We find the 10 best options, so you can make informed decisions on tons of products and services.
Taking pictures is a fun and important way of holding onto life’s precious moments. Are you looking for a way to turn those photos into lasting physical items?
There’s truly nothing better than coming home from an event with a picture-filled phone or camera. Swiping through the photos and getting to relive the memories is almost as much fun as the event itself. Pictures play an important role in people's lives. Whether it’s that Hawaii vacation, your niece's 1st birthday party, or your daughter’s 8th grade graduation, pictures stay with us forever.
To ensure your photos last forever and don’t get lost with a stolen phone or wiped data, create a photo book. They provide a great way to store your photos, and because they can be kept on a coffee table, they’re a great way to relive and show off your memories. Before you get into it, think of the kind of photo book style that suits you best.
If you have never made a photo book before, let us walk you through the process. It’s pretty straightforward, and starts with creating an account on the service you choose. Good and safe options for your first go include Shutterfly and Snapfish, as they are the 2 most popular photo book services on the market.
After creating your account, you simply choose the photo book type you want to create. You can specify the size you want, and whether you want it vertical or horizontal. The most classic size for most services is an 8x11, but you can also go for the 10x10, 12x12, or 11x14. From there, the design process begins. There are 2 paths. You can choose the simpler one, in which a site’s designers will curate your photos and make them into a book for you; or, the more complex route, where you customize each and every page yourself down to the last detail. Shutterfly, which was founded in 1999 and has more than 1,000 employees, is one of the top photo book services as it offers tons of options. You can choose from different backgrounds, embellishments, and themes, as well as use stickers, borders, and layouts to really make your pages pop. It’s a classic option that's sure to exceed your expectations. One of the best parts about using a site like Shutterfly or Snapfish is that they are established companies that are able to offer discounts and promotions. They often have special deals offering 30% or 40% off your entire purchase order, which can be a huge savings if you’re ordering a large quantity of items.
Another popular option for easily making a photo book is Apple Photo Books. The software comes on any Mac computer, built into the Photos app. This makes it incredibly easy to take your photos and use them to make a photo book, as they’re taken directly from the Photos app. Like Shutterfly and Snapfish, you can use the software to make photo books, cards, calendars, and other prints. One big difference here is that Apple Photo Books rarely offers discounts on its products like other sites. But it definitely gets points for ease-of-use.
If you want to take your photos and turn them into something memorable, you will need to think outside-the-box. You can create really different and awesome photo books that will wow your family and friends - all that’s required is a little creativity and time.
One company that can help you transform your pictures is Mixbook. It’s a photo design service that was founded in 2006 and is based in Palo Alto, California. Mixbook has tons of different themes that will make your book original. You can choose a theme by category, like wedding, travel, or family. As far as size, you can choose the classic sizes, or go for something fresh, like a 6 x 6 mini photo book made out of thick, layflat pages. Mixbook also offers tons of customization options, like different paper types, such as semi-gloss, pearl finish, or premium lay flat. You can also specify your cover type. Options include classics like matte or glossy, as well as the less common, leather option. Plus, the site offers a discount of 50% off your first order. Another fan favorite for creating out-of-the-ordinary photo books is, AdoramaPix. It’s a great site to use if you want something different, that your next door neighbor doesn’t have. Like Mixbook, you can customize your photo book with a specific cover, size, style, or paper. These elements may not seem like the biggest deal, but when you are creating a book you plan on having for a lifetime, they make all the difference. AdoramaPic takes pride in its seamless, layflat pages that make full page images pop like never before. The company is well-known for its superior quality, excellent customer service, and the fact that it doesn’t charge sales tax outside of New York state.
If you’re not set on creating a photo book to hold your precious photos, opt for a completely different idea. Why not try a personalized calendar, wall tiles, mugs, or magnets?
There are some really great sites to help you create different and original ideas. These are great for birthday presents, Father’s Day gifts, and graduation presents. Two sites in particular that offer a lot of different options are Mpix and Nations Photo Lab. You can use Mpix to customize anything from luggage tags and keychains, to magazine covers and trading cards. All you have to do is choose the specific item you want, mark the desired quantity, your preferred colors, add your photos, and you’re done. In less than 4 clicks you have yourself an incredible gift or item that displays precious memories. With Nations Photo Lab you can create incredible wall art. These can be made from metal, wood, or canvas, and really do make a statement. What can be better than hanging your pictures on the wall for everyone to see and for you to smile at everytime you walk past?
You can also give the site Lulu a go. It’s an online print-on-demand, self-publishing and distribution platform. This is less for personal photo books, but a fantastic site for those wanting to create semi-professional or professional books to show off their expertise. Just create the book with your photos, design it, and you’re done!
If You’re All About Ease
For many people, ease-of-use is the main concern. Most want to be able to take the pictures, make the book, and call it a day. For that, there’s Blurb and Mosaic. These 2 services are known for being extremely simple, quick, and user friendly. You can make photo books, personalized items, and wall prints on both sites. What makes them stand out against other photo book services is that they both have incredibly simple mobile apps. You can use their apps to upload pictures right from your phone, and make a photo book on-the-go.
Make the Memories Last
Taking pictures is step one of creating lasting memories. Taking those priceless photos and putting them into something that you can look at and enjoy forever is step two. No matter if you’re more into the classic, creative, or different way of doing things, there are fantastic photo book services out there to answer your needs.