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Book review: "Photojojo: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas"

Cover of "Photojojo" Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas"
Cover of "Photojojo" Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas"
cover image courtesy Photojojo

Photojojo: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas

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Photojojo started as a web newsletter encouraging people to resurrect their get long-forgotten photo files from their computer archives, converting them into fun projects. The book "Photojojo: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas" is a natural progression of the newsletter and blog for photo-lovers. The first half of the book appeals more to crafty folks, with a few dozen projects utilizing photographs and photo-printed items. The second half of the book appeals more to photography hobbyists, offering a number of experiments employing cameras. If you’ve got a few hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon, many of the crafts projects are a great way to pass some time.

The overly casual lingo and patchwork layouts lets readers know this book is meant to appeal to hip, crafty DIY folks. If you are used to more formal arrangements for step-by-step crafting with large analogous images, you may find this book takes a bit of effort to follow.

The supplies list is somewhat daunting for the infrequent crafter, so you’ll need to plan ahead. Knowledge of and advanced use of items like sewing machine, drill, glue gun, hacksaw, spray adhesive, and X-acto knife are required for a number of the craft projects. These are not tools or activities for children or even unsupervised young adults. Your choice of projects may depend on tools needed to produce the art. To make it a group activity, you may wish to invite a group of friends and see what tools and supplies each can bring.

Most projects are either offbeat gift ideas or quirky home décor. There’s the photo Rubik’s cube, retro plaque refrigerator magnets, snow globe, laptop cover, murals, mosaics, and lamp shades. A few of the simpler projects would make for great party favors as well, such as the fork bent in to a photo holder and photo tattoos.

The camera experiments and projects include a variety of ideas. There’s the Flickr-friendly 365/photo-a-day project, the funny “time machine” project where subjects reenact a childhood moment as an adult (to see a more refined version of this project, check out the photography of Irina Werning), doggie-cam, and self-made tripod for those too cheap to buy one for five bucks. I have actually seen curated gallery shows of “pet photography”. Maybe you, too, can make a few bucks off Fido’s adventures!

Perhaps the most useful part of the book is the glossary of resources in the back. It lists everything from photo hosting sites to art supply stores and craft centers to help you in your DIY photo crafting adventures.

"Photojojo" book is a great gift for the crafty person in your life as well as offbeat shutterbugs. Anyone who loves sentimental or unique homemade gifts will love your carefully crafted gifts inspired by the activities in the "Photojojo" book. If you want to give many photo gifts from this book for the holidays, I suggest you start planning and gathering your tools and materials now. Most importantly, start digging those forgotten photos out your computer archives and share them with the world in fun, creative ways.

To purchase your copy of the "Photojojo" book and many other fun camera-related gifts, visit: http://photojojo.com/store/all-site-instax

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