I recently printed a test portfolio, through Issuu, an online magazine hub. I was very impressed with the print quality and think I might have landed on a unique and affordable option for a group of multiple books I am working on. There are some limitations with this, it is really meant to print magazines. However, they do offer a soft cover book option at a very affordable price. I also like that it is a lot less labor intensive than Blurb, which I have been using for years. With that I have to convert all my files to jpegs, upload them to their software then layout the book page by page. Also they only offer large photo books with a horizontal landscape layout option which I don't want. If they offered a large vertical option, they would be my first choice. I am considering using Pikto which does an 11x14 portrait book.
Over the years my portfolios have taken on many incarnations a shown above, from a box of prints to fully printed books. Despite websites becoming the primary selling tool for most photographers, the printed portfolio is still an important tool. I think there is something special about the tactile experience and seeing images beautifully printed. It also gives you a reason to meet with potential clients face to face, a good away to stand out in their minds from the crowd.
Issuu is an online magazine platform that allows anyone to create their own publications and provides a dynamic page turning interface as shown above. It is also free to create an account, though you need a paid account to remove ads when displaying on the web. I have been using it for a while now but only just thought to actually try printing one of my uploads.
The good; excellent (above expectation) print quality, great price, just under $25 with international shipping and easy to use, just upload a PDF.
The bad; limited size options, the largest is 8.5 x 11, soft cover only and back cover has a bar code stamp with no way to remove it so I'm planning to leave that blank, as a kind of work around.
all photos & content © Lara Rossignol