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My First Photobook

A guest blog by @lucaskukas_

‘isolation. new zealand’ by Lucas Teng

What happens after you receive the developed and scanned photos from your film lab? Most of us would answer that we’d post it onto Facebook or Instagram and repeat the same process whenever we send in another roll. What if I told you that there’s a tangible way to compile your beautiful memories all together? Yeap, I’m talking about photobooks.



Nikon F4

So why photobooks? The answer is pretty simple, it’s similar to a family photo album but with a carefully curated theme or story supported by written words, thoughts, or even poetry. Personally, I think that the act of taking a photo takes up 50% of the fun while the other half of the fun goes to compiling and printing out my work through storytelling.


Back in Oct 2018 until June 2019, I was staying abroad in New Zealand. With me I brought along a Nikon F4 and 10 rolls of film (should’ve brought more). During my time there, I travelled across breath-taking landscapes and had joy using all of the rolls.











When I came back home to KL and got back my photos from Darkroom8, I decided to dedicate the wonderful 8 months I had there by compiling it all into a photobook named - ‘isolation. new zealand’.


Agfa Vista 400

The whole process took around 1 year. Back in September 2019, I started by printing out the photos into 4R sizes and categorising it by themes first. As I slowly arranged it, I noticed a common theme from the photos, it was a sense of ‘isolation’.


Agfa Vista 400

With that concept in mind, I started plotting the photos into a book layout on Adobe InDesign. This step took around 2-3 months as I took plenty of time fine-tuning it. Once it was completed, I only shared it with close friends & family. Fast forward to April 2020 in the midst of quarantine, I decided to share it online on Issuu. It was surprisingly well liked by friends and it further motivated me in taking the next step to print it into physical copies during September. As of today, I have recently started selling batch 2 of the copies and never had I expected such warm response and support from everyone. All the New Zealand memories were in that photobook and knowing that I can bring the readers to travel along during this pandemic year is a great feeling to have.


Agfa Vista 200

To sum things up, would I suggest you compile your memories into a photobook? Absolutely yes! Most importantly, enjoy the process and don’t overthink. Now that we’re all stuck at home, it’s the best time to start your first ever photobook. Have fun!


(If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the photobook, do DM me on @lucaskukas_ . Thank you!)


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