Tutorial: Make Your Own Hard-Cover Photography Portfolio


When I started freelancing as a professional photographer, I knew I had to put together a printed portfolio. Unfortunately, I found it very hard to find useful resources on the Internet on how to actually do this. As I had some experience in bookbinding I managed to bind my first book by myself, but after three books I realized that in this stage of my career, I needed to have something a little more flexible.

I was aware of books that worked with book screws, but I always thought they don’t open that well and I disliked the look of the screws going through the cover. After some research, I found some books that hid the screws behind the cover, and I realized that this will also help the whole opening mechanism. As I didn’t want a standardized book, I decided to create one myself.

In the interest of sharing, I filmed the creation of my latest book and put together a tutorial.

To follow this tutorial, you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Bookbinding linen
  • Book screws
  • Folding bone
  • Hole puncher
  • cutting machine (or a box cutter)

The book consists of a cover and a body, which function according to the same principle: gluing three cardboard elements to some bookbinding linen to create a hinge. After completing the two parts, they can simply be glued together, and the pages can be printed and added to the book. For a full, step-by-step breakdown, check out the video up top and follow along.

The process is pretty easy, and I’m certain that if you’re a little handy, you can create your own portfolio as well!

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Instagram.

About the author: Nicola Tröhler is a photographer and director based in switzerland. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Instagram.

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