This December I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Toronto, Canada to teach two fashion photography workshops at Pikto Studios, based in the picturesque Distillery District.
Pikto Studios was the perfect place to host an event: bright, spacious; flooded with natural light and the space had a clean, modern layout. The backdrop of the studio location reminded me of my hometown and the abandoned/urban spaces I used for the backdrops in my starting photo shoots, which I think I was so drawn to using it when I first set my eyes upon the images of it! … and not to mention the space! The open layout enabled my styling team, models and the attendees to interact and collaborate freely throughout the day.
As usual, my workshops opened many opportunities for me to meet some fantastic and inspiring people from all over Canada. If it’s one thing I love about teaching workshops – it’s the networking! It was great to see how many of the attendees and my styling team started to network with one another.
A big thank you to my styling team Shawnna & Tasha & models on the day Marta & Michie. Also a big thank you to Spot 6 Management & Peggi Le Page model scout and finally Kim Akrigg, Tawni Bannister & Cammy Jones for your assistance!
In addition to being a fantastic studio/event space – Pikto studios is also well known for its photo books. I managed to pick up my own photo book whilst working in the space and I’m very happy with the outcome so I thought I’d share my two cents on the Pikto photo book Experience!
We all know the feeling: we share our work online, viewing them on digital screens and applications – but what we would really like to see is a finished product. There’s nothing like seeing your work in print and printing a photo book is a great way achieving this. With a photo book you can tell a story, share a journey, or share your experiences with friends and family! A photo book is also a great format to use to create a unique portfolio to share with potential clients.
To get to the final product, users must first download an easy-to-use application called ‘Pikto BOOKit’. The application’s layout is extremely easy for any user to figure out as well as to upload your photographs with. I found that the best way to upload was to re-name and organize all of my files into one single folder (in order I want them to appear in the book). The other great thing about ‘BOOKit’ is the ability to choose between creating a book from a template or entirely from scratch.
The book featured above is the Pikto 11×14″ portrait Hardcover leatherette option with an embossed ‘silver’ name print on the cover.
The choice of options for the book is fantastic – Pikto offers nine layout sizes (ranging from 5×7″, 8.5×11″ to 12×12″), a page count option (between 20 up to 90 pages) and various book cover materials (from leather, leatherette to linen) to “give you the look of a traditionally printed coffee table art book” – and that’s exactly what it is, each book tells a story and you can custom each part to make it your own. There are also further presentation options, such as text embossing on the cover and spine in a variety of colors – perfect if you’re using the book for presenting, or if you want to add a custom title option for a client.
Visual print quality is complimentary to the ‘real’ image and works extremely well on colorful and lighter images. On my particular images, the dark tones were slightly darker, but this isn’t that noticeable (or so it wouldn’t be to someone that didn’t thoroughly know my work). The paper is hard-wearing and heavy, and the binding is done by a ‘floating’ spine enforcing the ‘quality’ you get from Pikto overall – they do not cut any corners with any of the book options.
Let’s take a closer look at the book…
Pricewise – Pikto is neither inexpensive nor expensive, they charge an acceptable amount for the quality and options they offer. The usual turnaround time from submission is just one week (they got mine finished within two days!), and you can have your book mailed to you, or you can pick it up yourself from their Toronto store.
Overall, I think Pikto offers a very satisfying service to the general public and working photographer alike – their range of options make it easy to chose a book that’s unique to the individual and the customer service I received upon my order was impeccable (which of course was great since I am prone to making mistakes upon orders, sorry Pikto!)
For more information on Pikto and to view their services, visit the official website: www.pikto.com