Photo Essay

My Book Project : Herding Cats

301/365 Hawking my book

Like many JPG contributors, I have longed to see my best work in the pages of the magazine, and like most of us, I am still waiting for that to happen. A couple of months ago, on a fellow JPGer's pages, I saw another way to experience my work in print; by self publishing my own book.

I downloaded free "BookSmart" software to create my own portfolio from I don't intend this article to be a sales pitch for Blurb's software. I will just say that I found it to be very user friendly, with lots of options for creating a book in many formats.

Having found a means to creating a portfolio in book format, I spent days sifting through my hard drives for the work I wanted to present. I decided my first book project would focus on the portraits I have made over the last five years of the family cats, Sam and Frodo. I work from home and the boys are always about and willing to cooperate, more or less, when I have the urge to pick up a camera. Consequently, there were hundreds of photographs to evaluate. I wanted the book to have a uniform look, so I finally decided on just the black and white portraits.

I usually try to achieve a slightly warm tone for my black and white work for viewing on a monitor. I have found these look a bit muddy when printed. So I converted all the photographs for the book to a more desaturated black and white. Once the photographs were ready, I used the blurb software to create the book's layout. I titled my book Herding Cats.

Once assembled, I uploaded the book to the Blurb website and ordered a copy. The book arrived about a week later. I have to say that I am extremely happy with it's quality.

It's pretty cool to have a book on the coffee table of my own photographs. And the photos are in a format that will, no doubt, outlive me, Sam and Frodo.

The photographs presented here are a few of my favorites included in the book. If you would like to see more, you can preview the book from cover to cover at

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7 responses

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham (Deleted) gave props (7 Nov 2009):

    I will most certainly have to check this site out. Great shots and story. Has my vote.

  • Lynda Jeffers

    Lynda Jeffers (Deleted) gave props (7 Nov 2009):

    What a great idea and your photos are fantastic, I share my house with five cats and they are such wonderful pets. You have captured your two perfectly, have my vote!!

  • Michaela K.

    Michaela K. gave props (7 Nov 2009):

    my vote !!!

  • Cesar Robles

    Cesar Robles gave props (7 Nov 2009):

    you got my vote!!

  • Spectre Photo

    Spectre Photo gave props (9 Nov 2009):

    Ahh!!! This is wonderful! I'm def going to check it out! :)

  • Donna Whitecotton

    Donna Whitecotton gave props (27 Nov 2009):

    Wonderful story....gets my vote....well done, Brother

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes gave props (21 Jul 2011):

    A wonderful photo essay,voted. I also have used to Blurb for a couple of books, and am happy with the results. I am going to check out your book today, can't wait!

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