OK fine, I’ll come clean.
Twitter’s favorite film photography patch, sticker and decal magnate Mike Padua got in touch with me a few months ago telling me he had an idea up his creative little sleeve. I listened, nodded my head, drooled a bit and then asked him if I could somehow get involved.
Well, Mike’s just about ready to share what all this extra activity has been about and he’s given yours truly permission to help spread the word – I couldn’t be happier!
Here’s the man himself to tell you all about it:
Alright Mike, what’s all this about?
MP: I created PhotoMemo as a way to organize all the notes and data I had on all the rolls of film I was shooting.
Since I’m always testing new cameras and film, I would sometimes process rolls weeks or even months later. I’d often completely forget which camera I had used, the dates I’d shot the roll on, and other technical data, like how I rated the film and I metered the scenes.
I had plain notebooks that I used but I always wished I had something dedicated specifically for photography – with useful layout that made sense. Thus, the idea for PhotoMemo was born.
Walk us through the process
MP: I made some rough layouts using Adobe Indesign, which was a lot of fun, since I have a background in graphic design and commercial printing.
Over the course a few weeks, I refined things and then started asking around for input from friends, and even sent out a few prototypes. I got back some really useful feedback and made more refinements.
This part took a really long time – a couple of months, in fact. For being such a really simple design, it seems like that was a long time, and it was. But I didn’t want to rush anything, especially since I was having so many of these things printed.
I put a lot of thought into the feedback I got, and how I can make this as useful to as many people as possible.
My goal was to make it flexible – you can take general notes regarding a roll, like location or subject, or you can get really specific, like logging the exposure data on each exposure. Or you can do a combination of both. There are really no rules on how you can use it. I wanted the end user to be able to “make it their own.”
Can you tell us a little about your design choices?
Ink color choices were something I agonized over. I wanted the interior lines and headings to be dark enough to see easily in a variety of lighting conditions, but light enough that they wouldn’t be visually distracting against handwriting or sketches – and even light enough to be ignored completely if you don’t want to use the pre-printed fields and instead just use it as a plain, free form notebook.
I think I struck that balance.
I wanted the ink color on the cover (as well as the cover stock itself), to match the packaging from the other things that I offer on my website, but not be exactly the same, so I needed some time to decide on that, too.
Printing yourself? Your ink and paper bill must have been astronomical!
Once all of the ink, paper, typesetting and cover stock was decided, I worked with CALITHO in Concord, California to get the books printed.
Not only are they an amazing, high quality commercial printer, but my very good friend Tony (the best man at my wedding and my friend since the 3rd grade), is a graphic designer and works in their prepress department. He personally handled the prepress on this project.
Prepress is basically getting the digital files ready to be printed on a huge printing press, since these are printed multiple-up on large sheets of paper, and need to be impositioned as such.
Tony stressed out over this project more than me when I handed the files over!
So? Where are they?!
They’re done, in, hand, and finally shipping!
I’m really excited about this product and while I know there are other notebook options and smartphone apps that people can use, I’m hoping that some folks in the community can find this tool useful.
I’ve created TWO videos: one that details what PhoteMemo is, and one that is a behind-the-scenes making-of video!
Here you go:
Intro to PhotoMemo:
Making of PhotoMemo:
Thanks Mike! This is such a great idea and if you’re sold on the idea and want to see what PhotoMemo is all about, you can exchange an incredibly reasonable $9.99 plus shipping for a PhotoMemo 2-pack right here: http://shootfilmco.com/products/photomemo-photographers-memo-book-2-pack.
If that’s not enough to entice you, Mike’s also set up a discount code that anyone savvy enough to read this far can use to take 20% off the price of their order.
Simply enter the discount code “emulsive” (without quotes), at checkout get your discount.
The code is good through the rest of 2016!
Oh, one more thing…
Competition / unnecessary hashtag alert
We’re giving a PhotoMemo 2-pack away to seven lucky readers!
All you need to do is tell us why you need PhotoMemo in your photographic life. Simply jump over to Twitter and tweet: “I need #PhotoMemo because…” with your reason.
For example (and you can’t use this one): “I need a #PhotoMemo because sometimes I doodle cameras at the drive-thru.”
The hashtag is important, as it’ll help track your entries and the competition runs from today until midnight PST on October 16th 2016. Whoever makes Mike laugh out loud the loudest each day will be the recipient of a 2-pack from the EMULSIVE and Shoot Film Co stash.
Finally, don’t forget that you can find Mike all over the internet – literally:
Facebook: Shoot Film Co.
Mike will be available in the comments to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to ask away below!
Your turn: submit an article
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.