December 20, 2010

Photo Books

Here is my personal take on photo books-
I like them for gifts.
That is all.
As you know, we are "picky" about our prints. I prefer the look, feel & longevity of my silver halide photo paper, but this post is specifically about our books.
Sure, we can print a photo book, but do we have the equipment to print the BEST photo book at a reasonable price? Nope, we don't.
 Printing a photo book is a BIG process.
First, your layouts have to be set up in the correct PDF format (our software does this for us). Otherwise, you will have one page upside down, facing the wrong way, etc. etc.
 Then, there is the printing. 
No one photo book company is the same as the other. 99.9% outsource their photo books.
High quality duplexing printers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The paper must be cut in stacks with a cutter, and then bound. Not to mention what it takes to produce a custom cover.
We could fulfill not so great photo books, but again, we are Persnickety. We feel like the photo books we offer from our outlab are the best quality at the lowest price. Your Persnickety books are printed on an HP Indigo Press machine, 110# archival paper, and "perfect bound" (glue + stitched). You are also able to completely customize your own cover. The custom cover photo books can also include up to 200 pages.

Each year for Christmas, it is now expected that I create a photo book for each Grandparent. I love that they arrive packaged in their own silver embossed box, topped with tissue paper. Fancy Shmancy!
Here are the two 10x10 photo books that the G-ma's will get this Saturday. Each book flowed well thanks to Biograffiti's ABC Album and Cinzia Loosemores Grateful Heart 12x12 Album.  No need to resize a 12x12 to print a 10x10. Also, if you are wondering, here is a quick tutorial on how to create a book in our software.

I wanted to show you how photo books can vary from one company to another.
I printed my 10x10 at our lab and another 8x8 at Shutterfly. Exact same files. I like that our covers wrap all the way around.
Notice the color difference. Now, even though I am a print freak- I do know that every monitor and print will vary, but it shouldn't be this different.

 The Shutterfly book is over saturated. (shutterfly on top) When this happens, the colors are brighter than normal- but so are the skin tones. The images will start to look blotchy, not smooth. This ABC Album is intended to be muted - not so bright. My Persnickety book is nearly spot on with color.

Notice on the top book- the leaves and her face are more "orange".

I really like how the colors turned out with my Persnickety books. I can't wait until Christmas morning to see how excited my Mom & Mom-in-law are when they open them! For my other book on the left- I used Cinzia Loosemores Grateful Heart 12x12 album and because it came layered, I was able to change it up some to fit a more general 2010 theme.

* * * * *
Ok- so it takes a LONG TIME to make a photo book, right?  Maybe you want a copy for yourself, but you don't want to pay oodles of dollars for copies. Never Fear-
You can still print any size with those same 12x12 files! Your images are already uploaded into your Persnickety account, so it's easy.

I went next door to our craft store and bought this 6x6 Mini Album from American Crafts. $5

Printed 20 6x6 pages of my photo book- again, no need to resize or change a thing as long as you are printing the same aspect ratio. I love my silver halide prints. $14.22

And now I can enjoy the countless hours it took to create photo books for the G-ma's, in my own little version!



  1. GREAT review- thank you! I got my 12x12 book from y'all and LOVE it!

  2. I just received two photo books ordered from Persnickety and I LOVE THEM!!! After ordering from both Shutterfly and Snapfish, these look absolutely amazing. The colors are perfect and the pages are aligned correctly; the box is gorgeous. I'll be ordering from you again! Thank you!

  3. Those are absolutely beautiful! And Chari I'm proud of you for scrapbooking!

  4. Sold! Now I just need to finish up my layouts. LOL!

  5. Just wondering if you turned off the VividPics feature on your Shutterfly pages? Shutterfly automatically color-corrects all photos unless you specifically override the option. This could be the reason your Shutterfly book was oversaturated.

  6. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [21 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  7. We did not see an option to turn off VividPics?

  8. I am with you on the photo books- I started printing them- and a year later, half of them have already fallen apart! (ie, kids rip the page, bad binding so pages have fallen out, and coffee spilled on one) Needless to say, I have had Persnickety reprint all of these books with their special waterproof/archival paper- and they look 10X better!! I heart you PP!

  9. Beautiful...the difference is noticeable for sure, and my 12 x 12 scrapbook pages are incredible from Persnickety.

  10. Just ordered a bunch of books from you! Can't wait to get them.

  11. thanks for this post - I've been meaning to order my very first photo book/s for my 2010 Project 365 album!

  12. Wow, looks good! So you mentioned in the post you can do up to 200 pages for the custom cover books? When I look for pricing info on the website I see only up to 100 pages for a 10x10 book. I'm looking for a place to print a 120 page book at that size, please tell me if I'm in the right place!

  13. Ina- yes 100 pages (front and back= 200)

  14. I love your honesty!! Thank you for always putting quality and customer service first!

    Persnickety Prints is the Best!