Photography is a great creative hobby; there are all sorts of ways to make your photos unique and express yourself through the art. But when it comes to printing, pretty much everyone does the same thing. You can get prints and frame them or put them in an album, or you can get pre-printed photo books – but none of them really stand out.
Unless you know where to look, that is. There are quite a few really interesting photo books that you can print, and some other creative, even less common ways to get your photos off of your computer and into your home. Here are six options; be sure to share your favorites in the comments, too!
Designing a photo book can be a lot of work; you have to choose the photos, place them carefully on each page, and then make a bunch of tweaks to ensure everything works the way you want it to. Montage does the heavy lifting for you; just upload all the photos you want in your book, and it automatically places them on the pages. It uses a number of different layouts to add variety and lets you make all the adjustments you want, including page backgrounds.
The book itself is really nice, too; lay-flat pages make it easy to see all of the photos on each page, and the eco-friendly leather cover adds a touch of class. All of this comes together in just a few minutes of uploading and arrives at your door in three to five days. It’s tough to get a better looking photo book than this without putting in a lot of time and effort.
Montage books start at $29 for a 6″ x 6″ book and go up to $149 for a 12″ x 12″ book with silver halide printing.
If you do most of your snapping from your smartphone, you can get a similar experience to the one that Montage provides without having to download your photos to your computer. Just download the app, select 20 pictures, and they’ll be inserted onto the pages of the photo book automatically (one photo per page). You don’t even have to create an account; the entire process is very painless.
You can use photos from your device’s photos app, Instagram, Facebook, and cloud storage services like Amazon, Dropbox, and Flickr. Any photos you pick will be instantly uploaded and ready to go. Once you’ve approved your book, it’ll arrive in four days. It’s a nice-looking 7″ x 7″ photo book with a linen finish. And for $25, including shipping, it’s tough to beat on price (though a Montage book will get you better quality).
Have you ever wished there was an easy way to get nice-looking prints of your Facebook photos? This photo book from Blurb, a service we’ve reviewed before, lets you choose photos for a book that includes your pictures, Facebook captions, and the comments you got on that photo, making a unique and very social-media-influenced book. You can choose which captions and comments appear, so you won’t get any weird or embarrassing ones.
You don’t even have to download your Facebook photos; just sign in and give Blurb access to your posted photos. Blurb also offers an Instagram book, though it’s not quite as unique as the Facebook option. It does give you a very nice square format that complements the square photos of Instagram. It is, in essence, just a regular photo book, though.
The Facebook photo book starts at $15 for 20 pages, making this a very affordable option.
Pinhole Press calls this book a “stylish keepsake that is small, but makes a big impact.” This accordion-style book lets you show off eight photos in a format that stands out but doesn’t take up a lot of space. At 3.5″ x 5″ when closed, it’s easy to stash in your purse or backpack, and you can flick it open at any time to show off photos of your kids, your latest trip, your dog, or whatever else you want to show people.
It doesn’t give you the option of printing a ton of photos like some of the other books, but it looks nice, is highly portable, and is way better than flipping through photos on your phone to show somebody. It also makes a great commemorative gift for friends or family members. Its $25 price tag isn’t bad, either.
If you want the ultimate in quality, the flush mount photo book from Picaboo is the way to go (if you can afford the $400+ price tag, that is). From the handcrafted foil-stamped cover to the hand-gilded, rounded page edges, this is a professional-quality photo book. Kodak Endura paper is the same stuff the pros use, and it’s mounted on double-thick board pages that won’t bend.
The binding allows each page to lay flat, and even two-page photos look fantastic in this book. It’s a professional product, and commands a professional price . . . but it’s also one of the best-looking photo books you can buy.
When it comes to notebooks, it’s tough to beat Moleskine; they’re made of really high-quality materials, and their distinctive look makes them stand out. MILK Tailor Made Books has partnered with Moleskine to bring that quality to photo books, and the result is really cool.
Each book is crafted with Moleskine paper and has the signature elastic band over the cover. They even have the back-cover pocket for you to keep scraps of paper (or more photos) in. The ivory paper and rounded corners further add to the Moleskine-ness of the books, and the result is very striking.
MILK’s Moleskine books start at $60 and go up from there, depending on the size and number of pages.
Your Favorite Photo Books
The six books above are very stylish unique options for printing and collecting your photos, but there are certainly more out there, and there’s definitely one that fits your style and will complement your photos. We want to hear about your favorite photo books, whether they’re unique designs or just high-quality options from companies you trust.
Have you used any of the companies above to print a photo book? What did you think? What are your favorite photo books? Share your recommendations in the comments below!