Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Make A Holiday Photo Gift
Create custom-made presents for the holidays with help from an online service
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
If your family and friends do most of their reading on an iPad, Kindle or other tablet, give them a photography ebook for the holidays. BookBaby uses a template system that's easy to use and gives you complete design control. Features include drag-and-drop widgets, customizable backgrounds and banner images, social-media integration, easy blog capabilities, and unlimited pages, email accounts and bandwidth. If you'd like to sell what you've created, the electronic publisher makes the ebook available to Apple's iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other digital retailers. List Price: Starts at $99. Contact: BookBaby, (877) 961-6878, www.bookbaby.com.
Blurb delivers a very hands-on approach to making a holiday photo book. After downloading their free bookmaking software, called BookSmart, you can import pictures and add text to professionally designed book templates and page layouts. You also can choose to drag and drop content onto pages that are fully customizable. The controls to adjust the layouts are very intuitive. Blurb Bookify is a streamlined online bookmaking tool that gives you access to a collection of the most popular layouts, fonts and design elements. Once an image is dropped onto a page, the page designs itself. The keys here are ease and portability. Since you don't have to download anything, you can work from more than one computer. You also can turn the print creation into an ebook for your iPad or iPhone. List Price: $33 (hardcover with dust jacket and 21-40 pages). Contact: Blurb, www.blurp.com.
Step outside the realm of cards and books with some fun novelty ideas. Mpix offers quite the variety with holiday ornaments, key chains, simulated magazine covers and even puzzles. If you want to really go for the "wow" factor, have an image blown up to a life-sized print for hanging on a wall. Wall Clings, as Mpix calls them, stand up to 72 inches tall and adhere to practically any wall surface. Their gallery wraps are another popular option. Available in 13 sizes from 8x10 to 24x36 inches, your image is printed on high-quality canvas that's wrapped around a 1.5-inch wooden stretcher frame and ready for hanging. List Price: $40 (18x12-inch wall cling); $55 (8x10-inch wrap). Contact: Mpix, www.mpix.com.
Photo Book Press offers a level of quality and craftsmanship that enables you to give a book that's truly worthy of coffee-table display. Pages are printed on 120-pound archival paper that's heavyweight yet flexible. Covers can be photographic or made from a number of fabrics including full grain and bonded leather. The PhotoBook Design Tool is free and has a Fast Track automatic design option or a custom do-it-yourself option. Books can be started, saved and resumed whenever you want. You also can use Photoshop, InDesign or other software as long as you follow the submission guidelines. A third option is to have a Photo Book Press designer lay out the book. Just upload your images to their FTP or send them on a disk. Hand-sewn bindings allow the book to lay flat when open. There's also a glued-spine option, which is less expensive. List Price: Starts at $159. Contact: Photo Book Press, (888) 333-6950, www.photobookpress.com.
With a variety of card designs to choose from, Photographer's Edge makes sending a personalized holiday photo greeting simple and fast. Just pick the design and the frame that best suits your photo—oval, small window or large window—and you're done. The ecofriendly cards are made from recycled, textured card stock and printed with a soybean-based ink. Photographer's Edge makes a variety of cards for other occasions, as well. List Price: Varies by size. Contact: Photographer's Edge, (800) 550-9254, www.photographersedge.com.
Page 2 of 2