Sunday, 18 January 2015

Photobooks Review

I love photo albums and scrapbooks but over the last few years I have enjoyed making my photos into printed photobooks. I like everything to be really neat and organised so these are ideal for me to document my holiday snaps if I don't have time to put together a scrapbook. They are also some great offers on photo websites which often makes it cheaper than printing off 50 photos and buying a new album. 

I have got 3 books which I have done through different websites and I'm going to give a little review on what I thought of the books and the service.

Size: 20cm x 20cm
Cover: Soft
Price: Under £10 (I think I just paid for delivery and a few extras)

I got this book made in 2011 after our trip to Paris for my 21st Birthday to try it out! I didn't have any empty scrapbooks, I was lacking time and motivation and knowing me there was probably a good offer on when I signed up.

The process of uploading and making the album was really easy from what I remember, simply a case of selecting your files and then what type of theme you want. As you can see I went with a travel theme which out of the 3 books I'm going to review, was the best theme I have found (when I talk about a theme I mean backgrounds and little extra pictures you can add in.) I don't really like backgrounds that are too jazzy as my photos are nice as they are and often quite detailed.

Overall I was really happy with the book and the quality. My favourite thing about using Photobox was the variety of themes on offer for backgrounds and the little extras you could add on like stamps or travel themed pictures. 


Overall quality of book: 8/10
Picture printing quality: 8/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 9/10
Extra details available to add: 8/10
Value for money: 6/10 (High delivery cost and extras cost more)


Size: 15.5cm x 15.5cm
Cover: Hardback
Price: £6.00

This is my most recent book which I made as a Christmas present for my parents. First, lets talk about the making process. Generally it was quite simple however the website itself and your account wasn't so easy to navigate. I took a break from making it and when I logged back in it took me ages to find it and how to start working on it again. I actually ended up making several books for Christmas this year back in October when everything was half price but the current offer is that you can add as many extra pages to your book for free  (usually I think it's 20p a page?!)

The book itself is really nice quality and the pictures turned out great. I designed the front cover myself with no text as I wanted it to just be photos but again I had to make every photo black and white individually, there was no option to edit the whole page in one go. Another thing I liked about the Tesco books is that you can clone the book and slightly change it. So for example I had about 7 other Photobooks going to different family members and I just clicked clone and I could change the name on the front of it.

A couple of little things I didn't like. There were no 'extras' to add that I liked. It was great if you had a baby or wedding book as there were little illustrations you could add but even they were a little bit cheesy. Another thing was that I ended up using only about 5 of the backgrounds as the others were all really busy and bright or just not very nice! 


Overall quality of book: 8/10
Picture printing quality: 9/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 7/10
Extra details available to add: 4/10
Value for money: 9/10 (You can get it deliver to your local store for free!)

Size: 20cm x 20cm
Cover: Soft
Price: £8.00 - £9.00

So I had never really thought about using Jessops photo services because I assumed they would be expensive compared to other 'cheap' photo sites. I was pretty much true in this thinking as the books are a couple of pounds more expensive that their competitors. However, they were doing two great offers during August. The first being that you get 100 free prints when you sign up and the second that you get £10 off your first photo book.

Similar to Paris, I came home from Gran Canaria and realised that my holiday scrapbook was almost full and my OCD couldn't bear the thought of starting the holiday photos and having to finish them in another book (what is the world coming to you may ask?) so I looked around for a photobook deal.

Overall, I was very happy with the making process. You actually had to download their software in order to make your book but the process was very in depth and you really could customise everything. As you can see I added a map to the back of mine which cost a little bit extra but I like that I can look at it and remember where I've been.

What I also really liked were the layouts of the photos. You had so many different pre-made layouts that it made putting your photos together a little bit more 'scrapbooky' than other websites. There were a few extra icons and illustrations you could add but as you can see in the last photo the backgrounds were really interesting so you didn't need extras. It's a really excellent quality book too which is shown by the double page spread of me stood against a beautifully painted wall.


Overall quality of book: 10/10
Picture printing quality: 10/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 9/10
Extra details available to add: 6/10
Value for money: 7/10 (Only with an offer - otherwise it's a little bit pricey)
 So there you have it! My review of different photobook websites and services based on my experiences and the products I have had. I have not been disappointed by any of the books I have bought in the past and would definitely recommend any of the services to people. Photobooks are a great way of displaying your photos in an album if you are not very crafty or are short on time but still want to show them off.

All of the products featured in this article have not been sponsored and have been bought by myself.

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