Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Friday, January 26

Photobooks

I love scrapbooking the same way I love playing the piano: I really enjoy the results when someone else does it well. Scrapbooking takes way too much work, planning, and random stuff. So I don't do it. But then all my photos are left sitting on a hard drive feeling lonely and unappreciated. Let me introduce those of you who also dread the patterned scissors, hole punches, stamps, stickers, and general bling associated with scrapbooking to a new way of life: photobooks.

To make a photobook, you upload your digital photos to the photobook wysiwyg editor of your choice. You choose soft/hardcover, photo/fabric/leather cover, paper, font face and color, photo framing, layout, etc. Of course, choices are more limited than with scrapbooking, but what I lose in choices is made up for by the fact that I actually finish these books. Then drag and drop, click and type all your content. You can save as you go and come back to the book a week, a month, a year later to finish. Then press print. The book is professionally printed and bound and mailed to you.

Photoworks : Excellent looking layouts. Photo upload program is very good. The photo drag and drop interface is particularly good. Interface takes a while to load in the web browser. Bottom Line: Easy to get professional looking results but with fewer options.

Shutterfly : More choices of paper, including some beautiful premium options. Ability to change styles within the same book. More layout options, though of generally lower aesthetic quality. Photo upload utility is a little finicky. Bottom Line: More and different options make for a more scrapbooky, but less professional, look.

Viovio : Viovio's service is run through an app you install on your machine. The final result is uploaded to a website, so you can't work on your book anywhere you happen to be. I haven't used this service, but it gives a great deal of control over the final results. I think this matches a corresponding increase in the effort you have to put in. Bottom Line: Let me know what you think if you use it!

Picaboo : Picaboo's service is also run on your machine. The app is difficult to use and photo selection is a small nightmare. Bottom Line: Great results possible, but then same is true of scrapbooking. Just too much trouble.

Blurb : I haven't tried this out yet, but I read about it in the article below and it looks awesome. It actually has support for reading your blog and putting the whole thing into a book that you can then edit to your heart's content. I thought this might be good for you Jill, since your blog is something of a diary. All you have to do is add and layout pictures! Bottom Line: I think this one is worth investigating.

For another, more professional opinion, see the New York Times article Technology Re-writes the Book.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Wow...that sounds like a lot of WORK, Nina. It sounds fun, but I'm not savvy enough to pull that off, I think.

I actually enjoy the creativity that comes from actually doing the scrapbooking myself--with my own hands cutting paper, ect. But I am happy that you have found something that you enjoy. :)