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Photo Books

I like making albums. Photo book software and services have made it so easy it's my new drug. I want to go on trips, just so I can take enough related pictures to put together a photo book. Jesse went on a business trip to Hong Kong last week - Photo Book Opportunity! My first photo book used iPhoto, I was dissatisfied with their layout selection though. Next I tried Sony's ImageStation, and the web interface was just toooo sloooow. The last several books I've made using Ofoto, but I want more page layouts! I looked at Shutterfly the other day, and they have better choices in terms of where the pictures get laid out on the page and better text boxes, but don't have any interesting backgrounds or options for full bleed picture pages. [But they *do* have a "turn on/off our 'make your photos pretty and sharp' process" button, so go them, that's one of my pet peeves.] The other day I tried out the new iPhoto 5.0 book layout tab in an Apple store, and wow... Talk about software that is designed for idiots, and so oddly fool proof that I, as an intelligent software sussing person, could *not* figure out how to get it to do exactly what I wanted. You can drag photos around on the page, and somehow that snaps between pre-configured layouts... but it was very pretty. Then I found Lulu the other day, send them a PDF, they print it into a book. That's pretty cool, and it's much cheaper than other photo book services, at only .15$ a page. They only do tall book aspect ratios though, 6x9, 6.625x10.25, and 8.5x11, and I *think* they do full bleed, but I'm really not sure. So - AH! Too much photo book crack. I think if I use Lulu though, the freedom will bog me down into a month long page layout crafting bout of insanity. At least if there are limitations to the service, there's only so much tweaking I can do...