Amongst the activities planned for the club night on Thursday 9th January, Glyn and I are planning to give demonstrations on how to produce a photobook using online photo companies. This was requested by a few members after having seen some of the ones that we have produced.
Glyn and I like to have our favourite images printed in books because they look so much nicer in print than online and it’s a good way to get people to look at them, rather than clicking through multiple images online. We’ve also run out of wall space to hang our best photos and memories, so having albums has saved us from needing to move to a larger house!
One of my favourite quotes was from my teenage step-daughter as she was browsing through our newly printed wedding album, she said “It’s just like looking through a facebook photo album, only I can’t click that I like it!”. But as my father said after looking through my recent album of Portugal, “It’s so much nicer looking at the printed image than online, the colours are more vivid and the images come to life.”
There are a variety of companies that do this and I will place links at the bottom of this article to show you some of them.
Most of the online photobook websites require you to upload your photos to their site, but your images can be kept private from other users, so there isn’t the worry of your images being copied.
The range of products varies in each site, but most do A3, A4 and A5. There is usually a choice of paper finishes: glossy, matt and silk.
Photobooks aren’t the only option either, Glyn recently had printed a collage poster for a surprise present for a friend. She was so pleased with it and it’s now framed and on her wall. Other products include mugs, mousemats, cushions, diaries, calendars, phone covers plus more.
The software is pretty simple to use on all the sites I have used so far and we will be running through this on Thursday. Basically, after you have uploaded your photos, you click the size and format of the book you require. You can choose if you would prefer plain or pattern backgrounds. Most come with templates and you choose if you would like 0ne, two, three, four or multiple images to a page. Obviously, one image to a page is larger and more striking, but if you are like me and struggle to narrow down all of the photos you want to print, sometimes four or even six to a page is necessary.
There is also the option to add text, this can be captions or full paragraphs. When I go travelling, I like to write travel blogs and these days I seem to be writing more and more. I keep my blogs on travelblog.org for people to see online, but I also like to keep a printed version for me to peruse over in years to come when I’ve forgotten everything! So in the photobooks, I do have the option do have pages of text, or mix up the text with the photos, I do recommend that you paste your text into word or something similar to check for spelling and grammar. In the photobook software, you do have the ability to change fonts, text size and colour.
Glyn and I had our wedding album printed using Photobox.co.uk and were very impressed with the quality. For an extra £5 we could also have a hard sleeve to protect the cover and make it more special.
Recently I designed a wedding album for some friends as a wedding gift to them. I was able to design the album online and send a link to them, so that they could view it online and check that I had added all of their desired images before I had it printed. This is very handy, as I’d ordered a 100 page album and it wasn’t something I wanted to make any mistakes with!
One last thing to think about is getting a good price. Most of these online companies regularly have special offers and if you have accounts with them, you often receive emails letting you know of discounts. This is good to know as I have NEVER paid full price for an album! The most I’ve usually paid was half price. So always keep an eye on that because a full price A4 hardback album with 100 pages can cost £80-£100, but I have never paid more than £45 (and that was adding the deluxe extra sleeve!). Smaller books or having less pages costs less of course. Another good website to sign up to is Groupon, as they regularly have offers for cheap photo books.
Please note that after you buy an offer, you have a certain amount of time to create and complete your book, it usually is a month to three months. I would recommend that you check this when buying and make sure you have your photos ready because I have once had an offer expire before I used it.
|www.photobox.co.uk||This company is my favourite and they currently are having a January Sale! I’ve always been very happy with the print quality and turnaround.|
|www.smileyhippo.com||This company is also having a January sale. They require you to download thier software which can be a good option if your internet connection is slow. You then upload the images AFTER you have created your product.|
|www.snapfish.co.uk||I’m not sure if I’ve used this company, so cannot vouch for them.|
|www.photoworld.co.uk||Glyn recently used this for his Portugal album through an Amazon Local offer. He’s fairly happy with the print quality but thinks the images came out a little dark.|
|www.cewe-photobook.co.uk||I’ve not used this company, but a new club member recently showed me a book she had printed with them and it looked very good to me!|
|www.vistaprint.co.uk||Again, I have not used these, but ask Stephen Davis at the club and he will advise on great ways to get free stuff from this site!|
|www.tescophoto.com||I’ve not used Tescos for printing books yet, but they do have faux leather option which sounds pretty fancy!|
|www.groupon.co.uk||Groupon do all sorts of offers, but regularly have offers on photobooks, wall prints and canvases – you just need to sign up with them or check their website intermittently.|