The other day I was so excited to receive a big ol’ box from UPS with my new portfolio album! I’m sure many of you are familiar with KOLO albums and products which you can find in many bookstores and art supply stores.
I was looking for a portfolio album to bring with me to new client appointments and I considered the usual suspects: Mypublisher,Blurb, MPix, etc., as well as the option of inserting 4 x 6 photos into a traditional KOLO album. As I perused the KOLO website, I noticed that they offered Digital Photo books! After some consideration, I decided that this was the best option for me because the style of it is classic and beautiful, and most importantly, the album is expandable up to 50 double-sided pages so that I can continue to expand my portfolio as my business grows. Through the KOLO site, you can also order the photo printed pages only… perfecto!
PROS: - The high quality look and feel of the album; cover is available in a variety of colors - Super thick, archival quality pages, and good print quality - Expandable up to 100 pages (50 double-sided) - Affordable, although certainly not cheap by any means (and I couldn’t find any online coupons) - No need to download or install any software - Good customer service (I called twice with questions, and they were helpful both times)
CONS: - The upload and design software on their website is poorly designed and elementary, and there were no real instructions so my first attempts were annoying - Not nearly enough layout options at all! (Not a problem if you are Photoshop/Illustrator savvy and can design your own layouts and upload as a full page image. Unfortunately I do not fall into that category…)
Here is the finished album I received along with a few of the layouts for your viewing pleasure:
A spread of Vida & John’s wedding
Notice the thickness of the pages! It feels very luxe, me likey!
The back flap where you can unscrew the posts and add more pages at your leisure.
I chose the largest album option they had - the Newport Giant - which is a generous 11 x 14. Below you can see it stacked on top of my wedding album, which I designed and printed through MyPublisher. If I were to order another album, I would go with the black cloth cover. As much I as love this pretty grey color, I can tell it will get dirty relatively easily.
In comparison, my wedding album is a MyPublisher deluxe hardcover album, and a hefty 11 x 15 with a glossy book jacket. As a disclaimer, I ordered this book in 2007, so I’m sure much has changed with MP since then, but when comparing what I know about them from back then to my new KOLO album, this is how it stacks up:
PROS: - Affordable, with a plethora of online coupons for buy-one-get-one-free, 40% off, or the like - Easy to use software - More layout options - Love the custom book jackets (but hate it when they accidentally get bent or creased!)
CONS: - Pages are not quite as thick as the KOLO album - Not expandable (which was key for my portfolio decision, but not necessary for everyone) - Print quality is good but not great,and some colors look “off” on a few images - You have to download the software
I always thought the pages were thick… until I received my new KOLO album! A good variety of layout options…
As much as I love my MP album, I’m still waiting for the day when I can order a real, professional, archival quality wedding album… hopefully one of these days!!
What online album companies have you tried, and which ones would you recommend?