Wow I’m 8 today! Not me – but rather my super hero alter ego Photo Book Girl! (Admittedly, I just watched Wonder Woman and Black Panther this past weekend so I’m kinda in that headspace right now…)
First of all, thank you a million times over for all of your support. When I first started this blog, I had no idea who would be interested in reading my musings on photo books but I suppose with our lives becoming increasingly digital, there’s just something about holding a palpable object you’ve created in your hands. To flip through the pages and to relive special memories, I feel like I’m experiencing it all over again and especially when it comes to my kids (who are growing up way to fast for my liking), I want to freeze their little selves in time and photo books are one of my favorite ways to do that. I love being able to share that with all of you so thanks for following me on this journey!
In celebration of our 8th anniversary, we are super lucky to have not one but two FLUSH MOUNT photo albums to give away, provided generously by Photobook America. As you may know from my comprehensive overview of lay flat photo books, flush mounts are essentially the cream of the crop when it comes to photo books. These are the deluxe albums which used to be printed only by professional labs for pro photographers, but as I’ve been following and writing on this topic for almost a decade now and making books for longer than that, flush mounts have become increasingly available to the average consumer. Because flush mounts are typically more expensive than the average photo book, they are often reserved to commemorate special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, retirements, bat and bar mitzvahs, graduations, honeymoons and other special events.
Two summers ago, my husband and I took our older son to Washington D.C. This was a trip of a lifetime for him, even though he wasn’t quite five years old at the time. Anyone who knows my son is well aware of his deep interest in U.S. history and especially the Founding Fathers, so visiting the nation’s capital was his equivalent of going to Disney World (though he loves it there too!) We loved experiencing it through his eyes and with his youthful enthusiasm, so it was a memorable trip for all of us. One thing I want to note is that this trip took place 2 years ago. Please do not beat yourself up about being behind on your photo book making. There is no expiration date on your memories so pick whatever topic is currently inspiring you and make a book! I have a whole list of books waiting to be made!
Here’s the stats on my Photobook America Flush Mount Photo Book:
|Book size:||8 x 11″ (width x height) medium portrait|
|Cover:||Imagewrap (full photo on the front and back covers)|
|Paper Type:||400 gsm E Photo Matte paper – Thick: 0.7mm or Thicker: 1.0mm|
|Pages:||50 to 200 depending on paper thickness|
|Binding:||lay-flat, folded, seamless|
|Price:||20 pages Thick: $179.99; 20 pages Thicker: $209.99;|
The flush mount I’m making (and are being offered in the giveaway) is an imagewrap which is my favorite type of cover. Imagewrap books feature your photo covering the entire surface of the book. But it’s not the only cover option available. Photobook America offers several cover options at different price points. The Debossed line features a cut out in the cover which reveals an inset photo of your choice. The Couture line features leather and buckram (a fabric/linen feel) covers in a rainbow of colors. There is no image on the front, but you can have a name or title stamped on the cover. Imagewrap, Couture and Debossed covers all appear to be around the same price point. For a base price 20-page flush mount in these lines, a 10 x 10″ book would be $179.00.
Not all sizes are available in all cover options. The popular 8 x 8″ sized books in an Imagewrap configuration starts at $119.99 for the base 20 pages. The two other lines are Luxe and Signature. The Signature line which features leather covers, starts at $209.99 for a 10 x 10″ and $149.99 for an 8 x 8. You can choose from Italian leather in eight different colors and a patterned leather in four colors.
The Luxe line is the most expensive option offered. The smallest book is a 12 x 12″ size which starts at $289.99 for a 20-page base book. The Luxe line features fancier covers, some with embossed patterns, the classic crocodile pattern and other high-end looking covers like the floral one below. Also the Thicker weight pages are the only option with the Luxe line so that upgrade is included within the base price.
Size and Orientation
The smallest flush mount comes in 6 x 6″. The largest is 16 x 12″. Books come in square, landscape and portrait orientations. I particularly like the portrait orientation because I find that it lends itself really well to full-bleed photos (when you have a single photo fill the entire two-page spread). Not all sizes are offered in all cover types but there are several so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that fits your project.
Photobook America flush mounts are printed on 400 gsm E Photo Matte paper. This photo paper is then in turn fused onto a heavyweight board which gives the pages its characteristic thickness. The pages are very stiff and can’t be easily bent. You have a choice of a black or white core and three different thicknesses. At the 0.7mm thickness (known as “Thick”) you can have a maximum of 200 pages. If you opt for the “Thicker” core of 1.0mm you can have a max of 100 pages in your flush mount and with Thickest at 1.8mm, you can have up to 50 pages. Please note that paper options depend on the exact configuration of books size and cover you choose. Not all book sizes or types offers a choice of paper. For example the Luxe books all come with the Thicker option built into the price. In other cases where you can choose, the upgrade starts at $30.00. Overall size however appears to have the most effect on the price. It may sound a bit confusing, but the site has easy to navigate pull down menus so you know exactly what options you have and the base price before you start making your book. Flush mounts can get rather heavy due to the thickness of the pages and after a certain weight you have to be mindful of the strength of the binding to hold the book together, so that’s where page limits come into play.
