Monday, November 8, 2010

Photo Books Reviewed

Christmas is coming and we've got photo books on the brain.  These are great gift items for recent or far off events that need a little more than just a table-top frame.  We've got friends who annually do one of these professionally printed photo albums to chronicle the year.  I think it's ironic that we've come full circle on photo storage and display.  Back in the day you had a small selection of bound, three ring binders and archival quality plastic sheets.  Then came scrap-booking and the myriad of punches and colored paper options at Michael's.  Some of us skipped the scrap book and went straight to online albums... categorizing our lives in little boxes of 10-99 shots with a few "Mobile Uploads" thrown in to spice things up.
Now, we've come all the way back to albums, except they're hard bound with 115lb, lay flat paper and titling across the spine.  We can pick from leather, linen or soft copy.  It's a cornucopia of creativity out there in the digital frontier!  Anyone can whip off their trip to Cancun to the publisher, throw it on the coffee table 5-10 working days later and look like they just waltzed out of Borders!
So where to start?  What site gets your money shots with a wide variety of cover options? Lucy uses Shutterfly.  Jan used Winkflash, I think.  And Jaime uses My Publisher, plus there's a gizmo thru iPhoto that Apple gives you...  I know, I know!  My mind's spinning off its axis at the moment, too, but thankfully I've got Google and Google's got ZDNET and over there they've got a link to a dude named Jason who's done all the heavy lifting for us.  God Bless the boy... this Canadian had a bad bout of booking binding and decided to put out the goods on, count 'em, a dozen different online print houses.  Normally, I just breeze through reviews and am on my merry shopping way, but this one... THIS one... is worth talking about.  And not just  because he mentions Mpix... yes, the MPix of 10 billboards on eastbound I-70 Mpix.  He really did a dozen photo books of his son's birth.  It's well worth the read (he says it's 15,000 words) just for the effort he put in.  Don't want to wade through all that prose?  His summary is perfect.
So, my choice?  The jury's out, but I gotta move quick here... Christmas is coming!

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