May 24, 2014

Show Off Your Photos with Zoombook

It's nice to flip through your iPhone or iPad to view your photos, but there's also something to be said for having your photographs printed in a bound book to keep or give as a gift.

I was lucky to get to try Zoombook, courtesy of the nice people there who gave me a voucher to create books using both their online site and their Zoombook app. The results were two really high quality books that displayed my photos in vivid, crisp colors on quality paper.

Who are the hard-working folks at Zoombook? 

"We are a team of print professionals who work to preserve your precious memories in beautiful photo books. We believe that the creative process brings joy and its results are worth sharing. That is why we designed user-friendly online tools for creating photo books.  

Anyone can make a photo book: photographers, designers, chefs, marketers, bakers, travellers, children, grandparents, poets, writers, economists, anyone! Don’t just leave your pictures on your computer, let’s create photo books and share the wonderful moments with the world."

© Zoombook

For my first book, I used Zoombook's online site to create a softcover book featuring photos of my newest granddaughter. Below is the online interface showing a two-page spread and thumbnails of some of the other pages.

Zoombook Interface

Creating with Zoombook is simple. First choose a size and cover type for your book. Next, select a template with a theme such as Kids, Travel, Vintage or begin with a blank template as I did. Photos can be added by uploading from your computer or selecting from your Google+, Facebook or Instagram accounts. After the selection process, just drag and drop your images onto the page templates. You can include from one to four photos per page in various layouts. There are also customizations for background patterns and colors, frames, text and even a gallery of clipart to spruce up your layouts!

One feature I particularly like is the ability to stretch a photo across a two-page spread as I did above with the photo of Jocelyn's tiny feet. I color-matched the background to the tones from the image using the ink dropper tool and added some text. This is probably my favorite spread of the entire book. It's hard to see the quality from this post - it really is excellent.

Check out this video below which shows an overview of the online book editor:

For my second book I used the Zoombook app to create a hardcover book of my iPhone Photo Art. There was just one glitch which may have been "user error" - my cover didn't come out as planned and I ended up with a plain white cover instead of the wrapped photo cover I thought I had chosen. But no worries, the inside more than makes up for my mistake!

The high-gloss images look as stunning as the retina display on my iPad. The colors are brilliant. I'm tempted to cut a few out of the book and frame them! I like the full page template which allows the image to fill the entire page as shown below. I opted for this on most pages as it really helped to showcase the photographs. The flowers almost look like I could reach in the page and pick them!

Using the Zoombook app to create this book was simple and straightforward. I selected 24 photos and they were automatically added to the book. I resized a few and changed the layout and added some text to a few of the pages. If per chance the resolution of your images isn't high enough, you'll receive a warning. This insures your photos will be just as beautiful in person on the printed page as they are on your device.

I recently got a Free book from Shutterfly after purchasing a Samsung NX300 camera and the quality of the Shutterfly in NO way matches the excellence of the Zoombook photo album. From paper quality to color matching, Zoombook wins hands down!

Pros - The quality is beautiful and the colors excellent. Service was fast and the books were securely shipped. The interface is easy to use and there is the ability for customization to make your book unique. Prices begin at 9 Euros. 

Cons - Because Zoombook is located in Lithuania, there is no ground service to the USA, so the shipping is a bit pricey.  

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