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It’s going to be a summer of belated weddings for many and if you’re looking for a unique gift, a personalised photo book album is a great way to celebrate and cherish that special day.
We’ve tested seven online photobook-making services, including Google Photos, PhotoBox and Vistaprint.
If you’re planning on making a photo album book to commemorate a wedding or new birth, we’ll explain the three key things you need to consider before you order.
To see which photobook-making service impressed the most visit our best photo album books guide.
1) Book type, size and extra pages
When you start to browse through the options and services, you will see that most companies label their prices with ‘starting from’.
This price will usually be for the smallest size with the most basic photo album book cover.
Below you can compare the range of sizes and covers each service offers so you can see what you could get for your budget.
For most people, a wedding present is something you want to splash out on, but the costs can quickly add up if you’re not careful.
|Service||Starting from||Starting from product details||Additional cover options||Price per extra page|
|ASDA photo||£6||15 x 10cm spiral-bound book, 21 pages (including front cover)||Hardback photo books from £12||N/A for spiral-bound books|
|Bonusprint||£6.99||10 x 10cm softcover square book, 24 pages||Hardcover photo books from £9.99||£0.20 per additional page, up to 60 pages|
|Google Photos||£11.99||17 x 17cm softcover book, 20 pages||Hardcover photo book from £22.99||£0.49 per additional page, up to 140 pages|
|Papier||£20||16 x 16cm hardcover book, 30 pages||All Papier photo books are hardcover||£1 per additional pair of pages, up to 40 pages|
|Photobox||£7.79||21.9 x 14.9cm softcover scrapbook-style, 40 pages only||Hardcover photo books from £14.99||N/A for scrapbook-style books|
|Snapfish||£7.99||15 x 10cm softcover book, 20 pages||Hardcover photo books from £26.99||8 additional pages for £1.99, up to 60 pages|
|Vistaprint||£5.99||13 x 10cm hardcover book, 24 pages||Photo cover +£2.24||£0.38 per additional pair of pages, up to 120 pages|
Prices correct as of 28 June 2021.
2) Matte vs glossy paper
If you’re wondering which photo finish is best, we’ve listed the pros and cons below.
According to our photography experts, matte is never as sharp as glossy paper because it’s more absorbent.
However, matte has softer colours, darker blacks and is considered to be more forgiving for portraits.
Whether you go for matte or glossy, the weight of paper is measured in gsm (grams per square metre). Effectively this is the thickness of the paper. The higher the gsm, the thicker the paper.
- PROS: Luminous appearance, bright colour contrasts and reflective shine.
- CONS: Easily smudged, fingerprints show and susceptible to grease.
- PROS: Less likely to damage photos when handling and difficult to smudge or leave fingerprints.
- CONS: Sometimes looks dull, lacks resolution and clarity and tends not to display blacks well which can result in a lack of detail.
3) Customisation options
You will find there is a wide range of different customisation options with most of these photo book album services. You’ll be able to change most things from text font and size to photo layout.
We’d advise you to take the time to explore the different options so you can make the perfect book for your intended recipient.
HOT TIP: Save early and often while editing your photobook. Don’t suffer an unexpected IT issue which means you’ll have to start from scratch.
How we tested photo album books
To ensure we covered every aspect of the services, we had two groups of testers. One to research the services and one to examine the products.
The online service
The online service was tested by a set of seven volunteers who have never ordered photo album books before. They are asked to create and order the photo books on each of the websites and then asked detailed questions on their experience.
The finished product
Our researchers teamed up with three photography experts from our in-house design and picture team to examine the picture quality and physical condition of each of the finished photobooks.
We purchased all the products we tested.
If you fancy printing your own photos, take a look at our printer reviews.