Like most parents, you probably have a bajillion amazing photos that you snapped of family and friends on your smartphone or digital camera over the course of the year. Instead of relegating these precious memories to the digital confines of a phone or SD card, why not share your best pics IRL by creating photo books that everyone can enjoy. There are plenty of apps and online services that can help transform your bloated digital library into elegant and shareable soft- or hard-cover books. Read on to discover our favorite photo book services!
For photo book connoisseurs with more discerning tastes, Artifact Uprising’s photo book service offers gorgeously designed and well-made print photo books that’ll impress friends and family. Choose from a variety of elegant, non-customizable book templates and use the simple online tool to create stunning, archival-quality photo books. Be forewarned: high-end quality comes with high-end prices, with some designs and packages costing nearly $300 per book. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, we really like Artifact Rising’s adorable baby board books, which start at $30 per book.
Best known as one of the Internet’s easiest-to-use on-demand, self-publishing book platforms, Blurb’s photo book service lets amateur and professional shutterbugs create high-quality photo books from their social media moments and pictures. Instagram books start at $22.99 for 60 pages and Facebook books start at $14.99 for 20 pages. The recently launched Blurb for iPhone & iPad app lets users create beautiful photo e-books or print books directly from their mobile devices while on the go.
For Instagram or Facebook power users, Chatbooks is an easy, fast and affordable way to create personalized photo books and albums with just a few clicks. Users can customize photo books using their Instagram or Facebook photo feeds for as little as $10 per individual book or choose ongoing series via subscription plans that start as low as $5 monthly. Choose between well-designed 6"X6" or 8"X8" books, with free shipping for subscription plans and a hassle-free cancelation policy.
One of the biggest headaches of using an online service to create a photo book is sorting and uploading images. Google Photos has simplified the process of book creation by integrating a print service that allows users to select images straight from the Google Photos app that many people already use. Google Photos will even pre-sort events and recommend photo collections to make into books. Photo books start at $9.99 and are crafted from responsibly-sourced premium materials.
Mixbook Photo Co.
Consistently ranking among the top five photo book websites and applications, Mixbook earns its excellent reputation from its versatile and easy-to-use web-based project software as well as from its affordable prices, with basic photo books starting at $15.99. With nearly 400 flexible themes, Mixbook offers customizable, high-quality photo books that stand out from the crowd.
Founded nearly 20 years ago as a platform to connect photographers to printers, Pinhole Press is an independent photo printing company that creates lovely photo books in a variety of shapes and sizes. We especially love their cute fabric-bound brag books, which lets users create accordion-style booklets with eight of their favorite photos, starting at $24.99 per book.
Formerly known as AdoramaPix and born out of renown New York camera-shop Adorama’s in-house print lab, Printique’s photo book service is designed for amateur and professional photographers who are looking for exacting attention to detail and high-quality printing. Premium photo books can be made with soft covers, fabric-clad hardcovers or even leather-bound or metal-cover books. Basic photo book projects start at $10 per book.
If photography isn't your strong suit, but you love all things Apple products, Motif Photos might be the right service for you. Their Intelligent Image Selection technology will sort through all your images and select the ones with the best clarity, lighting, people, image orientation and more. It'll then help you flow through 80+ professional layouts to find the one that's best suited to the type of images found in your library. Plus, you can choose from a coffee table-style hardcover book or a smaller soft-back book to stash on the bookshelf. There are four different sizes for hard-back books and three different sizes for the more compact soft book.
As one of the original online photo book makers, Shutterfly continues to offer creative and affordable printed photo books that’ll suit the needs of many different customers. Users can choose from three service options: Make My Book, Custom Path or Simple Path. Whether you want Shutterfly to do all of the heavy lifting in creating your photo book or you want to have a little or a lot of control in your photo book design, Shutterfly’s easy-to-use interface, online editing tools and dozens of template designs make creating your perfect photo book a snap, with photo books starting at $19.99.
The three-step interface for Snapfish’s photo book service is simple and intuitive, so creating the perfect photo book is a breeze. Select a book size, choose a template, then customize to suit your tastes. Softcover 5"X7" photo books start at $12.99 per book. While the software is simple to use, the print quality from Snapfish has received mixed reviews, ranging from adequate to disappointing for the price.
Pro-Tip: Whichever photo book service you choose, keep an eye out for site-specific discount offers, which can provide significant savings. There are often seasonal discounts, as well as instant discount codes available upon e-mail registration to the website. It’s also helpful to visit the company’s Facebook or Instagram pages to find special deals.
All images courtesy of the companies