Monday, March 26, 2012

photo books by Blurb review

i haven't done a ton of reviews on this blog, but i always want to let people know when i've found and love a product. this is one such blog post.

photo books. i love 'em. you see, i used to be a scrapbooker. then i had kids. and i found that by the time i got out all my scrapbooking stuff and pictures and figured out a layout - before i had even done anything - it had been at least an hour. and as a mom, you're lucky if you get an hour before you have to rush off to do something else. plus you actually have to have hard copies of all your photos - as in, print them out. 
and so enters in the wonderful world of photo books.
there are certainly a plethora of companies who do wonderful photo books and provide good services, but by far, i've found that Blurb books are the best. the pricing is competitive, the quality is excellent and the program to make your photo book is user-friendly while at the same time allowing for the more detailed touch or professional to make minute changes.

this is a screen shot of my favourite page layout from the 2011 year book {our trip to myrtle beach}. you can see on the bottom is all the pages and you can enlarge this to view the pages a bit better, but i like to see the page i'm working on as large as possible. on the left are the pictures i've selected from my computer to use. on the top are all the options - you can actually alter their layouts that come with the program {called Booksmart and you download it to your computer so that if you don't have internet - like we frequently do not - you can still work on your book} or create your own layout. i prefer my books to be clean and simple looking so i don't play around too much with the backgrounds or add little graphics, but those are available as well if you want to do a themed book. also, as this is not a photo editing program, your photos can be turned or flipped, but if you want to edit them or add special filters to them, you'll have to look elsewhere to do that and then add it to the program.

i started with Blurb when i wanted to make a birth to 1 year photo book {a baby book, if you will, since i gave up filling in all those little blanks in the sweet baby book i was given} for noah. it was gorgeous and the boys still love looking at their books.

 since then, i've made a gift for my mom {for her 50th}, a photo book for jude's 1st year and several others. i could work away at it, bit by bit, and all i had to do was boot up my computer and start plonking in pictures. then i came across the idea of making a family year book. i don't print my pictures out and put them in a photo album for all to see, and yet there's something to be said for having pictures to hold and look at - and i know i'll want them in years to come.  
so in 2011, i made our first family year book for the year 2010. it turned out beautifully and i decided to leave in Canada so it wouldn't get ruined. and yesterday i finished, uploaded and ordered our 2011 family year book. a whopping 252 pages, 811 pictures and it only cost *drum roll* $74.77 {that's Canadian}. that's cheaper than printing out 811 pictures, buying several albums and sticking them all in there. now i did have a coupon code to save 25% and ended up saving just over $20 but that coupon code was emailed to me simply because i have a Blurb account and they often provide codes to save money on ordering their gorgeous books.

because our internet is so slow and the book was so big, it took just over 2 {incredibly nerve-wracking as i was convinced the power was going to cut out at any second} hours to upload everything, but i think it would be faster if you're in the US or Canada and you likely don't have to worry about power outages and your internet going kaput.
the shipping is super fast and our 2011 yearbook should be at my parent's house in Canada before April 10th! {i'm still undecided if i want someone to bring it over or not. don't want it to get ruined.}
lastly, they have this cool new feature which i haven't tried but noticed upon checking out that you can order an iPad version of your book for $1.99! how cool is that? you could make a gramma & grandpa brag book and then send it to their iPad as a gift {for all my new mommy friends out there}! or make them a hard copy book {they start at as low as $3.99!} as a gift if they don't have an iPad.

so that's my two cents. i highly recommend Blurb and you can save 25% off too if you order a book by April 2nd and use the code AMAZE when you're checking out. 

*disclosure: i was not compensated in any way to write this review, i just felt the desire to share about a product i love because what good are friends if they don't tell you the good stuff as well as the bad?


  1. Can't wait to see the whole thing! I LOVE that page layout too :) Great review Ness, I'll have to start "printing" out my photos too!

  2. Blurb seems really user friendly. I had purchased a deal with photobin and am currently working on a 2010/2011 family yearbook but I'm not so happy with the layout/format options for pictures. I'll go with Blurb next time I think. Thanks for the review!

    1. Oh I'm so excited you're making a family yearbook as well! Can't wait to see it...some day. :)

  3. I love photo books but they take a lot of time too! I have yet to make one for our year last year but I have done singular vacation ones and baby book for K and I love the ones I have done. It's just finding the time! Yours look great!

    Thanks for linking up and for the b-day wishes! :)

    1. Thanks, Elaine! It's true, photo books do take some time as well. It took me several months to put together our 2011 one. Sometimes I wouldn't touch it for a few weeks, if not a month or so. Sometimes I'd get several months done in a few sittings.
      I just like the convenience of chipping away at it when I have time and it not taking up any physical space like scrapbooking.

  4. I love all the Blurb books so far! Especially my 50th and the one of Bear... they brought me to tears! I'll treasure them for decades, God willing :) xoxo

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