Working on Animal Soul (which is the working title) has consumed most of my days for the last few months. I suppose it's easy to overlook how much work goes into something like this, ultimately to make it look as effortless as possible.
The idea is to have the pages look as though they just fell into place, when in truth, the work is heavy. There were seven weeks of three photo shoots a day in different locations, often up to 200km between each, followed by a month of sorting through the 16,000 photos, organising contracts, making my selections and editing each of them. Mind you, with so many different photos in the collection making a cut was by no means easy.
Each photo takes me approximately 30-60 minutes to get print ready, this involves basic tonal adjustments but lots of small tweaking work on the pixel level to make sure the backgrounds are truly black, this is is really what takes the most time. Now repeat this process for about 400 photos and we've got quite a lot of time spent in front of the editing station.
After that came the laying out. I started out with a 112 page gift book concept that has long since been abandoned. After laying out all the photos and trying to figure out which order of photos is most effective (there are literally trillions of possible combinations), I prepared it for printing and sent it off. I had that copy printed and took note of everything I wanted to change.
I have now spent the last two weeks arduously working to get draft #2 ready for printing. I'm currently waiting to receive the hard copy before I can go back and make adjustments. The current edition stands at 216 pages, has a finer paper than the first draft and is a lot more meticulously put together.
Once I receive the proof copies I can get moving. For now, I'm exploring options. I'm faced with two major ones: Self publish or seek an established publisher to take the project under their wing. Either way, the project is moving.
More updates later!