Books and Books of Photos

This past weekend was quiet for us with no huge projects like planking a wall or painting the bedroom.  I did, however, check off some smaller but time-consuming projects off my list – photo books!  I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but really, I like this sort of thing and I had a killer deal for 50% off, so I knew I had to jump on it! I opt to order the printed photo books rather than creating a traditional scrapbook just because I’m really more computer savvy than I am crafty!  Although my books won’t be here until later this week, I thought I’d share with you some of the options out there and different services I’ve used to create photo books in the past.

1.  Shutterfly – this is very convenient since most of my photos are up there already to share with family.  The platform to build a book is all online and you need to upload your files to Shutterfly first before building you book.  I’ve built a couple of books, though – one of our Wedding as a gift to family and one of my parent’s recent trip to Italy.  There are plenty of layout options and embellishments, if you want to add any.

Shutterfly Book Shutterfly Book

photo books created by Michelle

The quality of the printing is very nice and the pages are glossy and bright.  It’s definitely a lighter weight album, but really great for family books, trips, and gifts.  Also, they offer discounts quite a bit, so you can get these books at a great price.  If I had a downside to Shutterfly, it is that it’s all online and the load time can be slow, as well as the previews of your pages if you have really high quality photos.

2.  Blurb – Blurb was the first site I used to create a book and I was hooked.  I built a book for my brother and sister-in-law of their honeymoon.  The layouts offered are great and it’s easy to change them.  Also, there are options for how you want to build you book whether it’s online, through plug-ins for Adobe InDesign if you have that, or you can download their “Book Smart” software and that allows you to work locally too.

Blurb

photo book created by Michelle

The photo quality was just as good as the Shutterfly books and there’s a wide range of price options to fit your budget.  I don’t see as many coupons issued as I do for Shutterfly, though, so you may be able to get better deals with that option.  Oh – but they do offer image-wrap covers which is really neat.

3.  My Publisher – This is what I used for the first time this past weekend.  My Publisher has options for more high-end covers like Linen or Leather and offers upgrades to really heavy paper.  So for those super special albums like Weddings and Babies, I think this is a great choice.  The pricing is a little higher, but they’ve recently teamed with Shutterfly so a lot of the same options and discounts come out.  I got so busy this weekend because they had a 50% off deal on ANY book, plus discounts on a lot of extras (super glossy printing, linen book sleeves, lay flat pages, etc) so I took the opportunity to upgrade our Wedding Album to something really substantial for Jake and I also added a ton more photos.  I also created a more standard book of our Honeymoon as well, since the promotion was so great.  I’ll share the details later this week but I can’t wait to see these and am happy to have 2 of our books off my list!

Walk down the aisle again and again, and cherish each step to your happiest moment.book photo image from www.shutterfly.com

4.  Artifacts Uprising – Now if you’ve got the extra bones lying around, these are beautiful books printed off and assembled by a smaller business.  The options for Jackets and layouts are gorgeous and I actually started assembling a book here first before switching to My Publisher.

photo book image from www.artifactsuprising.com

One reason was the uploading.  I had to build the book online and the uploading of the photos was a little cumbersome, didn’t allow for dragging and dropping and not easy to manage.  This part can be really time-consuming when you have such a huge book to assemble so I found it aggravating enough to try something else.  When I saw the My Publisher deals I was just sold on going that route since this book was easily going to be in the $$$ category.  I’d love to try Artifacts Uprising another time, though, to not only support a great group of people and a smaller business, but because they are so beautiful! Check them out.

So there’s a few photo book options for you and a little of my experiences using them!  I can’t wait to share our completed books with you when they come in and hear your thoughts on what you like to do!

Do you create family albums like these or have a favorite site to build them?  Or are you amazingly creative enough to scrap-book at home?

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