a) Hard Candy Christmas & b) Make-Your-Own Albums

Like pretty much everyone I know, we are scaling waaaay back for Christmas this year. And actually, it’s been the most relaxing holiday lead up in years! With the reliable —and totally authentic!— “Broke Newlywed” excuse, we’re keeping it really simple. With 5 or 6 teensy exceptions for immediate family, we are only giving gifts that are either: a) home baked or b) a calendar date to have/make dinner or brunch with friends.

With all the time I’m been saving not freaking out about gifts and lists, I’ve been working on our wedding album. In the absence of a) a really awesome suite of design products or b) the cashflow to have some professional make our album for us, I decided to give one of these vanity press photobook services a try.

After a little shopping around for an application, I decided that I preferred MyPublisher over the iPhoto Book that came with my computer. I knew we wanted a) a great big coffee-table size book, b) a nice cover, and c) room to write in at least some of the margins. For my own steep learning curve with all things technical, I needed a set of commands and buttons and pictures (read that: GUI) that makes sense to the little sprouts of layout design I know.



I found the prices for each product to be pretty comparable. They each offered the giant-size we wanted, with similar “base rates” for 20 big pages, and about 99 cents for each additional page. When I tried them both out, the MP interface just seemed more intuitive, and there seem to be more options for picture layout and fonts.

I also like that you can add up to 12 pictures on a page (as opposed to 6 with iPhoto). I didn’t mind the extra step of organizing and “editing” my photos in iPhoto and then uploading them to MP. (Although this is a drawback… if I find I want to edit a photo I’ve already uploaded to MP, I have to repeat the whole iPhoto to MP process. If I was working in iPhoto, it would auto-update itself within the book layout.)



Two other important factors for my choosing MP are aesthetic and practical: a) iPhoto doesn’t offer the schmancy leather cover we want and b) our Costco membership gets us an extra 20% off of an MP book. Another reason to love Costco.

I’ll be interested to see how these products evolve in later versions. I’ll likely go back to make other albums, and maybe we’ll see then if my first impressions were right.


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