Post # 17
Thanks for the great information everyone. I’m going to be making a photo book as a wedding present to Fiance and am also going to make albums for our parents after the wedding. I was going to use Blurb but I might check out some of the other places listed too!
Post # 18
I tried Blurb, MyPublisher, Shutterfly, and Snapfish. MyPublisher has the best quality. Sign up for an account and wait for the sales deals to go in.
For all of the companies, go to http://www.retailmenot.com and search for a coupon before placing your order.
Post # 19
could any of you describe the quality of the paper used in all above companies?
Coz’ I want to have the paper thicker for my wedding album.
Post # 20
I have used snapfish, they were great, cheap, and fast. I ordered a photobook for our guestbook and add’l book as gifts for our parents. I’m also doing postcards for our rehearsal dinner. I would be cautious of getting the pics too large though, I’ve asked our photographer to do those for us. I did get a couple at 8×10 and the quality isn’t as good as the 4x6s.
Post # 21
I’ve done photobooks from Snapfish, Photoworks, My Publisher, Apple, Imagestation, Picaboo and Memento Press.
The first 6 were all somewhat similar; relatively cheap, OK quality. The Picaboo was the worst – all my images ended up sort of muddy and pixel-y, even though I was using a 8MP digital SLR and sending over pictures well over the resolution requirements they needed, I hated the cover, and the pages seemed thinner than any of the rest. The rest were OK – I like the Photoworks covers with the pictures on them, wasn’t so hot on most of the rest of the covers (I ordered varieties of the leather cover), and so-so on image quality
For my wedding album, I went with Memento Press, which is a brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco, but you can work with them totally online. I LOVE the result – the pages are thicker than any of the other albums, and the picture quality came out *great*. They’re significantly more expensive than the other options, particularly since you can’t really get the discounts on them, but worth it. I actually did my own layouts with Adobe Photoshop and had them print it which saved me some money in design fees, but they’ll work with you to lay out your book.
Post # 22
I just received our completed photo book in the mail…and I absolutely love it!
It was through SmileBooks.com. Be sure to google for a coupon code, it’ll save you quite a bit. Their layouts are so much easier to use than Blurb or Picaboo (those are the others that I had tried).
Post # 23
i just did some exhaustive research about this topic.
the best and most objective review i found was here:
this guy reviewed 12 different photobook printers!!! based on his experience, i’m going to try photobook for our wedding photos. adorama was also rated very highly, but it all depends on your priorities (price, print quality, ease of design, etc.).
Post # 24
These photo books are awesome! I’ve tried several and have found a gem of a photo book company that has some great features. I’m doing some for gifts for the reception hostess and of course will do some of the wedding after its over.
FlashBackPics.com has a FREE photo book software that you download to your computer. This completely avoids the “sever busy” issues I’ve seen with some of the larger companies–especially before holidays or when they run a sale.
Lots of custom features so you are not stuck with a template and you can use any font that is loaded to your computer. The custom covers also print across the spine instead of leaving a “blank” area and they have an option to UV coat the pages so they last. I don’t think I’ve seen that offered anywhere else? The software also lets you print other photo gifts like cards, posters, calendars, etc. Fast processing (mine was less than 24 hours), competitive pricing and excellent quality. I highly recommend!
Post # 25
I’m currently waiting on delivery of a book from Adoramapix of my BIL’s wedding that I shot last month. I chose them based on previous experience with prints, the abovementioned comparison article, and the lay-flat binding. They also offer a UV coating, though it seems rather expensive to me, and I wouldn’t expect a wedding book to be exposed to massive amounts of sunlight. Almost everyone does spine printing, so I don’t see that as a differentiator.
Their layout software is Flash-based, which I initially had grave doubts about. Performance on my MBP and MP was just fine, though, and unlike downloaded software, I didn’t have to worry about uninstalling it after the fact, or what insane things the install might do to my machine. This also facilitates moving among machines, eg. desktop and laptop, and I encountered no ‘server busy’ issues. File uploading wasn’t the speediest, but since the interface queues, one can get all the transfers going eg. overnight then work on them the next day.
Their templates are reasonably varied and allow for almost any desired customization at the page level. One can’t apply changes across the project, eg. changing borders, but I doubt that any competing application does that either. Photo management within the project could be better — I missed the ability to maintain a hierarchy of folders, which would have facilitated working with the 300+ images I stuffed into the project, and filenames were truncated, which was a pain when I uploaded a new, adjusted version of a photo and needed to distinguish between them. This likely won’t be an issue for most people, who maintain their photos casually and don’t rename them to eg. 2010-08-07_08.57.29+IMG_2800.jpg like I do — and again, I doubt other authoring applications differ substantially.
The Adoramapix site allows one to make copies of projects, which I found invaluable for checkpointing as I went along. One can also share a project with others, optionally allowing them to order their own copies.
Post # 26
You can always read the reviews at http://www.photobooktalk.com to get an idea of what is good and not so good.