So recently I had the opportunity to create my very first photo book. I saw an ad on instagram for a free photo book creation under the conditions I write a review about the experience afterwards, so that is what i'm doing.
Now i've been told to be honest by Saal digital so I will be as honest as possible in this review so not only Saal digital can learn something from my experience but also anyone who reads this can learn about the trials of creating a photo book. Now this being the first time I have ever ventured on a project such as this my knowledge was somewhat limited, I understand how a book works, but it I didn't full understand how the photo book was going to be laid out. When I was creating my photo book it was pretty painless, I uploaded my favourite shots from New York, and then just kind of put them in the book the way I wanted to. Now this did take some time to completely figure out the navigation and how the layout system worked, and I did run into confusion when it came to some of the layout ideas not being able to get certain things in the right place, but after some exploration and fidgeting I managed to get a grip on the system and from then on it was a breeze. The only thing I would say to Saal Digital is that the layout system can sometimes fight back and not present things the way you would want to first time, I had to go through different templates just to try and find a way around this which was a small inconvenience for me. The other problem that I had with the system was that page 1, isn't really a page... Now I know that might sound stupid at first but I was shown a labelled page 1, but it was actually the inside of the hard front cover. Now in hindsight that does seem more like my idiocy than a Saal Digital fault, but it might be worth re labelling that page so that kind of confusion doesn't happen for other users. The only other fault I had with the system was the cover, I knew the photo book was going to have a vinyl style finish to the hard cover, but the layouts that were given to me didn't really work with my 'vision' of the photo book, for lack of a better word. Maybe that's because I had never made one before, and I couldn't really get a feel for how it was going to look fully through my computer screen, but all in all the whole thing was quite fun. I had to think about how I wanted to arrange my photos and get them all in the right order, have some kind of narrative to the whole thing or just have it as a showcase of the photos I took, so I did really take my time with the whole process and in the end gifted the book to my mum, as we went to New York for her birthday so the whole experience wrapped up in a little book for my parents was a nice little keepsake of our time in New York as well.
Overall i would give the entire experience a 7/10, any problems that occurred were minor inconveniences and probably could have been avoided if I had taken a little more time to explore the options a bit more, but all in all the experience was enjoyable and the finished product made my parents very happy so I can't argue with those results. The only criticism I can truly give is a little bit more care taken on the descriptions across the photo book builder, as previously mentioned the first page isn't really the first page etc. I'd like to thank Saal Digital for the opportunity to let me test their builder and let me keep the product free of charge, and if you're a first time photo book builder like me, this is an affordable and easy way to get a photo book done and see what your photos look like printed, cause they don't always look the same as they do on your laptop with full brightness #underexposedisntattractive