Online Workshop – Photobook Development, Evenings 16th – 20th January 2023


An intensive workshop on developing a dummy photobook.

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What is it?
It can be challenging to translate a photographic project into an engaging concept and design for a photobook. This workshop explores strategies and techniques for developing a dummy book. The goal is that by the end of the day you have everything you need to produce a PDF dummy book which can then either be disseminated in that form or sent to a printer to make a physical book.

What does it cover?
This workshop will lead participants through a series of discussions, examples and exercises designed to explore the formulation of a concept for a photobook, and then ways of developing that concept into a book design which can form the basis of a digital or physical photobook dummy . It covers ways of developing a concept based on a pre-existing body of work, a discussion of fundamental graphic design principles useful for book design, and then moves on to looking at how to start laying out a design for a dummy book in the industry standard Adobe Indesign software, and a final section on production and publishing considerations. Please see below for a detailed outline of the schedule.

Who should do it?
Anyone interested in developing a photographic project into a photobook. Participants do not need prior experience of book development, graphic design or Adobe Indesign as the basics of all three will be covered during the workshop.

How is it delivered?
The workshop is broken into four elements delivered online over the course of a day, with breaks in between for participants to recharge and work independently on small activities on the topics covered in the previous element. The workshop is taught using a browser based video conferencing platform called Jitsi. You’ll be sent a link to join, there is no need to create an account or download anything. At the end you will also be sent a recording of the workshop.

Who is leading it?
My name is Lewis Bush, I’m a photographer, researcher and writer who has used books extensively as an end format for my projects, some of which have been widely exhibited, acclaimed and awarded. I have extensive experience of online teaching including as senior lecturer and former course leader of the London College of Communications MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (online). You can read my full bio here.

What will I need?
Participants should ideally have a photographic project (either in progress or completed) which they can use as source material for the Indesign stage of the workshop. A device with a trial or full version of Adobe Indesign installed would also be useful so you can follow along the section on Indesign essentials and experiment with it during the activity sections, however these will be recorded so you can also do this after the workshop.


  • 16th January 6 – 7.30pm – Developing a raw project into a book concept which can be used to inform design choices.
  • 17th January 6 – 7.30pm – Graphic design fundmentals, including formats, layouts, typography, colours, and different approaches to using images
  • 19th January 6 – 7.30pm – An introduction to Adobe Indesign, covering the fundamental steps and tools needed to set up and start designing a book project
  • 20th January 6 – 7.30pmBindings, papers, printing, and publishers, final questions and discussion about the day’s topics.

Testimonials from past participants:

‘It was a really informative day.  The form doesn’t give me enough space to say how helpful the experience was. … On top of all the great teaching, the day was friendly and fun. The food was excellent, which is very important to me.  Your room works exceptionally well and it is easy to see how much thought you have given to the layout of the space, with clever hidden gems like the magnetic walls.’
– Nicola, Visual Storytelling participant

‘There really wasn’t any weak point during the day. As a busy working photographer predominantly delivering picture stories to clients, I found exploring the ‘science’ (for lack of a better word) behind much of what I instinctively do was absolutely fascinating.’
– Marcus, Visual Storytelling participant

‘I found the visual storytelling techniques followed by practical exercises with pictures very useful. I also really appreciated the studio set up, your non-hierarchical relation with us and the down to earth environment of your house. ‘
– Visual Storytelling participant

The fine print:
I believe workshops should be small and intimate, and for that reason numbers are capped at 10 participants per workshop. However this small number also means I need at least 6 participants in order for them to run. In the unlikely event of a workshop having to be cancelled participants will have their full fee returned to them. Participants needing to cancel up to one week before the workshop will have their fee returned less a 20% charge. Cancellations made less than one week before the day of the workshop are non-refundable.

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