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!
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
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!
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!
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.