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Photo book printing/finishing services

May 1, 2012

Photo Book finishing services

There are a lot of services that provide photo books that are hard bound and can present your photos in a very nice “coffee table” book.  Or they can provide enlargements to hang up.  I’ve worked with several of them.  They are not all perfect, they have their distinct advantages with price, paper quality, the way their system works.  Below is a quick review of a few services that I’ve used.  They all offer specials via email or through coupon services such as Groupon.  Make sure you read terms for coupons carefully for exceptions, expiration dates and more.

I use the 7 star method.

Shutterfly    5 *

Great selection of book covers, from leather to fabric to photo covers.  They have a large selection of backgrounds and borders for pictures.  They offer many sizes of books from 8 x 8 to oversize.  Personally I do not recommend getting a book larger than 8 x 10….difficult to store on book shelf.

You can use photos that were cropped the way you did it by using the custom path.

They have a fast track method to create a photo album so all you do is upload and you get the album (may not be in the correct sequence, but it’s done)

Software is online…you really need a very fast connection to get it done.  A lot of features, takes a bit of getting used to.  You can also get additional fees by choosing special covers, page backgrounds so be judicious in your choices.  Their basic choices cover many topics.

Quality of paper is good, prints come out clear.  Customer service is sometimes hard to reach, it’s via an email method.  They offer good specials with their emails

Photobin   3 1/2 *

Minimal selection of book covers.  Modest selection of backgrounds and borders for pictures.  You have to use their templates that are either square or rectangular shapes.  Software is relatively simple.

Quality of paper is good; prints were a bit on the dark side.

They offer scanning services for negatives, pictures and slides.

Customer service is via email

My Publisher   5 *

Great selection of book covers, from leather to fabric to photo covers.  They have a good selection of backgrounds and borders for pictures.

You have to use their templates that are either square or rectangular shapes.

Software is on your computer and the book is stored on your computer.  Uploading to their website can take more than a few minutes if you have a large book.

Quality of paper is glossy, prints come out beautifully, paper is thicker than most others.

They offer good specials with their emails

Picaboo     4 *
Make sure you read any coupon offerings from Groupon or wherever you get your albums.  The book I got from them was good, however, the $75 coupon I obtained could not be used towards 2 albums.  The coupon was good for only ONE album.  That meant upgrading to a $90 album (!) with a leather cover.  One of the books arrived with a slightly damaged scratched cover.  I could’ve made an issue but figured that would probably happen when removing the book on and off the shelf over time so I ignored it.

There are a limited number of backgrounds within the book.  I was able to put in my custom cropped pictures.  Binding overall is nice, there is a vellum cover page inside the book.

The cover had an aperture (opening) for an image.  It doesn’t fully show through this opening although it appeared that way in the preview mode on their website. – only seen their products, not used
They do their albums and photos on real photo paper, they are beautiful.  They cost considerably more than any of the other services.  The work they offer is archival quality and designed for professionals or those who want a photo book that truly honors the photos taken and more.  Their work is incredible and created in house (I believe in NYC) by their staff.  Based on what I’ve seen from what friends have obtained, I’d give them 7 stars.

Enlargement – Picture it on Canvas   6 *
I got a terrific 16 x 20 gallery wrap enlargement from them a few weeks ago.  I had a few terrific photos from Alaska and got one made up to hang in the living room.  My only objections are that they limit the size of the image you can upload.  However the picture came back crystal clear.  I had to reduce its size in Photoshop from the PSD file to a JPG and was very satisfied with the results.  My only other issue is that although I created a photo to their size specifications, I had to crop it down again when online.  That was a frustrating process.  I really did not get the image that I really desired.  The printed result is terrific and have received many compliments on the photo.

One Comment
  1. Such an informative share which includes each and every facts regarding print finishers but i think he should also add up some more benefits which an individual can experience while trading with the firm.

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