In terms of additional pages beyond the base 20 pages, it can get quite pricey, so that’s where you’ll want to be pretty selective while choosing which photos will go in your book. Extra pages range from $5.99 to 25.99 per page for the largest size. Exact pricing can be found on the Product Pricing page on Photobook America’s website. Sales can help bring down the overall cost. Right now Photobook America is running a discount of 35% off which includes flush mounts and additional pages through end of March. Flush mounts in general rarely go on sale so I take note when I do see discounts.
Each album comes with its own drawstring bag for protection. That’s a nice bonus which normally is an added cost on other sites.
Making a Flush Mount
Photobook America provides you with two main ways to make your photo book. They offer online software as well as off-line downloadable software. The online software does not have as many features as the off-line version, but it is quite feature-laden in its own right. There are a lot of features not typically found in other companies’ software:
- Rounded corners – your photo boxes can have rounded corners – just another style option which is nice to have;
- Shadows – Another way to make emphasize your photos and add dimension, especially useful when layering smaller photos over a larger photo backdrop;
- Copy/Paste – allows you to easily copy an element without having to redo the settings from scratch;
- Undo/Redo – change your mind? Easily undo your last edit. Allows you to test something out without committing to it;
The online software can work great for your project, but I personally prefer the downloadable software over the online. There are a few more tools which I find super helpful when I’m making my books. Whether or not they are useful to you depends on your workflow. I am admittedly pretty picky with software and either one could work well. As with any new program there will be a learning curve but it’s not hard to learn. Both versions have pop up tips (which can be disabled) to give you pointers and prompts along the way. Downloadable software is nice to have as you don’t have to be connected to the Internet so if you like to make your books on the road, that’s a nice option to have. Here’s a screenshot of the downloadable software, called Photobook Designer.
There are some features not available in the online version that are offered on the downloaded software which include:
- Multi-select – you can hold shift and select more than one element on the page to copy at once. This is useful for me because I speed up my workflow by copying complete layouts and then pasting them on a new page. That’s how I assure that settings for box-size, font size and color, background color and other options carry over throughout the book without having to reconfigure each element one by one;
- Duplicate Page function – another helpful shortcut if you want to reuse a layout;
- Use your own fonts – this is an awesome feature. You’re not limited to a handful of fonts.
I will have a follow up post which will review my actual flush mount album coming up soon! Now that you’ve learned about the process of making a flush mount album with Photobook America, how about a chance to win one for yourself?
I’m excited that TWO winners will be drawn! Each winner will receive:
An Imagewrap 8 x 8″ 20-page Flush Mount Album from Photobook America valued at $139.99!
HOW TO ENTER THE PHOTOBOOK AMERICA BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY
You have 5 possible ways to enter, but you must do the REQUIRED ENTRY for the others to count. For EACH entry, you have to COMMENT ON THIS POST below with a separate comment for EACH entry, telling me what type of entry you did.
- IF YOU WON, FOR WHICH OCCASION WOULD YOU MAKE YOUR ALBUM? (Wedding, Baby, Anniversary, Vacation etc.)
- Subscribe to my newsletter (look for light blue box at top right) AND tell me in the comment below that you subscribed and the name you subscribed under (first name is fine). If you already subscribe to my newsletter, tell me in your comment and give me your name. (Please remember for it to count, you must confirm the subscription. Sorry RSS reader subscriptions don’t count);
- “Like” me on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a new fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- “Like” Photobook Worldwide on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- Give your review of any photo book/canvas company you’ve tried on the company’s main reviews page. (Click here to give a canvas print review). Click on the “Read Review” button. You’ll see a place to add your review at the bottom of each company’s page. Let me know which company you commented on by telling me in a comment in this post below. (Limit to two (2) entries using this method. Reviews given prior to the start of this Giveaway don’t count – they must be new ones please!)
Make sure to do the REQUIRED ENTRY!
This giveaway is open to anyone 18 or older and is open to international entrants. Void where prohibited. Void in Quebec. Entries must be received by Thursday, March 8, 2018, at 11:59pm CT and any entries not in accordance with the rules will be disqualified at our sole discretion and at the discretion of the sponsor. Winning entry will be chosen using Random.org. After compiling the results, I will announce the winner thereafter and will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will redraw another entry. Canadian winner may be asked to answer a skill question to be eligible, to comply with Canadian laws. Cannot be combined with other promotions. Winner will be responsible for shipping costs. Winner will be solely responsible for any taxes due on the product or prize including but not limited to sales tax, tariffs, duties and fees as well as any income tax obligations if any. Disclosure: Photobook America is sponsoring this giveaway and this is a sponsored post. Please note I am an affiliate of the company. If you click on a link to Photobook America’s site and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee from the company. Regardless of affiliation my opinions are always my own and reflects my honest opinion of the product.