I first learned of MyPhotoCreations last fall when they contacted me to see if I’d like to check out their newly launched consumer site. Some of you may know MyPhotoCreations as the consumer site for DigiLabs, a pro printing service since 1997. Pros should check out the DigiLabs Pro site for more features such as web galleries and other professional products.
In my prior review of MyPhotoCreations, I told you all about my first flush mount album called the Anza. You can find my flush mount and MyPhotoCreations Software Review here.
In this post, I check out the company’s Ashbury photo book. This book is in the mid-range of MyPhotoCreations’ product line up. It’s less expensive than the flush mount Anza and Marina books, but more expensive than the Fillmore and Portola books. The Ashbury is a very high quality photo book printed on archival quality coated paper
real photo paper and the heavy 110 lb. cover pages lay flat.
Here’s the specs:
|Book size:||10 x 10 (width x height)|
|Cover:||Hardcover – Custom Cover (Matte Finish)|
|Pages:||52 (double-sided), 110 lb. cover
|Binding:||Lay Flat – hinged|
|Price:||$148.99 + $13.99 (FedEx 2-Day)Total: $162.98Provided complimentary by company
|Ordered/Received:||Feb 22 / Mar 3|
Since I’ve already reviewed MyPhotoCreations software in my prior post, I’ll just give a brief summary and update.
The software is downloaded and works on both Mac and PC computer. The software is free and easy to use and you can fully customize your own layouts.
Other top features:
- You can get a quick start, there’s no lengthy upload before you can begin designing (the upload occurs when ordering);
- Instant “fit to page” and “fit to spread” functions allow you to place a full bleed photo either onto an individual page or both across pages (the spread);
- Stretch a photo box across the spread for other design effects (the photo doesn’t have to cover the full page);
- Multi-select photo boxes to make changes to all the items at once – a time-saver;
- The coordinates, measurements and resolution of the individual photo boxes and elements are instantly visible at the bottom of the workspace when you hover over each element;
- The one-click “Perfectly Clear” button can enhance any photos that need a boost for a quick fix. The result is surprisingly good.
Here’s a screenshot of the software specs:
I would prefer if the software had more plain background color choices. I’m not into crazy backgrounds, so I’d like to have more options for the solid colors. Most of the backgrounds I ended up choosing were neutrals and I varied them by using the opacity controls.
PRINT QUALITY AND CONSTRUCTION
Here are the specs on the Ashbury book itself. All of MyPhotoCreations’s photo book and album offerings are in my searchable database.
The book came in a big box surrounded by layers of bubble wrap which meant no dinged corners! Yea! I was very impressed with the look and feel of the book at first glance. It was neatly constructed and looks like a quality book.
The following are some inside spreads. I love the beach and the ocean and all the wonderful creatures in it. Looking at this book brings me back to Malibu – in stark contrast to the snow covered trees currently outside my window!
Overall this is a high quality book. It’s printed on heavy archival
photo cover paper and the pages lay flat. I did not notice any image loss in the very narrow gutter. The pages are very thick and they flex, but you wouldn’t be able to crease these pages unless you forcefully were trying to do that. Remember that that 110 pound cover stock of the Asbury book is drastically different from 110 pound text stock. (Text stock is more common for the average photo book.) The print quality was very good, colors were vibrant and images were sharp.
This was the first time I tried a book in the 10×10 size and I think it’s the perfect size – it’s not too big and not too small. These images were taken with my point and shoot Panasonic Lumix and my underwater Canon D10 cameras as I didn’t yet have my DSLR yet. With this size book, two page spreads give you a sizable 20-inches across for your full spread images. I had no issues with the photos being of too low resolution. As shown in one of the photos above, I’m currently working with the company to find out why one of my photos uploaded incorrectly. Other than that, the other images and pages came out beautifully.
At about $150.00 for this 52-page 10×10 book, this is not a cheap book, but it doesn’t look like a cheap book. It’s made with high quality materials and it will definitely stand out when comparing it to photo books printed on standard text weight paper. I think it would be ideal for a parents’ album, as a less expensive alternative than a flush mount, but of higher quality than a standard photo book.
UPDATE: 3/9/11 – I wanted to correct a mistake I made when I first published this review. I had mistakenly thought that the Ashbury was printed on photo paper (which is a compliment to the company and the product I suppose!) I was thrown off by the finish and thickness of the pages and thought it was printed on real photo paper which it is not. It is press printed. The album products (the Anza and Marina) are printed on real photographic paper. I apologize for any confusion.
AN EXCLUSIVE PROMOTION
In addition to the giveaway I’ve been talking about all week, MyPhotoCreations is offering two great promos exclusively for PhotoBookGirl.com readers! You can get an Ashbury book like mine for 20% off!
Coupon Code: PBGIRLMPC
Deal Expires: 2/28/13
20% off an Ashbury book! Coupon Code: PhotoBookGirl20 _______
Deal #2: Buy an album get an Ashbury book FREE! Coupon Code: PBGAlbum Deals Expire: 3/20/11
Don’t forget! The folks at MyPhotoCreations is once again generously sponsoring an awesome GIVEAWAY so don’t delay in entering – this is your last weekend! You can win a 20-page Ashbury in the 10×10 size like mine!
By the way, the folks at MyPhotoCreations would love it if you followed them on Twitter!
The Ashbury book was provided complimentary by the company for review. My opinion is my own and no other compensation was received for this review. (UPDATE: 9/11/2012 – I am currently an affiliate of MyPhotoCreations which means if you buy a book from MyPhotoCreations via the promo codes listed at the top, I will receive a commission. As always however, my opinions remain my own and I give my honest review regardless of affiliation.)