Monday, July 2, 2012

Photobook Comparisons

Okay, so if you're our friend or family member, or if you've been reading my blog for a long time, you know that I love photobooks. (My poor family, whenever they come to visit, has photobooks shoved in their hands to look at. And my friends, too, when I visit them. Sorry everybody! I hope you don't mind. I don't think you do. Right?)

I really love how they preserve memories in such a clean, classy way. I've never been a big traditional scrapbooker - too much glue and cutting things into odd shapes, and once you've made a layout, you can't change it. Digital scrapbooks are perfect for me - they offer flexibility (you can rearrange the layouts until they're just perfect) with no glue or glitter or scissors! I'm super comfortable with computers (as I think everyone in our generation is), so, perfect!

I was thinking about it today, and I had the idea of compiling a couple resources for photobooks so that you (if you're interested) can kind of scope out the market and see what's best for you.

When I was first starting out in photobooks, I found these photobook reviews that I found very, very helpful: 

The Great Photo Book Round-Up Review: Who Makes the Best Photo Books?
This review was started in April 2010, but the author has updated since then as some of the companies have updated their software and started offering different sizes or options.

The Daily Digi: Photobook Reviews - 12 Different Companies Compared
This was written in May 2010, so you should take that into account. As stated above, most companies have updated their software and have begun offering newer sizes and options since then.

I also just found this website this week, and I'm totally psyched to read this girl's comparisons of all the different companies:

PhotoBookGirl - Photo Book Reviews
This girl started this site in March 2010, but she's been updating her site and reviews regularly since then.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Shutterfly.  I've made several books with them now (close to 10, I think), and I've always been pleased with their quality. Their cover, binding, end pages, paper quality, and color accuracy are all very good. If I could change one thing, I would make their photo printing a bit higher resolution. But I'm still very happy with the books they make.

Plus, you can get great deals with Shutterfly. Like, really, really great. For example, this week I got a book for free. By sharing Shutterfly with five friends, I got a free book code, and Jason got a free shipping code from them in his email (he has an account he's used once, so he gets the promo code emails). By combining the two, we got a free 8x8 book with free shipping. We didn't pay a dime! Usually, you don't save so dramatically, but you can get a good deal (very commonly 30-40% off).

Some tips to save money with any photobook company:
  • If you're thinking about using the company, at least sign up for an account (you can use your junk email) so that you can get their coupons through email. 
  • Before you order a book from anyone, google search for their coupon codes - I've saved money that way.
  • Check out their facebook page, and look at the wall posts posted by regular people (not just the company) - often, people post coupon codes they're not going to use, or are looking to coupon code trades
  • Make your book, and if you don't have any particularly good coupons or there's not a sale at the moment, wait. Don't order it. Just let the book sit in your account, and wait for good deals to come along. My stepsister does this, and by waiting for a 50% off sale she'll save a ton of money!

Right now I'm looking into AdoramaPix or MyPublisher to do our wedding book. Both are pricey, but have really good reviews, and (to me) would be worth it for a wedding book. Both have lay-flat pages, too, which I want; I like the look of AdoramaPix's lay-flat pages better. AdoramaPix has thicker pages, too, which would be good for a wedding book. But since I watched the second video on this page (the video where he reviews his vacation book, which has super-glossy pages) I'm torn. I really want the best picture quality, but I also want thick lay-flat pages that don't have a gutter. Sigh. I'm just don't know.

Anyway, I hope that was all helpful to you. Good luck preserving your family memories!

To check out my photo book reviews, check out these posts:

Shutterfly Photo Book Review
Shutterfly Premium Leather Layflat Photo Book Review
Shutterfly Calendar Review
York Photo Photo Book Review
MyPublisher Photo Book Review
AdoramaPix Photo Book Review Photo Book Review 


  1. Yay!!! Thank you so much for posting this! It has really helped motivate me to get started :)

  2. I'm totally following in your footsteps. I have decided to do a yearbook for every year of marriage plus engagement. You inspired me. Go you!

  3. Hello!! I am dealing with the same doubt...I want to do my wedding album and I can't decice between Mypublisher and AdoramaPix.
    Adoramapix and it's thick, lay-flat pages...and the cover!!!
    Mypublisher has the size 12*12, the glossy paper and it's much cheaper...
    Have you deciced yet?


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