This post might be sponsored, but the opinions? Y’all know how I yap. And yap I may about something I love. Let’s talk photos and books and the absence of pain, shall we? Oh, and for a sweet deal just for Team Whitaker readers, be sure to scroll to the end.
I’m no stranger to graphic design or photos. I see them all the live long day. If only I could tell you the hours I’ve spent in front of my computer making yet another photo book for family, friends or a class project. Or, maybe I won’t. About a month ago, I connected with Montage after I saw a glowing report from Click it Up a Notch. (sidenote here, have you seen that site? Genius) I immediately thought of our Texas Forever vacation and how that experience needed it’s own book because of the 2,400 miles of awesomeness.
WHAT DID I LOVE?
1. The page arrangement feature. Once you select your photos (admittedly, the longest part of my book making), then you can group them by page. You just drag and drop and put the photos you want to appear together on the page. The order of the grouping doesn’t matter. Then, Montage does the rest.
2. The smart algorithm it chooses for placing your photos. That’s right, you don’t have to spend hours – hours – figuring out this layout or that one. Aaaand the heavens rejoiced. You just keep clicking on “change layout” until you hit the one you like. And I must add, I was mighty impressed with the algorithm they use to choose which photos go where. The hard part was choosing just which layout I liked.
3. The ability to delete/add photos. Sometimes I’m indecisive. It’s the perfectionist graphic designer in me. True story, I had the entire book designed and then realized I left out our evening excursion to Marfa. Sweet Marfa! No worries, I just uploaded the photos, grouped them together, hit change layout three times and voila. Less than five minutes and four of those minutes were selecting the photos to upload.
4. The easy resize/move options. Within each photo area, sometimes I wanted to zoom in on a photo or move it around. Super easy. You just click on the photo and use their easy slide tool. And, if you don’t like what you did, you hit the “undo” arrow and all is right with the world. That came in super handy on the Big Bend spreads where I could. not. make. up. my. mind.
5. The addition of text was pretty grand, too. I opted to add a short line of text (120 characters) on several pages just to document a few highlights of the trip.
6. The beautiful cover. I waited to do mine last so I could choose the photos I loved most. Montage chose some for me, but I ended up swapping most of them out since I wanted a wide variety of places we visited to appear on the front cover. And, it was pretty easy to add or delete photos.
7. The details. Everything from the packaging, to the final product was just so well thought out. You know I’m a lover of details and they delivered.
8. The customer service was outstanding. When I originally registered with the site, I got a personal email welcoming me to the site and offering to answer any questions. Then, when the book arrived, I received another email saying they noticed the book had arrived (it had, just minutes before) and then they asked about my experience. The best part? It was personalized and you didn’t feel like “just another customer.” I even reached out via their website to ask a question and got a speedy, personalized response from an actual person. Bottom line? They care about your overall experience. That was refreshing.
9. The test drive. You can visit their website, watch their demo and then upload your own photos (all free) to see what your book might look like. I do love a site that allows you to try it out before you plunk down your hard-earned cash.
WHAT WOULD I CHANGE?
1. It’s all about those fonts. In the text boxes, you can only add up to 120 characters and sometimes I’m chatty. There was no ability to change the type of font either. I would’ve preferred the ability to add some different fonts to bring attention to some things. But, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. Here, the focus was on the photos, and I was perfectly fine with that.
2. The pop-up menu with photos kept popping up when I clicked the arrow to move to the next page. It was only slightly annoying.
And, really, that’s it. This whole experience was top notch. These books aren’t crazy expensive, but they’re not discount prices either. I’m not sure I would pay to do this book for every photo project I have, but I am definitely using them again, particularly for the events I want to document and keep forever. This book reminds me of the professional ones done by wedding photographers. In fact, it makes me wish I had my wedding pics in digital format. But, hi 1996.
Let’s look at the final product!
These details. The packaging, the receipt as a letter (and they even have a 90-day return policy!) and the box. It was all so dern lovely. They even took a smattering of photos I uploaded and made it the inside front and back cover wallpaper. LOVE!
The lay-flat pages are pretty rad, too. I was a little concerned about that seam down the middle, but it turns out looking better than I envisioned.
Bottom line? I highly recommend Montage if you’re looking for a step above the usual photo book. They deliver. While this post is sponsored by them, they didn’t pay me to say nice things, they paid me to be honest! I’ll be back, Montage!
THE BEST PART?
They’re offering free shipping to all Team Whitaker readers. Just click here and get working on your very own book. Happy creating, y’all.
This post contains affiliate links.