Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Photo Books: How to Make a Better Travel Photo Album

So, you've gone on a great journey, and now you're back. You take a look, discouragingly, at your stack of memory cards, overburdened with high resolution images. Sure, you shot them at such a 10mp, leaving them with the fidelity to stand up to 11x20in prints, but then you look around at your walls.

Where would you possibly hang an 11x20in print? And what image do you consider so fantastic that you're willing to have every single eye in your home drawn to it - and only it - for the rest of forever? Maybe you'll swap them every now and then, having a host of giant images of turtles, or volcanoes, or - I don't know - little indigenous children going about their daily lives, wondering why some person with a camera bigger than their heads keeps staring at them.

So what options do you have? Throwing four 4x6in prints per page into a binder reminiscent of your parents collections? Binders that will then occupy way too much space, and do little more than collect dust? Sure - I guess that's an option, but not one that I would recommend. As we jump into the new era of internet trickery we are met with the option of Photo Books!

What is a Photo Book?
A photo book is just that - a book of your photos. There are a number of websites that will let you create these wondrous treasures, each with their own pros, cons, benefits, and limitations. The big names, as far as I know, are as follows:

Blacks Memorables: This is a very limited photo book creator, and yet it's the one I use most often. Sure it's limited, but it comes with a number of great layouts, allowing you to create your photo book in a fraction of the time. It also has an automated method, where you simply drag and drop all your photos, and the page will do all the rest for you.

Blurb: Blurb is by far the most customizable photo book software I've come across, and you can also add your photo book to their market place, allowing you to sell it on a print-per-customer basis. This might be a nice little way to try and make a few extra bucks. But even without this, Blurb is highly recommended.

Photo Book Reviews 2009: Well, there were not as many companies to mention as I thought - why mention ones other than the best, and the one I use most often? Sure there are more options - but you can just google them, or read this review of the top sites. Don't trust their viovio review though - I think it's there because the get paid for referring people to the site.

Why Do I Want a Photo Book?
I will tell you why - because no one wants to flip through your six hundred pictures. Nobody. Not one single person in this A.D.H.D. environment cares about the tour guide, whose name you don't even remember anymore. They don't care about the place settings you laid out for breakfast. And they definitely don't care about that woman and her little dog you spotted across the road from a cafe.

But with a photobook, you can add a number of images per page - this allows for the viewer to become engaged with the book, and overcome by the experience. It makes viewing photo albums fun (I know - I can hardly believe it.) And not only does it make the experience for your hapless victim more enjoyable, you'll find yourself more willing to look through your old pictures. These books print thin, and beautiful. They are a delight to flip through. They will create a post-travel experience like none other, and even the act of choosing which pictures to place where can be of great fun.

And - as I said - you can place seven or eight pictures, in a variety of sizes, per page. This also allows you to grant one 8.5x11in page to a single image, which singles just how important that one image is.

Trust me here - once you try it, you'll most likely be saying goodbye to plastic sheets, and loose leaf pictures forever.

(I still print out pictures too... Curse me, what can I say? I do like having them on my wall as well.)


  1. A great way to keep all your photos from a trip, or a special occasion, is to make a photo book.

    An awesome site to use is smilebooks.com, I made a smilebook of my last trip to California, the pictures and everything came out absolutely beautiful! I love my smilebook!

    To make your own Smilebook, and to get 30% off use the coupon code ZA30.. and visit www.smilebooks.com.

  2. Sure, it seems like spam - but if it's legit, a discount is a discount...

  3. I have started using the collage function in Picasa - but have found it very limiting. Thanks for the excellent suggestions.

  4. Thanks it has been a good help, now to make a better travel photo album is definitely simple with the help of your guidance. Thank you

  5. In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die


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