Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Photobook Reviews

There's been a ton of new ways of doing photo books lately.

If your a fan of this way of displaying photos sans photo albums, you know what I'm talking about.

From almost all the stores and the apps around, there are so many types and price range of photo books out there, that It's really tempting to try some,  and I have been a huge fan of this way of showing my photos ever since Shutterfly started.  I have a lot of photo books from this store....

I have recently tried a few of the new ones that are available and I would like to share my 2-cents worth of opinion on each one and let you decide which ones you'd like to try.

1) Sam's Club Premium Photobook

1) Very affordable ($24 for this one, normally $29) but they usually do promos and sales, so getting discount is easy.
2) Great picture quality and love the glossy and thick paper/cardboard, definitely water and smudge proof.
3) You can pick it up from the store! Save you on shipping.
4) You can lay it flat without worrying if the pages will come off.

1) The program it uses to arrange the pictures and book takes some time to getting used to. Not difficult, but just different from what I would consider easy.
2) Not a lot of options on the backgrounds and themes (no Halloween for example)
3) Shipping to store takes a while. More than a week. There is no RUSH order, so if your in a hurry to get it and give it away, I would not recommend this.
4) You can't make copies of the book and do different size on it. What size you start with, that's it. 
5) Laying flat will show the prominent crease in the middle though.

1) Definitely a photobook worth showing! It's beautiful, sturdy and elegant.
2) Picture quality is superb.
3) Love that you can lay it flat without distorting image quality
4) All the pages are strong, sturdy and also smudge-free and water-proof.
5) Library-bound book.
6) Easy to use editing software.

1) A bit expensive, I ordered the 12 X 12 leather one and got a coupon for a sample copy, and still paid $80 for it. It would have been $190 if I didn't. Shipping is free. I think  it depends on the number of pages and size of course, have not tried their $20 black book version yet.
2) Takes a while to get your order, mine took also almost 2 weeks to be delivered.
3) Heavy. Not something you'd lug around to show off, it best sits on your coffee table.

3) Groove Book

1) Cheapest one out there with 100 photos/book at $2.99 with FREE SHIPPING, you can order and give away as many as you want. Plus there's always a coupon code for a FREE BOOK for a friend always. You can use this code CRISTE9 and get 1 for free if you'd like to try it out
2) App is FREE.
3) Easy to use app.
4) Good for both iphones and Android.

1) Flimsiest paper among all the books I think, very thin and picture quality is not great.
2) Easily pulls apart (which is partly the point since the idea is you might want to just tear a picture up and give it away instantly).
3) It only shows the date & time of the photos from your phone, you cannot add any additional texts.
4) You cannot change the sequence of photos you have. You can choose what to put on the book, but not change the sequence of it.
5) You can't customize covers, they choose it for you.

Like the labels on the side

What's inside

1) Affordable at $6 for the Instagram and Chatbook series (60 photos each book).  Shipping is FREE.
2) Very easy to use app
3) You can add additional texts to your photos and easily change the sequence of photos around.
4) App is also free
5) You can add tittles to your book
6) Lightweight, pictures are crisp and clear

1) Only for iphone users as of now.
2) Custom books are priced higher and but can go up to 300 pages, you pay shipping at $2.95
3) Shipping took longer than I expected, no rush orders too
4) Paper is a bit thin

There are other apps out there that does photo books, I still have to try them. But so far, I enjoyed making these particularly the chapbooks which I can do anytime on my phone.  I would recommend trying any of these since it would make awesome gifts for yourself or others!

Have a Great Week friends!


 Would love to hear your thoughts! Please share away...


  1. I love making photobooks! There are so many companies out there now that it's hard to pick. I like Mixbook and have been using them for the past couple of years. The quality is great and they are reasonably priced. It seems like they have a pretty good selection of layouts too. I also like that you don't have to download software to use the program...that's the one thing I didn't like about My Publisher. And you just reminded me that I need to finish my 2013 yearbook...

  2. What an informative post! We have only used iPhoto books from Apple. They are not inexpensive but they are easy to customize and we have been very pleased with the quality and usually receive them within 2 weeks. After reading your post, we may give another one a try!

  3. I am SO far behind with my pictures! I have only used Shutterfly so far so I don't have much to compare. I love the way you listed all the pros and cons of each - so helpful!

  4. Wow, Vel, you are a photo expert! I have all of my pictures just sitting on my computer, not the best way to view them. I am definitely going to keep this post in mind once the kids go back to school. I need to get organized for sure! Thanks for the info!

  5. Great review. I have only ever made books on Shutterfly, so it is nice to read about other options.

  6. Oh now I see.. This is how it looks like...

  7. Great review! I've never used any of these; I've only used Shutterfly and Mac's photo book option...I can't remember exactly what it's called. I love photo books, they are such a nice way to save photos and look so nice on a shelf.

  8. Thanks for the review, Vel. I should try creating more photo books cause I love to take pics and have so much. Right now, the only ones I have are of my blog (Blog2Print) on SharedBook. IT's pretty pricey but it compiles my blog in chronological order and since I have lots of posts, I do them a quarter at a time and I am so far behind. I think I just finished my first year....Christine

  9. I love that you showed us all the pros and cons of each one! I'm pretty much an old school gal and still print all my pics out and put them in albums, but you've got me thinking I need to try one of these books next!

  10. I have only used Shutterfly so far so I can't really compare. Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts on other photobook options. Great post!


  11. Great info Vel, thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Hard to believe, but I've never made a photo book, lol!! Thanks for sharing all this. Tons of good info on how to get started!

  13. I've made several Shutterfly books and love them. Made one Walgreens book and didn't like the quality of it or the pictures. I didn't know there were so many choices out there. Great review!

  14. What a nice review, Vel! I didn't even know there were that many possibilities, all my pictures are sitting there in the computer :/
    It's about time for me to begin playing with them!

  15. Very enlightening info Vel. Thanks for sharing! I usually use Shutterfly but I am yet to make a photo book. I need to change that!

  16. I am a professional photographer and I have heard that Zno is also a good place to order reasonably priced books. I hear their Press books aren't of good quality but the rest of their books are suppose to be really nice.
    Also Adorama does some nice books I understand.
    I try to have all my photos color corrected before I send them to any lab but that's just the photographer in me and the books I have mentioned don't color correct.


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