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Thursday, January 28th
This is a question with two very different answers depending on the viewpoint. The easy answers are: until you get to the end; and forever.
A photo book is intended to tell a story. That story can be about a life event, a specific event, or a life's work. Beginning at the beginning and working toward the conclusion is always the best approach.
If the subject is a wedding day, begin with photos taken when the bride and groom open their eyes on the big day and end it when they pull way in a car with "Just Married" taped to the back bumper.
A Safari or an extended camping trip to be recorded for posterity? Start with the assembling the gear and end with stumbling back in the door, exhausted.
For a compilation of an artist's work, begin with the first work in a new period, (think Picasso's Blue Period) and go on until the artist has said all he has to say in that particular style.
How many photos and how many pages of a photo book does telling a story like these take? Again, such a question generates two different answers.
You can make the decision to limit the number of pages you want in your book and fill those. Or you can choose the digital photos you want to include in your photo book and keep filling pages until you use all your selected images.
Most photo books have a minimum of 20 pages. The maximum is usually 100 pages. Many photo book creation software programs allow you to choose a package with a set number of pages or add pages as little as two at a time, adding to your total cost as you add pages.
So how many photographs should you include? Anywhere between one per page and upwards of a dozen per page. With the advice "less is more" firmly in mind, fewer, better photos is best, which is not to say you might not have a page or two in your photo book that is a series of images, all connected to a single theme.
For instance, if you were struck by the variety of doors in an ancient city you have visited and that city is the subject of your photo book, having a page with a dozen close-ups of doors would be fine.
With the story of your digitally recorded event being the guiding principal of your photo book, having pages in a sequence which advances the photographic narrative to its logical conclusion is of the utmost importance. Good story telling naturally indicates when all has been said and it's time to get to the "And they lived happily ever after" phase. And when you get to that point, your photo book has lasted as long as it ought.
How long should your completed photo book last, once it has been printed, bound between the covers of your choice, and found it's way back to your home and to the others who were very pleased to receive it? That's the forever part of the answer.
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