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Who makes the best photobooks?

(9 Posts)
grannyjack Tue 23-Feb-16 09:54:06

As part of the massive declutter I need to tackle a few (lot) of photos. I would like to put together photobooks for individual family members but want one's which are nice quality & look professional. I have seen, & recently received a poor quality one which has already fallen apart. There are several on the internet but which to choose?

Alea Tue 23-Feb-16 10:06:15

I have used CEWE three times and they have been excellent.

Anya Tue 23-Feb-16 10:38:22

Interesting question grannyjack - i need to reinstate all my photos too.

Anya Tue 23-Feb-16 11:06:36

Just downloaded their app Alea - like the idea of creating different books online that are then printed off and sent to you. Means I can choose my favourite photos and keep the rest in their labelled shoes boxes for someone else to go through when I'm gone posterity grin

Indinana Tue 23-Feb-16 11:13:00

I have used Albelli a couple of times and I've been really pleased with the quality. A bit pricey, but they do have regular offers.

JackyB Tue 23-Feb-16 12:20:14

I love making photobooks - especially of the grandchildren. All the pictures these days are on digital storage media to which the great-grannies neither have access nor could they do anything with it if they did. A book is ideal for them. I've taken to making a copy for the parents, too - they enjoy having it there, and looking through them with their little ones who are fascinated by pictures of themselves!

I can't tell you who makes the best ones in the UK, but here in Germany they were tested by the equivalent of Which?

Their criteria were somewhat different from mine, though. Price is easiest to compare (although many of them have special offers once you're on their mailing list).

What the professional testers were comparing were things like quality of picture. If a snapshot which you did on your phone is just the perfect picture of a baby or child, then you're going to put it in there, fuzzy or not. So that wouldn't bother me.

What they didn't test was the choice of background colours, cliparts, and little extras for designing the pages, which I consider very important.

Tips for making the books: Be sparing with your choice of pictures - don't cram them in. Like with a well-dressed shop window, a single item will look far more elegant, presented simply on a page with plenty of space around it. Four pictures on a page, enlarged to fill the whole page with not even a border around them, are very difficult to take in.

Give each picture a title, date, caption. People will appreciate this if they are going to be looking at the books when you're not there to explain things to them. You can write quite a lot of text. Be consistent in your use of fonts.

Don't vary the backgrounds for every page - it will look more professional and is easier on the eye if you use the same background colour or pattern for the whole of the book. The background and the cliparts, text boxes etc shouldn't detract from the actual pictures.

Allow plenty of time for uploading your books once you have compiled them - don't do it late at night! It can take up to 2-3 hours sometimes. Best to save the book (always save them on your hard drive anyway), have another look at it the next morning, show it to someone else, perhaps, then upload it once you're sure you're happy with it.

I could go on but my posts are always far too long. Sorry.

So: Criteria for a good photobook service:

- price
- Delivery times
- Choice of design items, colours, etc
- What an independent comparison says, if you can find one
- what real people say about the services (ask friends, too)

grannyjack Wed 24-Feb-16 22:50:00

Thank you all. JackyB your post was not too long but really helpful & informative.

I'm intending to do books for my husband recording our life & holidays together: a life long book for my daughter & also one of her children to date. I have a granddaughter who was 6 months old when her father, my son, died so a special book for her & a copy of that one for my daughter

I also have photos of my great great grandparents & great grandparents that I need to record digitally as the originals could be easily mislaid.

And for me, my book will cover family, friends & things that I remember with joy!

TwiceAsNice Wed 24-Feb-16 23:21:27

Photobox is excellent have used it many times and good quality and service. Keep an eye out for adverts they do good discounts periodically

grannyqueenie Wed 24-Feb-16 23:45:55

I've successfully used Tesco in the past, but more recently Photobox and have been really pleased with them. My daughter has made beautiful books with Printerpix but I didn't find that one easy to use