There we were, posting about the International Photography Awards, when Blurbarian Wendy Farrow let us know that her book took Honorable Mention in the competition’s Fine Art Books category. Although she is an established photographer and artist living in Paris, this was her very first Blurb book. And it was chosen out of 20,000 entries from over 90 countries.
Wendy spent 18 months researching her options before selecting Blurb to create her book, Someone Else’s Eyes, Photography and Sculpture by Wendy Farrow. We contacted her to find out how she approached this project and asked her for suggestions that might help others with similar goals.
Why did you choose Blurb?
As a former web developer, I immediately appreciated the software interface, the cover and content layout suggestions, as well as the user-friendly Web site for both author and customer. If I had to learn a page-making program and figure out what page the copyright notices are supposed to be on, I’m pretty sure my book would still be on the ‘to do’ list.
What was the bookmaking process like for you as an artist?
Never having put a book together before, it was a much more challenging process than I had anticipated. I was anxious at first, not knowing where to begin. There are an endless number of decisions regarding content, flow, pace, design, copy, introduction, chapters, etc. They all have to work together to make the content shine through. Like a movie, you can have a great script but if the editing is poor, the story is lost.
Once I began importing images and placing them, I felt more confident. The BookSmart software is amazing for helping you visualize the finished product. That kept me going.
What content and layout advice do you have for photographers and artists?
In terms of content and flow, imagine that you are presenting the book page by page to an audience. How would you pace it and space it? What would you say or not say to hold their interest? Emotional reaction to color is an important consideration, and so is the juxtaposition or sequence of the images, so select with that in mind. Remember that it is not just a collection of images in a convenient package, it is an experience.
So, how does one celebrate an acknowledgement from the International Photography Awards? If you’re Wendy, you present a signed copy of your book to the grandniece of master sculptor Camille Claudel, the artist who inspired the raw emotional tones of Wendy’s sculptures. It’s pretty cool to think a Blurb book made its way into the hands of someone with that familial connection to art history.
Wendy, here’s to your continued success. Congratulations on your honor and thanks for sharing your story with us.
Have any of your books received awards or special attention in the media? We’re very interested, so post a comment and let us know about it. We might follow up and interview you for some tips.