I was contacted by someone with Adoramapix with an exciting opportunity to try out one of their photo books. As my blog readers all know, I love trying out different printers – and I’ve got a number of other books to compare this one to! ;)

AdoramaPix is a photo lab geared towards photographers, but anyone regardless of their photographic expertise can print with them. What I found most intriguing about their photo books is that THEY ARE NOT PRESS PRINTED! They create their books with Fuji Crystal Archive paper. *insert excitement here* If you’ve read my other reviews, you know that I love the sleek look of bound photo books, but always complain about the print quality and that I prefer the quality of real photographic prints. Could I really have the best of both worlds?

Apparently the answer is YES! ;)

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But before I tell you how much I love this book, let’s talk about a few other things first…

Options and pricing: They have many sizes of books to choose from. As a digital scrapper, I love that they offer 6×6 (that’d be an adorable gift), 8×8, 10×10, and 12×12. However, you are a little limited in the number of pages you can have in each book. You can choose from 14, 26, 38, 50, and 76 pages. Press printed books usually give you more flexibility with the number of pages, but these pages are MUCH thicker than cardstock pages, so I can understand why you can’t go above 76 pages. The books really aren’t as expensive as I was expecting… As of right now the 8×8″ 26-page book is on sale for $26.98 (I’m not sure what the usual price is on that, I’ll update this when I know). At Shutterfly (which I feel is overpriced), a 26-page press printed hard cover book would be $36.99 ($29.99 for 20 pages plus $1 for each additional page). In this instance, the Adoramapix book would be less expensive (and way better quality, in my opinion). If we compared a 26-page 12×12 book from both, the Adoramapix book would be $74.95 and the Shutterfly book would be $63.99. So, as you can see, the Adoramapix book would not always be less expensive. You can do the math yourself if price is your main concern – but I, for one, like to consider VALUE and I believe that despite the price, the Adoramapix book is a better value since it is a higher quality book and the pages won’t fade like in a press printed book (photographic prints have a longer life than press prints).

Uploading and online software: Their book maker is easy to use and self explanatory. You simply upload your pages/photos and then drag and drop them onto the pages in the book. They don’t automatically fit to the page, so I clicked “Fit to page” or “Fit to spread” along the upper toolbar. At times, however, the software was a little “buggy.” Every now and then the pages I was trying to add wouldn’t plop on the page and it wouldn’t work again until I exited and logged in again. That was a tad annoying… and it may have been a browser issue – I don’t know (I use Firefox).

The cover: As scrappers, most of us like to create a custom cover ourselves in Photoshop for our photo books. This always requires a template. I looked all over their site for a template and couldn’t find one, so I emailed them and they sent me the template over email. What I found interesting about the template is that it didn’t have guides along the edges for the portion of the image that would get wrapped around. So, I just made sure to keep my main design away from the edges to avoid any chopping or wrapping of important elements. When I got my book, I noticed that the cover is almost shimmery looking… like it was printed on pearl or metallic paper. GORGEOUS!

2-page spreads: I usually don’t do 2-page spreads – but may start doing so now! With a Shutterfly/Viovio/MyPicTales book, you have to be really careful when you do a 2-pager so you don’t put important stuff in the gutter because it will get bound into the book. When I saw that the spreads in the Adoramapix book lay flat and there is NO GUTTER, I decided to try a spread. I didn’t even bother cutting the image in half – I could just upload the 8×16 image and plop it in the book and click “fit to spread.” Resisting the urge to leave room for the gutter was very hard for me, since I’m usually really worried about stuff getting chopped off… but I was adventurous this time and even put text crossing from one page to the other. I like to walk on the wild side every now and then. :p

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The spreads lay flat and there is no gutter! Love it! There’s just a fold at the center. :) I’m a fan of the lay flat spreads because I hate adjusting my pages for the gutter.

PLEASE NOTE: You should still leave about 1/4″ around the outside edges for bleed. You should keep important elements and journaling away from the very edge. A little of the outside edges were cut off to create full bleed prints.

The binding: Looks good!

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Print quality: Oh my word. The printing and colors are SPOT ON compared to my calibrated monitor. I have absolutely no complaints about it. The colors are perfect, the brightness and clarity are perfect, the prints are beautiful. I LOOOOOOVE it! Seriously. The pages are super thick and seem durable. The prints have a beautiful finish. I LOVE IT! Did I tell you, I love this book? lol When I opened up my package I was very, very impressed. I sat there and flipped through the book like 5 times. haha! Please forgive my photos; I am not the best product photographer and I just got a gray card and I don’t know how to use it yet to set my white balance…now that I’m looking at my photos of my book, they’re too cool. The book is warmer than my photos… and matches my monitor’s output. It is really beautiful in person!

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I do believe I have found the solution to my photo book dilemma! I highly recommend giving their books a try if you love the quality of photographic prints and want the finished look of a photo book! Two thumbs up from me!

NOTE: At the time of this writing, I received the book for free, but the review is 100% true to my opinions! I was not an affiliate for Adoramapix at the time. In 2012 I became an affiliate because I LOVE their product. This post contains affiliate links.

