Lifestyle Motherhood

Photobooks, an obsession

December 9, 2016

I don’t often do comparative reviews because quite frankly, I do not use high enough quantity or a large variety of products to do quality comparisons. However, there are products I do like and am always happy to share my finds. I love photo books. And in this digital age, we’ve sort of lost the art of the tangible. I’ve always been one who likes reading physical books over a digital reader. There’s something special in the smell of paper and the act of flipping pages. It’s the same philosophy with photos, I prefer photo albums over computer files.

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I’ve used Artifact Uprising for years and really love the product. I’ve made family photo books, anniversary books and around Max and Logan’s birthday I make a large hardcover book chronicling their full year. Recently I’ve used another photobook company called Chatbooks. If you subscribe to their book series you get a new photobook sent when your instagram hits every 60 photos. It has its pros and cons which I’ll explain below.

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Seeing that it’s the holiday season and photo books make a really thoughtful gift, I thought I’d share my experience with both book companies! Here it goes!

Artifact Uprising

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My annual hardcover photobook of the boys’ year. Artifact Uprising Hardcover photobook, 11″ x 8.5″ with dust jacket, fabric cover in smoke

Pros: High quality, easy to use, fast turnaround. Once again, impressive quality. 

Lots of pros, seeing that I am such a fan. For the larger, fabric covered, hardcover photo book they offer, I’ve purchased two off these and the quality is unbeatable. I like the feel of recycled paper, pages are a good density and the print is a chic matte. It’s structure is like a coffee table book rather than a traditional wedding album. Although, I believe they offer thick, lay flat options as well. The print and colour quality are high, the binding is solid. The construction of the book overall is impressive. The dust jacket has a velvet matte finish and covers the book nicely.

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Artifact Uprising hardcover book, maximum page count at 200, thick quality binding

They also offer regular soft cover photobooks which I’ve purchased many of. These are thinner but uses the same quality paper. They’re great for everyday photo books and a much cheaper alternative. I’ve made these thinner books for both sets of Max and Loggie’s grandparents as part of their christmas gifts. They always love them!

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All thin soft cover books from both brands. Left: Artifact Uprising 11″x 8.5″ Soft cover. Right: Artifact Uprising Soft cover 8.5″ x 8.5″ Top: Chatbook Soft Cover, 6″ x 6″

Artifact Uprising’s customer service is stellar, they’re quick and happy to assist. I had one minor problem with one book due to colour, they instantly fixed the problem and sent me out a new book. They’re really nice too!

Their photo editor is easy to use and straightforward. They now have the option to edit the brightness of each individual photo on the editor itself which is convenient for those who don’t pre edit their photos. I didn’t really use it because I prefer editing my own photos and found their edits to be a bit rudimentary. They’ve updated their Page Organizer tool which is much smoother to use than before. Overall, the photo book editor is good and fast.

Turnaround time is fast and so is shipping.

Cons: Higher pricepoint 

These books are a bit on the more expensive side. I tend to take my time to make and edit my books throughout the year and keep them in my account. Artifact Uprising doesn’t often have coupons, so when I see a code I snag the opportunity to order the books I’ve left idle in my account. Especially my larger annual photo books that can cost well over $200. But this truly isn’t even a con for me, I find the book worth every penny. It’s a forever keepsake and to have something I can look through and relive my memories, thats worth the price.

 

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My Chatbooks


Chatbooks

Pros: Easy subscription, convenient, instagram friendly

Firstly, I want to say I prefer Artifact Uprising over Chatbooks. I find the quality of the former is far superior. However, with that said Chatbooks has its uses. I really like that its a subscription. Coming from a person who has anxious tendencies and never likes signing up for anything that requires a commitment, I actually like how Chatbooks sends out a book once your instragram hits 60 photos. It’s worry free, easy, and convenient. I am very “Instagram happy”, all my favourite photos are usually posted on the app. To have all my Instagram photos printed and in physical book form is lovely. These books (as is my IG account) are chronological and to see my boys grow book to book is pretty amazing.

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Chatbooks, Small 6″ x 6″ Instagram friendly books

Cons: Subscription can be deterrent, photo editor glitchy and not very user friendly 

Quality is good but not superior. For anyone who has commitment issues, the subscription option might be something you won’t prefer. However, they do have a la carte options as well, you’ll just be paying slightly more per book.

My biggest peeve with Chatbooks is its editor. I find it glitchy and not that user friendly. If I delete a photo, I have to wait for the whole screen to reload before getting back to deleting other photos. This takes up so much time and makes the process tedious, especially if you are editing a lot of books in the beginning. When I started I had 16 books to go through. Instagram happy remember? And anytime I want to go and edit my most recent book in the subscription it loads ALL of my previous books thereby making the process lag even more.

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Thickness of a regular Chatbook Subscription photo book. And the Logo sizing printed on the back side of both companies. The larger, hardcover book by AU does not have their logo printed on the album

I hope this lengthly (sorry!) blog post helps any of your if you are deciding on getting your own photo book!

Thanks for reading and good luck!
xx, CiCi

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