, gently, convince you even more of this.) Similarly, if a picture is OK but just doesn’t elicit excitement from you, chances are you won’t thrill to it being part of the pages.
- Ask for help. Unless you’re a professional photographer or a really skilled amateur photographer, no one expects you to be an artistic expert. Don’t work yourself into a tizzy trying to select the “perfect” shot. If you’re having a hard time deciding, call the experts. (That would be us.) Better to hand over 100 photos and have a professional eye evaluate them than to paralyze yourself with indecisiveness or fear over doing something wrong.
These tips just scratch the surface. Our design director, Beth Smith, has plenty of experience helping clients select photos to include in their books and lending helpful advice. We’ll publish another blog post with her insight in the coming weeks.