The Folio Concept for Organizing Photographs

I have never done a good job, or even a bad job, of organizing a collection of my photography. A couple of years ago I bought some archival boxes to store prints in but there was not a good way to keep the metadata: the subject, date, title, etc. Then I tried the Blurb plugin in Lightroom to make a book. It was better but I immediately found a typo that I had overlooked and the images while ok were…well they were ok.

Last year when I was submitting my Wintermarsh project for consideration in Seeing in Sixes 2019 I ran across Brooks Jensen’s idea of folios. It seemed like it might be just what I was looking for.

I checked with a local printer about their capability for cutting and printing the covers. It was going to be expensive. After thinking about it a little bit I decided to make my own. I called the printer back to see if they had any 100 lb cover stock and if they could cut it to 26″ x 13″. They did and charged me only  one dollar per sheet! The color choices were: white.

I laid out the template design in Apple Pages and printed a couple on my Canon Pro-100 printer. I cut and folded them by hand following the video suggestions on the Lenswork web site. I assembled the first six folios last fall and I have at least another six in process.  While I was printing the images I also developed a method to estimate the cost of the ink for each print.  I’ll try to post a description but I can tell you that it’s more expensive than I would have thought.

The completed folio consists of the printed cover, with a tab closure, a text signature, a separator sheet, from six to perhaps twelve 6″x9″ images printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, and a stiffening card.  The text signature contains a list of prints with title, location, and date on the front and  a description of the project or other narrative associated with the collection of images on the back.

My folios are not as sophisticated or elegant as the Brooks Jensen folios but they are exactly what I need to organize at least some of my favorite images. The image quality is much better than a print-on-demand book and they are a little less expensive and easier to make. And typos can be corrected easily!  The prints are meant to be held and examined but can, of course, be framed under a window mat in an 11″ x 14″ frame.