I recently received a voucher from Saal-digital Fotoservice and got straight into the process of making my photo book.
The voucher was for £100 with only one string attached, I had to design a book in the “Professional Line”. As one of my friends as pointed out, I skim read a lot and miss details. So the first book I designed was not of that line as I didn’t want to go over the voucher value. But when it came time to placing my order, the checkout system didn’t accept the voucher and my error was financially revealed. Luckily I didn’t have to start from scratch as I could copy and paste all the pages into the new file. All I had to do at that point was resize the images.
I have to say the whole process was simple, from downloading the software to uploading my final design. The hardest part was deciding on a theme for the book. As this is a camera related blog, I decided to go with that theme and chose 25 cameras to feature. Twenty-five seemed like a good number and would fit perfectly with the 52 pages I had to design. I also wanted to choose cameras I still owned, that way if I didn’t have enough photos I liked I could take some more.
The whole process took a couple of days to sort the photos and make the book. Then I left it all and returned to it later to check it. Leaving some time between the finishing and checking meant I could look at my choices with fresh eyes…not skimming eyes.
Once done, it was time for uploading and I have to say that was also simple. As you are using their software, everything is automatically compatible. It is not compatible with anyone else so the software can only be used for this company, fair enough. The PDF you can export places a watermark on all pages, so it cannot be used to make photobooks for any other reason.
The final product was delivered back to me in less than a week.
Look at how shiny it is, you can literally see my face in it. That is due to the acrylic cover. To be honest the final product used all the value of the voucher and I had to pay £10 extra to get the full amount of pages I wanted for 25 cameras. If I hadn’t had the voucher, I would not have bought it at the present moment. Would I have bought it if I was in full time work?? Yes.
It took me a few days to appreciate the quality of the product and at first I was focused on the price. But in the end, I realised the printing is spot on. The paper quality is very high…really thick pages, and the construction is superb. I intentionally put some photos across the middle seam to see if there would be any cut off, there isn’t.
The only slight fault I would have is the edges of some photos were cut off even though I am sure I check for that. The natural printing process does cut off some of the edge, but the software warns you of that. Still, a couple of the cameras have slightly more than I expected. I think that is probably my fault though.
I would love to create a few books to sell or give away, but without the voucher I just can’t afford it right now. If you want to create your own book and do have the funds, I can’t fault this company.
Here is a short video of the final book.
Thank you Saal.
Update: You can buy a slightly different version of the book on my stuff page. In print or digital format.