I recently took advantage of an offer I found online to test out a new photobook product from a company called Saal Digital .
Now I have used digital photobooks in the past to put together portfolios of my photography which are useful to quickly show to editors and other contacts when I am pitching for work face-to-face and so I thought it was time for a new version.
The way it works is that you download a piece of design software that lets you choose the basic options you would like such as size of book (I chose the 19cm x 19cm layout as I wanted the double-page spreads to showcase certain cropped landscape images in particular (see below)), type of paper used and thickness and also the cover style. There are then other additional options for gift boxes too for example.
It was very quick and easy to choose the photographs I wanted to use and the software allows you to pre-fill the pages with templates you then drag and drop your photos into, or you can decide manually on a different layout for each page, some with text and some without although you can still manually add text via the interface wherever you want anyway. The software also very usefully checks the quality of each image and rates it as you import it into your layout so you know if any images need checking or changing.
If you are well-prepared in advance with a set of photos that have been pre-selected and corrected to look their best then you could produce a book very quickly. I took longer as I tried some different variations and had to re-work and re-export some images from Adobe Lightroom to look their best. There is a good choice of page templates to choose from and I found the interface easy to use and once finished I could save a preview as a pdf document to check before hitting the order button.
The book itself arrived in just a few days after ordering and is of a very nice quality. I chose a glossy photo cover and glossy paper which really makes the photographs pop and adds depth. The page thickness is actually more like card than paper so is going to be harder wearing for sure and resistant to wear and tear.
All in all I was very pleased with the usability of the software, the ordering process and the resulting quality of the product. For my 34 page photobook the retail cost was £36.95 plus £4.95 postage and packing. Now I have seen what they can produce I would use their service again and maybe try one of the larger format book layouts next time.
Have a look at the complete layout of my 2016 Portfolio book by clicking HERE (you can even order your own copy if you like!) and then checkout all their photo product options on their website at www.saal-digital.co.uk .