How can it be this hard to find a nice album?
August 30, 2006 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a wedding photo album using an online service, but the only albums I can find offered are really plain. Are there any sites that offer cool albums?

We have hi-res pics back from our wedding and I'm putting together our album. I recently created a photo book on Shutterfly, and while it turned out nice, it is very simple. The style options for the photo book on that site and all others I've found were single-color leather cover or paper/cardboard cover. I would like our wedding album to have a little more character. I really like the idea (ease) of doing everything online and having the pictures printed directly on the album pages. Does anyone have any recommendations for a site that offers what I'm looking for?
posted by ubu to Shopping (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Try asuka book here or fastback books here
posted by bonaldi at 8:37 PM on August 30, 2006

For non-printed, online-only photo albums, Tabblo has an interesting approach. It focuses on telling a story, and has lots of options for presentation. They have a printing option, but I'm not familiar with how it works or how it looks.
posted by headlessagnew at 8:48 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

if you're on a mac, use iphoto, so your online album and actual printed albums can be in sync
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 9:29 PM on August 30, 2006

bonaldi, AsukaBook looks like a neat service (though not the "everything online" that ubu's looking for). They claim that they only sell to professional photographers and that they verify your business status before letting you have an account. Will they really refuse to print an ordinary person's book, or are they just blowing smoke about that stuff?

Ubu, you know Shutterfly offers books in a bunch of different sizes, colors, and cover finishes, right? I've gotten suede-covered wedding albums from them. My only complaint is the big extra page they add just to give themselves credit. Other than that, nice.

On preview: iPhoto's photo book is the tackiest option I've ever seen. They glued on the cover photo, for pete's sake. Ick.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:58 PM on August 30, 2006

It isn't doing everything online, but I would use whatever service offers the best shape/size/printing/cost, to get the book printed, and then embellish the covers a little by hand when the copies arrive. Nice on the inside, special on the outside :)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:01 PM on August 30, 2006

I have never gotten around to actually finishing an album so I can see the quality, but Photoworks has what looks to be a very nice printed album.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:19 AM on August 31, 2006

You may find this article useful - it's a review of all the major photo book makers.

Of all the photo book services I've seen, Picaboo is the only one I've come across that offers anything more than the standard leather bound, one photo cover. Click on the Travel book to see an example. (Disclaimer: I have never used their service myself)

I know from experience that you can get a fancier cover when you make an Apple's iPhoto book, but only in the softcover version.
posted by geeky at 7:18 AM on August 31, 2006

Tabblo is indeed awesome. If they print books, it's new. As of a couple months ago, the printing options were posters of various sizes - full-color, high-quality posters. They have done a great job finding a good printer and providing a variety of options. (Also, as of a couple months ago, they could only ship within the US.)
posted by whatzit at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2006

Blurb is another possible, though it provides downloadable layout software instead of web-based.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:55 AM on August 31, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. nakedcodemonkey, I was wondering the same about Asukabook--I definitely wouldn't meet their pro requirments. So far Picaboo or Blurb look like the best bets. Tabblo only offers small cards, not albums.

I guess I was just envisioning some sort of rice-paper, textured, or softly patterned cover such as one might find in a photo album sold at a stationery store. But I guess those might not stand the test of time anyway, and might look awkward with the magazine-type pages that the online printers offer. Back to the leather bound! Thanks again for the recommendations!
posted by ubu at 1:01 PM on August 31, 2006

I'm thinking of using for my wedding photos next year. They have some nice bright linen colors to choose from that you could probably embellish more yourself if you're handy with a glue gun. There's currently a discount code [FALL2550] on the front page, too.
posted by krix at 2:32 PM on September 1, 2006

At Tabblo, we currently offer posters (with framing), but are going to offer cards and books soon. (and we can ship outside the US).
posted by nedbatchelder at 2:32 PM on September 1, 2006

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