best photo book ever

I once wrote about the importance of backing up your data, and printing your favourite photos for safekeeping. I have very recently been reminded of really how important a backup is, and I have been extremely grateful that I do have prints.

What happened? Well, both my drives failed at the same time! So not only did I lose the original photos, I also lost the backup. Unfortunately for these particular photos, I had no online (cloud) storage versions because I have recently deleted my Flickr account and cleaned out my multiple online storage amidst data privacy and security fears. I had the previous 3 months of photos stored on those two disks and there was frankly no way of getting them back without having to pay between £500 - 2000 with no assurance that anything would be recovered.

However, I have not really felt the loss this time. The reason is, I had already picked my favourite photos from the lot, and made my monthly physical prints. Sure, I was a little upset to lose hard disks I paid good cash for. Also, I have lost the photos I didn’t print, but since I printed what I had picked to be the best photos, I don’t feel I’ve lost much.

You can deduce from the above that I print a lot. Sometimes I print lose photos, especially if I’m going to be handing them out, but mostly now I create photo books. The advantage of photo books is organisation - I can group all the photos together in one bunch - and even add some text for context. It is also a chance at making a presentation of your photos, which I like because I like to share my photos with friends and family. I like my photos to tell a story, which a photo book is perfect for.

I have two main photo book services I usually use, but I am always on the look out for other services, especially if they offer a better value or something different. This is why I was excited when I came across Saal Digital’s advert on Instagram. They were offering £40 free towards making a photo book with them. If accepted, the condition would be to share my experience on my blog or social media. Naturally I jumped at the offer to try out a photo book service effectively for free.

I was accepted and sent the voucher details. I kept the cost, including postage within the free allowance and got a free, beautiful photo book out of it.

They have a design software available for download, which is how you make and submit the photo book for printing. At first I was a little confused by it. This was, however, because I approached it as though I was using Apple’s Photos application. Once I spent some time with it, it was obvious how extremely flexible, yet simple, the software is. You pick the product to create (you can make other kinds of print from this software, not just books), you pick the size and attributes, you design, you submit. The end.

There is also an option to design your book in inDesign or Photoshop. They have plugins to help with those options. Basically you can make a page look exactly as you want, its up to you.

The photo book was dispatched very quickly and delivered securely packaged. I unboxed it eagerly to reveal my photo book looking very professionally finished.  At this point and was astonished by the quality which easily surpassed anything I’d previously made with Apple or Blurb! I am very happy with the results. My work looks like something you would buy from an art shop. I am so very pleased indeed!

As it is now, my photo book, hence my photos, lives proudly on my coffee table for the enjoyment of family and friends, as intended. Rather than hidden away in a sea of 0’s and 1’s destined eventually for the mass digital grave of hard disk crash.


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