Monday, January 12, 2015

Perhaps this will be the year of the photo book?

I bravely claimed at the being of last year that it would be the year of the photobook. There are certainly photobook offerings a plenty, but alas every time I started to prepare one I found a stumbling block, sometime of my own doing, mainly procrastination but often what I saw as fundamental limitation in layout. The one’s that offered “simple” templates where difficult to customize and the ones with lots of formatting options required a lot of training to use (more trial and error investigation). I had been moving towards blurb (because it built into lightroom) and momento because you can set up an manipulate the book locally on your computer. Trouble was it had become tedious and I had lost interest.

What I had learned is it was a good idea to sort through your images and group them into an album or collection and have a rough idea of the way you want the photos grouped, and do a few back of the envelope checks for number of photos per page and number of pages needed. Remember you can only add and remove two pages at a time in most of the photo book applications. Most photobooks will start with the end pages set up so you add and subtract pairs of facing pages.

imageI did look at several of the on-line photobook offering, but quickly dismissed them, as I wasn’t interested in adding zany sticker of having cuddly themed backgrounds. A lot of folk might. Of this group the flickr offering seemed the most photographic, flickr photobooks are incredible easy to create and infact I do have two books partially set up. What stop me at the time was the cost, but I notice that has fallen. However I got to retry a few on-line templates for creating calanders before Christmas and found the process and templates of vistaprint and shutterfly much more to my liking.

So to recap, as this new year started I had a big backlog of ideas and half finished projects, but I also had two family events that really needed photobooks rather than standard prints (the type that go on the fridge and them get lost). Up to Christmas and then again at the turn of the New Year I was flooded with discount offers on photobooks, so I investigated a few. The one that interested me most was snapfish, they have an XXL (28 by 35cm) hardcover Landscape book (that’s big enough to do justice to good photos) and a good discount was available (sorry that offer will have expired by the time you see this. I have been using snapfish to order prints on-line for many years and find them competitively prices and easy to use. So in my next post I will tell a little bit about how I set up my snapfish photo book of a past vacation (a really outstanding project).

Is this year going to be the year of the Photobook? Maybe not, but it might be for me. If you are printing lot of photos and don’t mind the time to organise then and perhaps want something more permanent,  I suggest now is a good time to look out for good photobook deals, and just order the standard book, Then see if you like the quality and enjoyed the process before you spend too much money.
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