Vacations, graduations and weddings are just a few examples of summer events that yield goldmines of valuable memories in the form of digital photos.
It’s easy to print these pictures, just like we did with regular film, and then take the pictures and put them in albums. But this “old-school” approach to photo sharing offers little of the flexibility inherent to digital media: mixing, editing, cropping, enhancing.
You can do more with digital pics, such as printing your own photo books. It’s not hard, and it isn’t terribly expensive. And nothing beats the control and fine-tuning available to you when you’re a self-publisher.
There are many different services currently available, which provide varying degrees of photo book flexibility. Some of these services are online-only, where the user never needs to install anything. Other applications require a client download of some sort that needs to be installed and run on your local computer.
The basic premise: upload your photos to your service provider of choice, and assemble the pictures together in a visually appealing fashion with different picture layouts and backgrounds. Each service offers different sizes of photo books, both hard and soft cover, in various materials and colors. The final product is a bonafide, professionally-bound book of your pictures. No more one-size-fits-all albums with messy plastic sleeves.
In this review, we take a look at seven different photo book services: Picaboo, Blurb, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, Shutterfly, PhotoWorks and Lulu. Across the tested services we created a similarly sized photo book using each, uploading the same basic pictures in each test case to see how the services compare in terms of photo book assembly, pricing and final printed product.
Though there are similarities across the seven services tested, no two services are exactly identical. Read on to find out which one will work best for you.