Blurb Books (A guide to self-publishing for photographers) – FEATURE

By Chris Harrison

Blurb books are a great way of getting your work seen. I first used them nearly six years ago when I was shooting with a model called Alice a lot. We decided we wanted to make a book of all the images we were making, to showcase both our works. “Alice – a models journey” was made.

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At the time you had to download software and put the book together then export it to the Blurb site to be made.  You can still make them that way but now it’s easier to do through Lightroom, which is how I have made the last two.

You can pick the format of the book (mine are all square 7″ x  7″) and also have each page the same or different. There is an almost endless template of pages for you to play around with to get the look you want.

My second book was some of my Fuji Instax images. Seemed like a good idea. A second volume of that should be on the way soon.


It can be a bit of a learning curve putting the books together and it can be a fairly slowish process.However it is so worth it when you get it finished and you are ready to send it off the Blurb to be printed and published.

In the summer of 2014 I started shooting another model regularly (also called Alice) and we decided to follow a process with the intention of making a book. The plan was five road trips about the beauty of the model and the beauty of the North East, and especially Northumberland. (Hence the title)This was the most fun I think I have had in a long time. Alice developed really well as a model over the shoots, and we ended up with some of my favourite ever images.


My latest book, which I only finished yesterday (10/12/2015) is of Emily. I met her through my son, and very soon I asked her if she wanted to do a shoot. The answer was no! It continued to be, ‘no’ for quite some time, until eventually she agreed to shoot with me. Emily is a very good photographer in her own right and I think she prefers to be on the other side of the camera. At least she used to. We have made hundreds and hundreds of images together now and again a book was always the intention.

That has now turned into more than one book (not sure how many yet) as we have so many images. The first one is taken from a fantastic day at Tanfield Railway. We went with the title “Steamtrains and a beautiful girl”


When the finished book arrives its a great feeling to have something physical in your hands rather than just an image on a computer screen. Making Blurb books will never make a load of money (you can sell for profit if you so wish–I sell at cost) but it’s just the joy you get from actually having a book. It’s a great way to show people your work. The models love getting the books too.

You can buy my books here (go on-you know you want to) or follow the links to the home page and sign up and make your own.

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