I used to have 2 homepages, one to represent my photography profile and the other one to tell stories of my travels around the world. Both sites were hosten on a server i managed in my spare time. But as this was an old operating system that was end of life, I had to do something with my sites. Even though I am an IT engineer by profession, wanted to focus on the design and the selection of photos for the presentation. I decided to merge both sites into one and present you my stories and pictures both here.
I was searching for a simple place to present my my pictures. After some research I came up with WIX and Squarespace. After looking at the templates I liked squarespace a little bit more and did my first experiments on here. I have to say that it was really easy to create a simple, nice homepage without much work or knowledge and achieve great results.
I present my pictures in three galleries.
I used to mostly take pictures of skiers and snowboarders doing freestyle. Today I prefer to ride powder myself. But there is still chance to take pictures of my friends hiking and riding.
I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world: the swiss alps. Lately I got back into hiking. As always I have my cam with me and try to document the beauty of our world.
Not only mountains are interesting, also people and architecture from all around the world. I try to carry my camera always with me and take pictures from interesting scenes I encounter.
In todays world everyone is presenting their pictures online on their homepage and instagram. And to be honest I was not any better. But then while redesigning my homepage I was invited to try creating a photo book on saal-digital.ch. I did not have to think for a long time. I wanted a printed portfolio or better yet a coffee table book for a long time. But I never found a good place to do it. They had either horrible software to layout the books or were super expensive if they allowed you to upload pdfs created in a DTP software. From my time at the university I have some experience working with a DTP software like Adobe InDesing or Affinity Publisher. I was really happy when I discovered that I can upload PDFs and print from them. Saal Digital not only supports that but has a huge amount of information about sizing, color management and quality. They even provide templates for InDesign and Photoshop.
As I started designing the book, I had my first hard decision. What format will fit my pictures best. After a lot of back and forth, checking the examples on the homepage and experimenting on my computer, I had the feeling, that a square book will look the best. I have quite a mix of landscape and portrait shots. While other formats cater more to one or the other, a square is neutral and supports both.
I wanted to try my new DTP software from Atfinity called Publisher. I have experience with InDesign, but I am very intrigued about this new product. So I had to create my own template. With the precise sizing guides from Saal Digital this was no problem whatsoever. Next step was do jdecide on a layout and flow of the Book. I wanted to include the same division into snow, landscape and urban as I have on my homepage. Then the hardest part started. I set myself a limit of 25 double sides and therefore had to be very strict with myself in choosing what pictures I want to display. Some experiments and rearranging later, I had 25 spreads arranged and ready to export. The only thing I was missing was a new Logo. I checked some offerings on fiverr.com and spend a little bit of money to get a logo. Funny side note: I asked the guy to have ski-tracks in the logos. Only after getting the revision back I realised, that a guy from India might not know what I mean by that. So I fixed it myself and ended up with this logo.
I wanted a very clean and simple look of my book. I only put my logo on a white background as my cover. Also, I did not use any text except for the chapter titles. Once done with the layout and collecting all the feedback from my friends about the choice of pictures and the design I went on to order the book. I twas an easy and straight forward process. I had to upload the PDF to their web application. There I had to drag each page on the template and choose a full site template. If I have to say one negative point, I would say it would be great, if I upload a PDF it should be already full spread. But this is just a minor thing, as it took me approximately 5 minutes to correct this issue. Once the order was done the wait begun. To my astonishment, it was only a short wait and the book arrived a few days later in my office. I was sunned. Pictures have so much a bigger impact when they are printed. The print is very detailed and lifelike, the paper great to touch and the overall quality very hefty. I was not sure about the fold and how this might look. Saal-Digital promoted their version of binding as almost flat. I have to say they did not disappoint at all. I printed the book 19x19 cm as I was not yet convinced. But I already decided I will get a bigger book to display on my coffee table.
Me having now my new homepage and my portfolio, finally I also wanted new business cards. When you walk down the streets and take photos of people, it is really hard to explain that you just like to take pictures because you like it. Everybody thinks you are weird or creepy. But If you tell them you have an art project going on and hand them a business card with your instagram account or your homepage, the people are way friendlier and even pose for a picture.