One of the big names in onilne photography equipment is Adorama.com. Fast, friendly, competitive pricing: they have it all. So you can imagine how thrilling it was to discover that Adorama also does prints, cards, canvases, and photo books! We couldn't wait to try them out. And more importantly, to let you. For today's
Even though it is only January 27th, and you still have 338 days to complete your resolutions, we thought today we might help you cross two things off your list! Remember how you wanted to finish an album about 2010 and how you also wanted to try something new? What if you paired them together and made a "Year in Review" photo book that you had printed at AdoramaPix? Not only could you put two checks in the "done" column and pat yourself on the back, but you would also have a great keepsake that will last and last.
The reasons for needing a year in review book are self-evident, but why do you need AdoramaPix to print it for you? Two reasons. First, they print their books on Fuji Crystal Archive Photo paper. This matters as the colors will be bright and true and they will last. Second, the Leporello binding system. This matters as it means nothing gets lost in the spine of your book. No more having to account for parts of the page that will remain unseen. The pages are printed as a panorama and the entire two page spread is visible! Really, it's true.
To see exactly how it worked, we had Marnie put a book together and send it in. She put together a Year in Review book featuring one two-page spread for each month, and a few extras for highlights of the year. This was what she received back (And yes, there are three. One 8x8 for her family, and a 6x6 for each set of grandparents. Truly one of the greatest incentives for publishing photo books is how easy it is to add in extra copies.)
Getting started at AdormaPix was easy. Setting up the account was quick and painless. I really liked the program interface. It was simple to follow. Knowing I had created my own full page spread in photoshop, I didn't make use of the AdoramaPix templates but there were several. There were also some fun options available such as adding a white border to each photo with the click of a button. Easy!
Creating the book was also trouble free. Once I added my photos (each page of the book, for me) to my account, I simply dragged and dropped into place. When I realized that I need to scooch all of the pages down, I did not have to clear out and reload, gratefully. AdoramaPix has a drag and drop feature between pages as well. Nifty nifty.
When it came time to design the cover, back and spine, the dimensions were listed right on the loading page, which let me properly size my cover without any trouble. This is especially helpful for the spine, a place I have messed up on other photo books.
The hardest part for me is always the wait. Impatient, I called the company, and they were very helpful, and able to tell me where my book was in the process and when it should be done. It arrived right on schedule! It was packed very well, with much regard given to my books' safety.
The quality of the book, it is wonderful. The cover is printed on what appears to be metallic paper, and has a great finish which endured the fingerprints of my little lovelies and their preschool hands.
I love the chunkiness of the book. All the photo books I have ordered in the past have used double sided paper which was glued at the binding. To get the panorama effect in their books, AdoramaPix prints each two page spread on its own paper and then adheres the pages together. This makes for a much thicker book. I liked the feel of it, and loved how it created a wider spine which will look great on my bookshelf.
I wasn't sure when I was building my book if there would be a dead page before my title page, so I reworked my book a little in case there wasn't. And there isn't. The first page you load in will be glued to the inside of the cover. So if you want that page (and the final page) to be plain, be sure to create page one (and page 26) as plain when you upload.
Also, at this time, you cannot create a custom length book. I enjoy a good puzzle, so I wasn't bothered in the least by this, but wanted to point it out. Be sure to check on the page numbers offered before you get started so you can plan appropriately.
But on to my most anticipated feature, the binding. I had high hopes and great skepticism about this binding system. With a standard binding, it can be a bit of a guessing game to figure out how much exactly is going to get visually lost in the binding. The prospect of a flat page with no lost portion sounded too good to be true. I decided to put it to the test.
Planning on an 8x8 book, I created page layouts that were designed on a 16 x 8 template cut in two equal halves for left side, right side. Then I placed a thin white line down the center of the page, which meant it got cut in two with each page. I thought this would be the best indicator of the quality--if the white line weren't perfect, it would be easy to see and to call their bluff. But they called mine! Look how well it printed. Unbelievable!!
I am so very very happy to find a book that doesn't lose any acreage to the middle seam. And I love how the pages stay open without having to crack open the book.
The only other caution I have is that there is a still a tiny bit of the page's top and bottom that will be lost to the overbleed. Not as much as some, but enough that next time I would leave a bit more wiggle room on the pages that went right to the margin.
I love my new books. I hope you will try out AdoramaPix. I know they will certainly be my new goto place for books when the center really matters.
For today's giveaway, one lucky number will receive an 26 page 8x8 photo book from AdoramaPix. (Participants must be able to provide an US shipping address). If you would like to be considered for our giveaway today, please stop by the AdoramaPix site and look around at what they have to offer. Then pop back and leave a comment telling us how you are doing on your 2011 projects. Are you waiting til February to begin? did you dip your toe and change your mind? or have you jumped in with two feet and a whole lot of love for something that you are doing? We at Write. Click. Scrapbook. want to help you succeed this year!! From organizing to resolutions to organizing your resolutions to resolutions on organizing. We are here for you!
Comments will remain open until 8:00 pm PST and one lucky number will be chosen at random and posted tomorrow. Be sure to check back as it is your responsibility to claim your lucky number before midnight Saturday!
Thank you to Adorama for providing Marnie with an 8x8 book so that we could review your product.