21 Comments

  1. Oh wow, Megan! Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  2. Wow, with those reviews, the company should be giving you a pile of freebies! IT’s nice to see a product that someone can get so excited about! Your book does look wonderful!

  3. I love the 2-page spread! So in the future do you think you’ll do AdoramaPix instead of Viovio?

  4. Jill: Definitely! For my own books, I think I’m going to stick with AdoramaPix! I might use Viovio still for gifts for family since it’s less expensive.

  5. That so exciting! I have not yet ordered a book and really have been wanting to, so I always keep updated with your reviews! I have a couple of questions for you though. First, do you recommend the 8×8 books over bigger sizes? I’ve always made traditional scrapbooks as 12×12, but maybe for digi scrap 8×8 is a better size (and cheaper!). Second, do you print out yearly books? If so, how many pages do you usually include? I already have a TON of pages for this year, so I think I might have to split it up!

  6. Hey Jen!
    The size is really a matter of preference. A lot of digi scrappers print 8×8. After looking at my pages online as 600×600 px all the time, a 12×12 book seems HUGE to me now but sometimes I think an 8×8 is too small. I ordered a 10×10 once and I LOVE that size. It fits on my bookshelf and is a nice compromise (12×12′s don’t fit on my bookshelf…haha).

    I do yearly books – the one above is for 2009. I used to scrap a TON before I got into designing so I probably would’ve had to print 2 books if I scrapped more. I don’t scrap nearly as much as I used to so I was able to just do one book for this year (how sad… I need to scrap MORE!!!! lol)

  7. Megan,
    I really enjoy your blog – especially your reviews on printing these books. You do such a wonderful job on your page designs and this book really does your beautiful family justice! Thanks for sharing your experiences with photobooks. I’m horrible about never printing my layouts so I think I’m inspired enough by this review to make a book! So thanks for the inspiration. Oh, your drop shadows make these pages look SO realistic!

  8. Amazing! I have always hated the loss of photo quality when doing a book! Hooray! Thank you so much!

  9. I just found Adoramapix from another review of photobooks. I, too, love the look of photobooks, but miss having my prints on photopaper. The photos always seem a little washed out.
    I received my book today and just LOVE IT!!! It feels great in your hands, has some substance. The cover is printed on almost a metallic paper. The colors on the inside are right on. I did use the luster coating to help protect the images from fingerprints etc. so the paper has a matte finish to it, which I like. The pages may be more glossy if you do not order the coating. I, too, ordered the 8×8 as it was on sale. This week, they are having a special-$25 off your first order if you sign up for an account now. I don’t know their history, but expect they will periodically run specials.
    I, too, am extremely pleased with the results and highly recommend them. I ordered Sunday evening and received my book Saturday.

  10. Hi Megan, thanks for the info, I’m currently making a book for my sisters wedding, it is going to be for people to sign at the reception and I’m trying to decide where to have it printed, do you think it would be possible to sign on the type of paper these are printed on, or would a printer like viovio be better?

  11. Hey Laura!
    Well, since it’s printed on photo paper I would think that a cardstock (press printed) book would be more practical in this situation. A permanent marker *might* work on the photo paper, but I am not sure!

  12. What a great review. I did have one question about the printing of the books that I did not understand. You said they are not press printed. How are they printed? Inquiring minds…

  13. Linda, they’re real photographic prints on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper. :)

  14. Thanks for this review. I just found out about this company today and ordered some poster size and smaller prints. I am not a digital scrapbooker but would love to be. I need to do research on that! :) I want to order a book for my kids though.

  15. I just found your review via Clickin’ Moms and am sitting here with my mouth gaping open, in awe of this book….I’ve never been remotely interested in digital scrapbooking but now, I think I’m on board and will give it a try!
    THANKS! your detailed review is amazing, I love it!

  16. Thank you so much for this review! I found it via google because I just saw an ad for Adormapix (in Popular Photography) and I was thinking of ordering (well, after I get my pictures organized and scrapbooked….LOL!) I cannot wait to get one!

  17. Thank you for your thoughtful review. It is nice to see which elements professionals appreciate.

  18. Do you have the PSD you could share? I contacted them and they insisted that they have no templates or photobooks to work from.

  19. Megan,
    We know Tyrell as my husband was his YM leader in Butterfield. We’d love to stay updated on your family if possible as well… Anyhow, I read your review on this and did this Family proclamation book and had it printed with adoramapix (this is the book http://legacydigitaldesign.com/templates/family-proclamation-template/) Their quality is amazing! I was jumping up and down when I got it back. I am weird. -but so excited. Thanks for the review and recommendation. -oh, and tell Tyrell hi for us!

  20. Megan, what a fantastic book, and your experience with AdoramaPix wass exactly like mine! I did find the checkout a little confusing, though. I wish they would ship to Canada…

  21. Oops! I spelled my nickname wrong. It’s annawhocropsalot. Missed the c. LOL

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