Getting your photos printed is a rarity these days. Now we generally have digital cameras instead of film ones, we don’t make use of the 1-hour photo processing Boots and Jessops and other’s used to offer and simply upload our pictures onto our computer to look at and share with people online.
But if you’re like me you still like having pictures around the place. We’ve just moved house and our frames are sat in a pile in the spare room waiting for me to decide where to hang them. Ever now and again I bung a selection of recent pictures on a USB drive and take them along to one of the afore mentioned stores to print 7×5″ prints to put in the frames – or that’s the idea anyway, it’s often years apart.
Prints aren’t the only way to give you your pictures to hold, though. Companies like Snapfish offer photo printing as well as all manor of photo books and gifts – great for you to remember a specific event, and also great to share a particular with others. And (even at the end of October) if you’re thinking about what you can get your family and friends for Christmas, there are some great ‘personalisable’ ideas around.
Snapfish sent me a voucher and asked me to review their photo books and other gifts and let you know what I thought… and what I thought was – well, bunnies!
I had a good look around the site – what a lot of choice! Photo books come in all sorts of types, then there are flip books, calendars, posters, mugs, mousemats, badges, stickers, canvas prints, note books. I chose a standard soft cover photo book, a spiral bound flip book, and a note book.
I started by uploading all the photos I wanted to use for my projects. This took a bit of time – partly because I was still undecided which photos to actually use so ended uploading more than I needed, but also because uploading photos to the web is not fast. Here’s some advice straight away – decide what you want and which photos you are going to use and have them all in one folder on your computer ready to upload together. You can set them to upload and walk away and do something else while it works away – you don’t want to be sat there watching the status bar move across.
I went for the standard photo book and to make things as easy as possible decided to use the autofill option within Snapfish so it decided where and how to display my photos on the pages. You can easily decide which ones you want where (and how many on a page), but I wanted to see what the built-in system would do. As you can see below some pages have one photo on, others two and others three. It showed me a preview of each page and I could easily change how the autofill had cropped the pictures – just moving them around inside the frame until they were positioned as I wanted them. It’s also easy to swap the pages over if you like. The photos are quite small on the pages – there is a lot of white (well, black) space that could have been better used, but I do like the layout of the pages.
The book itself has a black soft cover with black pages, which I chose from a number of template designs. The quality of the print is excellent, I could see myself with a selection of these for different events and activities – one per holiday, for example. You can add captions if you wish, but I like this simple design with no text. If you were producing one as a memory book for an event or holiday you might wish to add text to remind you of what/where each photo is, but when it’s just bunnies there is no need.
This 7×5″ 32 page photo book with custom cover cost £17.94 (£12.99 for 30 pages plus £4.95 for the additional pages).
If you want traditional photo prints but don’t want to put them in albums, a flip book is a good idea. It’s simply one photo per page, printed 6×4″ on standard photo paper and spiral bound in a transparent plastic cover to protect. This is even simpler (and cheaper) than the photo book and is a really effective way of keeping your photograph memories together without the need for albums.
You can’t choose how your photos crop so flip books work best with standard ratio images (you can see below that not all of mine were standard ratio and so I’ve lost bits of pictures where they were cropped in not the best way), and you will need to rotate any portrait photos so they appear landscape (you can do this within Snapfish). You can choose the order of your photographs, though. The process is very quick – add photos, change the order of the pages, add captions (or not, I didn’t), preview, place order.
My 6×4″ flip book cost £6.46 (£4.99 for 10 pages plus £1.47 for the additional 12 pages).
I thought this was a great idea. Basically it’s a lined spiral bound notebook with card cover with your choice of photograph on it. I am the queen of lists so it seemed like an excellent way of having one of my favourite photos with me every day. I chose what is one of my favourite pictures of Chocolate for the front cover, without any border or anything.
I am really impressed with this. It is not a hardback notebook so the edges are gonna get a bit scuffed, but the quality of the print is very good and I love having a personalised notebook like this. I’d say this is a really nice photo gift – I’d prefer it to a mug or mousemat anyway.
My note pad with full photo front cover cost £5.99.
Delivery wise, I received all the items within five working days of placing my order (placed the order late Friday evening, received everything by the following Friday). They arrived in either a jiffy bag or a card wallet and seemed well protected.
All three items from Snapfish I have described would make great gifts for yourself or someone else, and there are plenty more ideas on their website. You could even get organised and place your orders now to beat the Christmas rush! Take a look.