I love photo books, they are a lovely way of keeping precious memories to look at. I have created a couple in the past for special events in my life and love taking them down from the book shelf and having a look though. Looking at a photo brings back memories and there is something special about having them collected in a book.
Blurb Photo Books got in touch with me and asked me if I would like to give one of their photo books a try. Blurb allows you to create a book store quality photo book using their on line publishing system. Once you have created the book you can even sell it to others if you feel that it is good enough. It is a way of creating a serious photo book, the sort that you would leave lying on your coffee table for people to admire. Blurb offered to send me a voucher to create my own photo book and I was pleased to get the chance to try the service out. I have been meaning to sort out the photos of our holiday on the canals for ages and thought these would look lovely in a photo book. The voucher did not quite cover the cost however as I got a bit carried away, but I am very pleased with the result.
When you first go into Blurb you have three options to get started creating a photo book. You can use the online tool, Bookify online to create a simple photo book. Alternatively you can download Blurb Booksmart which is an offline tool allowing you to do more customisation. If you are creating books with lots of photographs this is the quickest option as you can work with them on your hard drive and only upload them when you have finished. The final option is for serious photographers, Blurb for professionals. It allows you to plug-in to Adobe In Design.
When you have chosen which option you want you then get to choose the size of the photobook you want. I chose standard landscape (10 “” x 8 “” or 25 x 20 cm) but there are five other options from small to large. You then get to choose the layout for each page from several different styles.
Once you have chosen the option you want you need to choose which photos you would like to include in your book. I uploaded mine from my hard drive, but you can also choose photos from Flickr, SmugMug, Instagram, 500px, Zenfolio, Picassa and Facebook. The maximum size of each photo is 10 MB which is more than enough. It does take a while to upload your photos but you can go and do something else while they upload.
When you have uploaded your photos you have the option to place them on the pages yourself or allow them to be placed for you. I went for the auto option. If I wanted to add text I think I would have chosen to place them myself. It is very easy to change the layout, you just drag and drop to change the order of the photos. I just chose to order my photos by date as they were of a holiday and that was the best order for me. I did get a warning that one of two of my pictures were low resolution and had to resize them as a result, but this was very obvious and easy to do. It is also easy to add text to the photo book if you want to. You just need to make sure you have the right layout and type the text in the box. You can chose the colours of the pages until you get the look you wish. Everything is very easy to customise, it just takes time to get it the way you want it.
When you are happy with the layout the next option is to choose the type of cover for your book. You can choose from hard cover, with a dust jacket, hard cover or soft cover.
When you have chosen you can add photos and titles to the cover and spine of the book and also a custom logo on the back if you wish. It took me a couple of hours to get everything the way I wanted but you can save at each step of the process so you do not lose your work. If you want to change anything it is really easy to go back and do so. Finally I was ready to order and this process was very simple.
The book took a couple of weeks to arrive, but actually arrived before the date they told me. I was very excited to get it and very pleased with the final results.
It is a lovely record to have of my holiday and will be treasured for a long time. My book cost £30.95 in total and the shipping via Fedex was £4.99. I think if I was doing this sort of book again I would make sure I took higher quality photographs so I could maximise the size on the page. I would have quite liked an option to have more than one photograph on a page but this was not available.
If you are a serious photographer you might be interested by the fact that you can sell your photo book via Blurb. I can’t see anyone being interested in my holiday photos but if you took photographs of a special family occasion other family members might buy. It may also work if you are great at nature photographs or taking photographs of landmarks and tourist attractions.
If you want to try creating your own photo book you can find Blurb here:
If you want to read more about my holiday on the canals you can read all about it here: