Photo Books

I've had a few questions about the photo books that I've had printed, and I figured I'd give my opinions with what little knowledge I have about them. So far I've used Kodak, Shutterfly and Blurb.

To be honest the Blurb books I did seemed really over-priced for what they were- soft cover 8x8 and hard cover 8.5x11, I think. One was a gift for my brother while he was on his mission, since he missed Kalea's first year of life. I put some time into it, actually more time than I should have, and when he brought it home and I actually got to see the finished product, I was a little steamed about it, but such is life. I didn't really edit any of the photos and I found the colors to be dark and not as vibrant. Maybe I missed something in the process, but that was really disappointing. The hardcover one was a little bit better because I made sure to lighten everything in Picasa, but it didn't auto-save the last minute changes that I made and so it shipped in a less desirable format, but I was also rushed in doing that one and didn't have the best quality photos, etc... So meh, it was a learning experience and I'm glad I used that site to teach me because it's made all others seem way easier :P
Blurb is also the only company that I've ever paid full-price for a photobook from. They don't have as many, as frequent, or as good deals as some other companies, but I hear that they are really good to use for printing "Blog books", I have zero experience with that though. Also, they don't have tons of options for embellishing your page, but they have some cute background choices.

I actually didn't mind Kodak. It was REALLY easy to use, but didn't really have any bells and whistles. So if you want to just get your photos in a book, this is a great option. I did mine VERY last minute because I had a coupon that was expiring so I made really simple collages in Picasa and uploaded them to the Kodak site and then auto-filled the book and added simple captions. Kalea is looking at it in the above photo.
I also like using Kodak because they ship to a FutureShop near you, so I just went there to pick it up and it was SO fast, I'm pretty sure it was only a week. My coupon was also for a FREE book. I think all I paid was a few dollars for the shipping to the store. That was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.

I am addicted. I have so many books started with these guys. I love that there's almost always a good deal 30-50% off all the time? Sign me up. I made a really nice 12x12 book (pictured with Brynlee above) and was quite happy with the result, I used a 50% off coupon, so with shipping to Canada it was still under the regular book price.
Some of the photos that weren't the greatest quality turned out pretty decent and they have so many different backgrounds and embellishments that it seems kind of silly to use anyone else anymore. It satisfies the scrapbooking side of me and I like having so much control over what the end product looks like. There is an auto-fill option that I might try if we ever get really nice family pictures done, but most of the books that I'm doing require a lot of attention to detail as far as chronological order goes so I've only used that option so far. I also like the different color ways that they use and I'm a huge fan of all the different fonts. And it's easy to use. And they are always getting new themes, so it's fun to have a real choice between a theme like "Baby" and "Family" or for mother's day they had more modern options and more traditional/flowery options. I like that a lot. I like Shutterfly a lot. Can you tell?
Compared to other companies I think this is the most value for your dollar that I have found so far. I also like their options for cards, etc... not that I've used them for that yet, but I know many people that have/do frequently. I totally understand why.

Anywho, that's basically all I know about these companies in a nutshell. Hopefully that helps if people were looking for opinions on them!

1 comment:

Kamry Low said...

Great to know. they have awesome groupons for some of these photos books as well. I am dreading the blurb one BUT it is the best for blog books and that is what I want for our family. it's like our family journal.

I have used mixbook as well. It's super easy and like scrapbooking online. I make a 0-12 months book for my kids. then they just get to see themselves in the family journal.

I really liked it. also picaboo was really easy to use and i got it for free because of a groupon. well whatever i paid for the groupon but i got 2 books out of it.