Saturday, 7 May 2011


I was lucky enough to be approached by Photobox to become a tester for their products and services.  Photobox is the one-stop-shop for beautiful and innovative ways to make the most of your family pictures.  They have over 3.5 million members in the UK trusting them with their precious photos everyday.

I had my account credited with £30 so I could experience the service like any other member and then report back on the good, the bad and the ugly!

I am guilty of taking hundreds of digital snaps and uploading them onto my laptop and forgetting about them.  I have literally hundreds of photos from this year alone.  Precious pictures of my children that deserve better, are languishing unseen on my hard drive!  So the prospect of making an A4 photobook was a perfect idea for me!

The website was easy to navigate and offers options at every step to ensure that you are creating exactly the product you want to fulfil your needs.  The online software offers you a choice of themes for your photobook, from the best-selling Baby's First Year Book to the contemporary Classic design.

I made a folder on my laptop of the pictures I wanted to include and ended up with some 180 photos taken over the last four months.  I then added these photos onto an album on Photobox ready to create my photobook.  While they were uploading I was able to get on with my creation.

You have the option to make an Instant Photobook where all the hard work is done for you.  It is a super quick way to produce a beautiful book.  You can then edit and add text to personalise it.  However, I opted to go for the DIY manual method which gives you total control over page layouts allowing you to maximize how many pictures you use and in what order they will be printed.  This obviously takes longer, but I really enjoyed dragging and dropping the photos in the order I wanted them to be, editing them in-situ, experimenting with different layouts and adding text boxes. I managed to include all my photos in the standard 26 pages, whereas the instant option would have required an extra 72 pages to feature all my pictures!  These are charged at £1.50 per 2 pages. (It made it very clear that I would be charged extra to have the book that way.) So that is worth considering when you decide how you want to create your book, especially if using  a lot of photographs.

I regularly saved my creation as I went along to be sure I didn't lose my work. There was no glitches in the system and I created my book smoothly and without any technical difficulties.  I ordered my book and was extremely impressed to see it arrive on my doorstep three days later.

The packaging was very good.  A sturdy cardboard outer contained the plastic covered photobook, so even the postal service and the weather couldn't spoil my creation!

The book itself was simply gorgeous!  A cut out on the front cover showed my first page photo through.  I had picked a snap that always makes me smile featuring my eldest son ruining a family photo by pulling a silly face!

I used a variety of layouts that maximized the number of pictures I could use.  The size of the book meant that even with 12 photos displayed on a page, they were still a good size.  The printing is clear and sharp and the end result is really great.

I think that a photobook is a much better way of displaying photographs than using an album.  It takes up less space and is much easier to flick through.  I love the option of being able to add text, making a real story book of your family's fun for years to come.  No memories will be lost.  I love it!

Ian was very impressed when I showed him the book I had made and poured through the pages with great delight, spotting moments from the last four months captured within its thick, glossy pages.

A4 Photobooks start at £24.99 (+ P&P).  Pricing is clear and straightforward with options to add extras such as a personalised cover, extra pages or upgraded paper quality.  There are often discount codes available such as the current offer of 35% off all hardcover photobooks.  Offer code:HCBOOKS valid until 12/05/11.  So now is a perfect time to get your digital photography in order by making your own quality Photobox photobook!


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