By Ted Barszewski
If you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of pictures of your family taken with your digital camera. Maybe you’ve printed some and stored them in a box or family album. But have you thought about compiling your digital pictures into a printed photo book?
Photo books are a great keepsake or gift and are surprisingly cost effective. I’ve been making at least one photo book for my family each year for most of the past decade. Over time I’ve developed some expertise and I’m here to share it with you.
A Great Photo Book Starts With a Great Layout
One of my first discoveries was that layout is important when preparing a photo book. I’ve tried just dragging and dropping my photos into the pre-made layouts some of the printing companies offer, but I didn’t find the result to be much more appealing than just placing prints into a photo album. So I started preparing my page layouts in a digital scrapbooking program and then adding the layout into the photobook software as a last step. I’ll be giving you some tips on how to do that in the future. You don’t need to be a computer expert to make photo books.
AdoramaPix Proves Not All Photo Books Are The Same
This review will be about a new option for photo books – AdoramaPix Photo Book. There are two things that stand out for me about AdoramaPix, quality and flexibility of layout. First let’s talk about the process for creating the photo book.
You create your AdoramaPix photo book with an online program using your web browser – there’s nothing to download. As with any online program, you may experience some lags as you complete your layout, but overall I found the program to be fairly responsive.
There are a wide variety of photo book sizes and pre-made layouts that you can choose from. The layouts cover themes from weddings and special occasions to baby books. Once you have decided on a book size, you can explore the layouts to see which one works best for you. Once you have done that, you could simply choose to drop your pictures into the predefined slots and be done in about a half hour. The AdoramaPix layouts are pretty nice and you may actually be happy with the result, however, I think you’ll be far happier if you take some additional time to create more custom layouts.
Custom Layouts – A Time Consuming, But Rewarding Process
Overall, the creation process took me about 3 – 4 hours, so you’ll need to make a bit of time commitment. I think the end result is worth it. As indicated above, I chose a layout template for the book. Instead of just dragging and dropping my pictures into the templates, for most of the pages I erased the template and started from scratch. This is one of the areas where AdoramaPix is superior to other programs I have used. The program was responsive enough that I was even able to layout a few pages with the assistance of my 4 year old daughter, and she didn’t get overly impatient with how long it was taking.
AdoramPix has a variety of tools to help you create a page from scratch. First, you are able to choose from hundreds of attractive backgrounds. From there, you can start dragging your pictures onto the page. Intuitive tools allow you to resize and rotate your pictures into attractive page layouts. Your imagination is your only limitation. I was even able to add nice borders and shadows to the pictures. Finally, you can add text and other elements to the page layout. I was very impressed with the selection of quality elements that AdoramaPix had available – from soccer balls to ribbons and flowers. Everything looked professional and helped unleash my creativity.
When It Comes To Photo Books, Flat is Beautiful
One of the biggest advantages to working with AdoramaPix is that the book will lie flat when you open it, so you can layout your pictures across the full 2-page spread. I liked this much better than what I have experienced with other publishing programs. It can make for some spectacular large images across both pages. The only thing is that you need to make sure the pictures have enough resolution because AdoramaPix has rules to ensure you don’t go under the minimum resolution for a picture. Once you expand the photo to a certain size, you won’t be able to go any further. It’s all part of AdoramPix’s commitment to quality. Speaking of which, this brings me to my next subject.
AdoramaPix Photo Book Represents Superb Quality
AdoramaPix bills their photo books as being superior in quality to the competition. It’s a pretty big claim and they charge a premium price as a result. Well from the minute I opened the box with my new photo book, I saw that that they certainly live up to their claims.
First off, the cover of the book looked great. It had a kind of glittery sheen that was very appealing. When I turned to the first page, I was truly impressed. I had chosen a photo my daughter’s eyes that filled almost the whole two page layout. The quality of the printing was virtually perfect. I could see not any printer’s dots, and the colors were right on.
Of course, I then turned the first page and I was even more impressed. The pages felt less like paper pages and more like card stock. In fact, AdoramaPix is one of the only Photo Book companies that prints on Fuji Crystal Archive paper – basically the gold standard for photo printing. The combination of high quality printing and these thick Fuji Crystal Archive pages leads to a stunning result. Everyone who has viewed the book has commented on how great it looks and feels. I can certainly see why professional photographers would use AdoramPix to show off their work.
Conclusion: The AdoramaPix Photo Book
Well, you can certainly see that AdoramPix lives up to its quality and layout claims. Yet is it a good choice for you? There are other photo books that you can purchase for a significantly lower cost (MyPublisher.com is a favorite of mine.) In addition, the quality of the competition can still be very good, just not up to the truly professional standards of AdoramaPix.
If getting the lowest cost on a photo book is a top priority for you, then the AdoramaPix Photo Book would not be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you want a photo book with truly dazzling quality and the unique lay flat design, then the AdoramaPix Photo Book is a true winner.
Find Out For Yourself in our AdoramaPix Photo Book Giveaway
We are giving away a 50 Page 8 x 12 AdoramaPix Photo Book , an $89 value – for free!
The best way to see the quality of the AdoramaPix Photo Book is to make one yourself. Adorama was nice enough to allow us to giveaway a photobook to one of our members. As always at Dad Does – entering the giveaway could not be easier!
Most blogs would now tell you how you just need to leave 10 comments, like 15 fan pages and follow 13 people on Twitter to enter the giveaway – not here on Dad Does! All you have to do is Join Us – requires just your email, 100% free and takes about 6 seconds. You see, any member of DadDoes.Com is always entered into any giveaway we do. So, just Join Us once and you are automatically entered in any giveaway we ever do – simple – right?
Already a member? Good for you! Relax, you are in the drawing already. If you win, we just send you an email letting you know.
AdoramaPix Photo Book Gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
Here is our complete rating chart –
|Ted Barszewski lives in Hamilton, New Jersey with his wife and daughter. Ted makes the extra effort to research the products and services he purchases for his family. Sometimes that research proves difficult or time consuming. That’s when Ted is committed to sharing his experience with you so you don’t have to deal with the same frustration.|
FULL DISCLOSURE: We received an AdoramaPix Photo Book to do this review and Adorama is also giving away a photo book to one of our readers. We received no money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy an AdoramaPix Photo Book. If your child gets a modeling contract after showing an agent your Photo Book, please send us a 10% cut of her first contract. This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!
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