Thursday, December 30, 2010

Photobooks

Christmas is over and our parents have received their photobooks, so I can write a quick review.  We used Snapfish and I'm very very pleased with the results.  We got a honeymoon book made with Blurb, but the price is high and the quality isn't better than Snapfish's.  I looked around at some of the other places prices, but they seemed pretty high, or didn't have many layout choices, or their upload process was obnoxious.  So we went with Snapfish.  A huge advantage turned out to be that they got to us on time - we got them in about 4 days, four and two weeks before Christmas.  I ordered my parent's album first, to make sure we liked it, and in case we made any mistakes, and then Mark's parents was ordered two weeks later.

We got the 12" Signature Leather Albums.  I worked up cases for them for our parents out of the burlap that our chair covers came in - this was a super easy project and a fun way to make the albums a little more special.  Oh, and it got rid of the leftover burlap.
I made holiday tags this year by using a 1 1/2 inch punch, writing names, and then safety pinning them to the bags.  It worked really well and I highly recommend it.
Snapfish also sent the albums in a pretty cardstock case.
The first page has a vellum overlay, and then the first actual page.  
The paper is not terribly thick (it doesn't feel cheap, but it also doesn't feel impressive) and the book isn't lay-flat.  
Another thing to keep in mind - with a paper-page photobook, 20 pages is not enough.  It doesn't feel impressive.  It looks pretty sad.  We did grandparent albums and they were 20 pages each.  The covers were thicker than the pages!  So for these, we learned from that and doubled the number of pages.  The albums were both over 40 pages long - which is the minimum I would say you should have if you want an "impressive" feeling album.  

I feel like the full page spreads are really nice, especially in the 9x11 books, but with the 12x12 books, the full page spreads were a bit overwhelming.  My favorite layout wound up being one with a large picture and then three small pictures on top or underneath.  I love that with the 12x12 book, even the small pictures aren't very small.  

Cons include the shinyness of the pictures.  On a scale of 1-10, I would put the quality of the printing around a 6-7.  The shininess, and graininess, of the photos is the contributing factor there.  

Also, when you go to the snapfish website and make a 12x12 book, the layouts they give you are all short - they are meant for the smaller books.  You can instead pick a 1-photo layout, and then add the images directly to the page.  This will force the software to add additional images and format them.  It actually did a really nice job formatting and taking into account how an image was oriented.  

I combined 3 different "sets" of Snapfish backgrounds, which I didn't know you could do (and I didn't do for our grandparent albums.)  I used a wedding one with borders, a navy one, and a "naturals" set.

Last page of one album

Last page of the other.  I felt like the text was actually redundant, since we had put the date and our names on the front as well, but my mom likes photos to be labeled.  

The leather cover is a bit padded, which is nice.  

There's a doofy glossy page and snapfish logo at the very back.  I wish they had just put in another sheet of vellum.  

You can usually get 25-35% off and free shipping deals with Snapfish - plus, our grandparent albums were buy-one-get-two-free, so those were very reasonable.  Would I make this as our wedding album that we will keep for years and years?  Probably not - the quality isn't high enough, and Mark really wants a flush mount.  But if your budget for an album for yourself is $50, I'd say these albums are a pretty good way to go.

2 comments:

  1. AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing your experience here. Great tips. And your photo books look amazing! xoxo.

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  2. they look beautiful....love the burlap covers...so creative. i'm sure they loved them!

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