Pee Wee’s Garage – Self-Publishing a Photo Book

Tips on creating photography projects, and self-publishing a photo book.

INTRODUCTION

In 2006 I began working on a book about my neighbor, Pee Wee Wright. Pee Wee was more than a neighbor, he was a friend. Pee Wee was a tradesman, he worked as a welder on buildings and helped friends who stopped by on the weekends. His garage was unique—I always wanted to photograph it, but never got the courage to ask if I could. I finally did, but I never completed the book. In 2019 I made another effort to finish the book. The book is not available yet, but I am finally in the proofing stages. My Blurb profile can be found here.

I created this page as a How-To post. It covers how I photographed the space, post-processed the images, and put them together to make a book. This technical information is not available in the book. Don’t buy the book because you want to learn how it was created. Buy the book because you want to see the results from all this effort.

Who is this for?

You are a photographer. You know that you can call yourself one. You could be an advanced photo hobbyist, but you still refer to yourself as a photographer. If you are a beginner, you might not consider yourself a photographer but rather someone who just takes “pictures.” This technical content might be a challenge for you. In other words; you should already know your way around photography and post-production. I’m not going to go into every detail of how to do it. It will be more surface level that an experienced photographer will understand. 

True, anyone can make a book without this information. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You might wonder what you did wrong. This page of “metanotes” should help steer you in the right direction.

What are metanotes? 

Not to sidetrack but this information is vital if you want to learn how I did this project. You are correct, it’s not even a word, but it should be. Let’s look at the word “metadata.” Metadata is information that describes what is in a file. If you had a photo of a red balloon in the sky, you would state in text, within the file what the image showed. In Photoshop, this information is accessed through the File/File Info dialog box. There are fields for all kinds of information or metadata. It lives with the file but is not obtained when a search engine spiders your files…at least that we know of. It’s a shame really. 

Anyway, since the book is the story, I refer to the notes you are reading as metanotes. There is the story, and then there is the story of how the story was made: metanotes. I even keep a category for it in my EverNote app. More on that app later.

This technical information is only available here, for you, for free. If you ever wanted to know the steps to producing a body of work in print, this page should fill in some of the blanks. I hope that you will want to purchase the story after reading about how I went about making it.  

This page also provides links to various products and services that I used when putting the book together. I have no affiliation to any of them other than I used their product or service to help me reach my goal. 

More to come.

Author: Mark Gilvey

Mark Gilvey is a photographic artist based in Woodbridge, Virginia. He is highly skilled in many forms of photography, photo-retouching and enhancement. His background includes working in film making optical special effects, printing in both black & white and color darkrooms, high-end print and slide scanning and photo – retouching. He also has a great deal of experience in graphic design, website development, search engine optimization, motion graphics, and speaker support presentation development. Mark has been a speaker at several photography and marketing meetings and seminars in Northern Virginia and Maryland.
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