Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Once again for those who enjoy creative and fun challenges the Solo Foto Book Month (SOFOBOMO) is about to start for its 4rd year. The only downside being that you didn't have a stimulating time.

Well there may be a little stress but this is only self induced by thinking that this project just has to be perfect. After having participated in the last 2 years, the advice I give here is to relax a little, have fun and do enjoy the discovery of telling a story in book of photographs.

You can register and get lots of great information and even view previous years submissions at SOFOBOMO website.

As with most challenges there are some rules but these help to contain the effort to a manageable level.

Red and White Boats from SOFOBOMO 2010 “A Walk around the Pond'

The photos must be taken within the month of July.

Within 30 days of the first photographs taken and used in Book, the e-book (PDF etc.) must be completed.
There is always some planning and testing before your official launch date. Never constrain yourself if you don't have to.

There must be at least 35 images that you took during the 30 days.
For the most part, straight forward but there is some guidance I can give.

White Magnolia tree from SOFOBOMO 2008  'The Land and the River

My own approach is to plan as follows:

Pre-start is about planning your shoots. What  equipment you will use, locations and any weather constraints, time-of-day for sun angles to light objects.

1st week to get out and get the images. For many who work during the week you could assign both weekends to this.

2nd week for photo selection and editing. You need to tell a story in images.

3rd week to layout the book and write a few words if you want but not required.

This gives you an extra week at the end to overcome any problems, like needing more images or more time in the other parts that always seems to go astray.

The key item for me is that I am not trying to create a book that will sell millions or even 10s, but a book that I will enjoy and in the process learn more about what it takes to make a book.

Part of undertaking the SoFoBoMo project is to enjoy the process and learn to be flexible in your approach. There are always some things that will pop up that causes a change in the course. If you enjoy what you are doing and are not concerned with what others are achieving or how they will view your book, then adapting should be part of the excitement and not a frustration. 

Garlic bud in light tent form SOFOBOMO 2010 'Food at My Table'

Remember that any planning work and getting equipment and tools together is not part of the 31-day window. Take your time now to get it all right, because you can start anywhere within the month of July and this will help you out later on.

I find it’s best to have a back-up theme, while probably not as good as your first choice, it will allow you to complete the book should something unforeseen happen with the first idea. Completing the book is more important than how super your images are.

I have more detailed advice in the following link below

10 Great Photography Projects SOFOBOMO

This is a great project and challenge and I strongly encourage everyone to make a stab at it.
You just might end up with a good book that you could publish and hand out at Christmas or other celebrations.

Niels Henriksen

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails