Marty and Sam’s scrappy adventure photobook

Marty and Sam's Scrappy Adventure - book cover
Marty and Sam’s Scrappy Adventure – book cover

It is almost 12 months since we returned from our European holiday and it has taken me about 8 months to complete the first photobook titled Marty and Sam’s Scrappy Adventure. Why so long? Well, the book has roughly 800 photos spread over 200 pages and I wanted to include some of our story plus a few historical facts so that anyone browsing through our photos would know what they were looking at, including my husband. Between us we took about 5000 photos over 8 weeks, the first book was designed to encompass our entire trip and include all the ‘happy snaps’, you know the sort, self portraits taken using the one arm stretched out, slightly blurry photos of a tasty meal and photos of the hotel room and/or sign. I’ll do separate photobooks with a city, country or regional theme, such as Tuscany and Umbria, Paris and Germany.

Software also played a huge part in creating the photobook, I have a Mac at home but a Windows PC at work so I had to choose cross-platform software, preferring to download the software and create the album than uploading photos and creating them online. Friends have used Blurb, Momento and Clickonprint and all have been happy with the results, I had used Snapfish previously but that was for a a family album and all the photos were already uploaded to that site so it was relatively quick and easy plus they 50% off photobooks at the time. In the end I went with Blurb, here is why:

  • Clickonprint doesn’t provide a Mac version and I didn’t want to spend time familiarising myself with InDesign or creating layouts in Photoshop.
  • Photobook Australia had good reviews especially with regards to quality of output but I couldn’t get the photos to sort in order of date taken and the software itself was a bit clunky.
  • Momento are Australian and produce great quality books most of the time, my friends had a few problems with them but still choose Momento over other companies. The application is one of the easiest ones to use and you get a high quality product however the cost of a large format, 200 page book was cost prohibitive.
  • Snapfish only have the online service and with 800 photos to upload and organise I knew the process would take longer because it is reliant on bandwidth speeds. The application isn’t as flexible as some of the others either.
  • In comparison Blurb’s BookSmart software is relatively simple to use, the application sorts the photos by date taken, and Blurb offers value for money for large books with over 100 pages and the reviews were mainly positive. For an A3 size, 200 page book I paid just over $1AUD per page including shipping from the US and I received it approximately 2 weeks after uploading and ordering.
Double page photo spread
Double page photo spread

There are a few other digital printing companies offering photobooks in Australia: PicPress; Digital Print Australia; and Albumworks, as well as large companies such as Harvey Norman, Target and Big W but I didn’t want to spend any more time researching and testing applications. There is a great blog that reviews the different products available, it is call and although the reviews don’t include Australian products many of the products are available for Australians to purchase.

I’m quite happy with the final product from Blurb and my husband is thoroughly enjoying looking at the photos and being reminded of the different places we visited. Once upon a time I would get all my photos printed individually and then place them in chronological order in an album, writing the details of location, etc would take forever but I did it because I knew that I would find joy in going through them again and again. Photobooks are so much easier and having a book of images and stories to flick through is much nicer than viewing them on a computer or digital photoframe, printed photographs also outlast the technology so printing your favourite photos is essential. Would I use Blurb again? Definitely, especially for large books with lots of pages, however I have already started creating smaller books (fewer than 100 pages) in Momento and am loving how flexible and easy it is to use.

Different photo layouts available
Different photo layouts available
Photos and text
Layouts for photos and text

I’d love to hear about your experiences with photobooks. What products or applications have you used to create your photobooks and would you recommend them?


11 thoughts on “Marty and Sam’s scrappy adventure photobook

  1. This Sydney Life May 12, 2012 / 4:14 pm

    So very impressed! I have just completed an order for my folks (of their grandchildren) through Apple. We’ll see how that works! 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 12, 2012 / 4:34 pm

      Thanks, it has been a mammoth task. Look forward to hearing how things go with Apple, I’m sure that all will be good 🙂

  2. restlessjo May 12, 2012 / 5:00 pm

    Looks fabulous. I have been toying with the idea but not yet done battle with the software so this is very useful to me. Something else I just have to make time for. Thank you.

    • twoblackdoggies May 12, 2012 / 5:08 pm

      Thank you. I think the hardest part is selecting the photos, sometimes the photos I like the most aren’t necessarily the best but they have sentimental value. Finding time to spend hours on the computer can also be difficult especially if you work on them all day.

  3. dutchgoesitalian May 12, 2012 / 5:06 pm

    Beautiful cover!! I love to make an album after a trip 🙂 Just made one from our trip to Poland in April this year 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 12, 2012 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you, it is one of my favourite photos from our time in Sorrento. Which program did you use for your album?

      • dutchgoesitalian May 12, 2012 / 7:38 pm

        I use a program from a store in the Netherlands….receive the album there and my parents bring it to me when they come over in June…. You??

  4. megtraveling May 13, 2012 / 12:03 am

    Your book is beautiful! I really like your title, too. And thanks for including all the information because I may have to do one of these, too… 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 13, 2012 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you, my husband actually came up with the title when we were planning our trip and it stuck 🙂

      …and you’re welcome, there are so many companies offering photobooks now and even though they can take a while to put together it is wonderful seeing your own images in print. Enjoy your Italian holiday 🙂

  5. kareninhonolulu May 13, 2012 / 4:44 am

    great information. I love photo books but oh they are so expensive. I would like to one day get all my blog post and put them in a book. But that is totally cost prohibitive. Enjoyed the blog

    • twoblackdoggies May 13, 2012 / 4:57 pm

      They are expensive, but I have to admit I was quite surprised how affordable the Blurb one was once I uploaded the file and got the cost of shipping included. I still have to wait a couple of months though before getting another one printed, other things tend to take priority. Getting your blogs printed would be excellent, some of the companies have options to do this but haven’t a clue how much it would cost or how much work it would involve.

      Glad you enjoyed the blog, took a while to come up with something to write about and then the book arrived 🙂

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