Instant Portfolios: Using Photobooks for Self-Promotion


These days, many artists tend to view photos virtually on computer monitors as well as the LCDs of smartphones and tablets. Yet, some of us still desire to look at and hold a real, physical book of images. For artists, such a book isn’t just about aesthetics, it’s about business: A beautifully bound photo book of your work can be an incredibly valuable self-promo piece that might entice gallery owners, curators and collectors to give your work a second look.

Luckily, there are many online services that allow you to create compendiums of photographs for as little as $30. And it doesn’t even take all that long to create, just an hour or two to produce a 20-page bound art journal or folio of your latest paintings.

There are some great services online that can produce an astonishing range of photobooks, including Blurb, Shutterfly¬†and Snapfish, to name just a few. I’ve also been impressed with what large retailers like Walmart have to offer. In some cases, these services include mobile apps that allow you to create books directly from your smartphone, which can be convenient. Also, most of these photo services have some very easy-to-use templates and help guides.

Most photo book services are easy to use and let you quickly set up an album with templates or themes for both the cover and the interior pages. You should note that the prices vary significantly, depending on a number of factors, including book size, number of pages and paper stock. But the good news is since most services offer a variety of types of books, a host of options and methods of delivery, you’re almost bound to find a service that’s right for you.

Find out more about digital portfolios in my State of the Art column in the April/May 2017 issue of Professional Artist magazine.

Terry Sullivan is the former editor of Professional Artist magazine and the former technical editor at American Artist magazine. He currently is an editor at Consumer Reports, where he covers digital cameras, camcorders, smart phones audio and virtual reality. He is also an artist and musician. Follow him on Twitter: @TerryCR.