The title of best photo book service has fast become a competitive prize to win, with plenty of enticing options out there on the market. That’s a good thing for you, of course, as it means they’re naturally getting better, cheaper and easier to use.
A top quality photo book album makes an excellent gift - poignant presents for birthdays, christenings, Mother's Day, Christmas and beyond. As well as being relatively affordable, photo books show you took the time and thought to create something personal. The gift of happy memories and love – that’s a tough one to top!
Many photo book sites now let you upload photos directly from your phone or pull them in from social media services like Facebook. You can then play around with sizing, position, materials and plenty more with as little or as much effort as you like thanks to plenty of auto creation options out there, too.
Or maybe you're thinking of something more practical. Thanks to the superb quality of today's camera phones, the tendency is to snap with the intention of reviewing later, only to move onto the next thing and never appreciate that shot - or moment. That’s one reason photo books can be so useful, as they distil moments for you to cherish as you take the time to physically flip through the book.
From family events and weddings, to holidays and graduations, there’s a photo book for each of them.
Today's best photo book services
1. Mixbook is our favourite photo book service
Mixbook truly ticks all the best photo book boxes. It's a dream to use, with loads of customizable options if you want to create something truly special. And the quality you get back is excellent, without having to spend a small fortune.
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2. Snapfish - friendly service with plenty of discounts
It seems that whenever you go to the Snapfish website, there's a discount available of some nature. That's great news, especially considering that it's also a really slick service with myriad size and design options to let you create your prefect gift or memento.
3. Cewe - plenty of choice and some bargain pricing
If you were hoping to spend less on your photo book, then Cewe can let you get hold of yours from little more than a fiver. Of course there are bigger, better quality options, too, if you were hoping for a real keepsake. And a 24/7 live chat support in the UK if you run into creative block.
Best photo book sites in the UK in 2021
Our favorite of all the many photo book services out there, Mixbook gets our recommendation.
It's Mixbook's superb software that makes it stand out. Creating your own photo book album is easy. And we're not talking about just the basics, as going the extra mile and designing something truly attractive and original is straightforward, too.
There are all the themes and templates you can imagine to get you started and pricing is pretty decent for what it offers.
Not to mention its diverse 500+ themes have got you covered, no matter what occasion you're looking for. Mixbook also offers a wider range of cover and paper options than the rest of its competitors, so if you need more options for your photo book, Mixbook could be the way to go.
Snapfish is one of our favourite photo book providers in the UK,. You can be as hands-on or hands-off as you like - it's up to you whether you chose every last minute of detail, or let Snapfish's own set designs do the heavy lifting.
We definitely appreciate the plenty of stock art options along with the fully editable features as it means you can get the exact layout you want, without the compromise that some competitor photo books force you to make.
It also offers a simple way to create photo books with lots of personalised options. There are plenty of design choices in the software from clip art to templates. For all the features it offers, Snapfish has got pretty decent and affordable pricing. And as it is so simple to use – once you get past the initial options – it allows you to speedily make the photo book.
The slight difficulties to search through content is a bit of a drawback however - so while you have lots of options, finding them can take time. But that shouldn't detract too much from this excellent provider.
For a photo book service in the UK which offers ease of use, wide options for things like templates and backgrounds, plus a quality finished product, Cewe is worth a look. From just £5.99 you can get a quality printed photo book, which is easy to build using computer or mobile software and that is simple to install and use.
Varying paper options like gloss and matte, plus nice options for the covers like faux leather are great to see, too. It also offers you a large selection when it comes to photo book sizes, with 50+ themes to choose from. Cewe also offers you an array of options on how to create your photo book, be it mobile, online, desktop or even have the software create it.
The software option really facilitates the process for you as it allows you to easily import images from your social media as well as cloud storage, and it comes with a full suite of advanced editing features. It also has a Creator Assistant that ensures your photo book is created within minutes.
There's even a 24/7 UK-based customer service support team and a 14-day money-back guarantee to sweeten the deal.
Bonusprint is easy to use and delivers a good quality print result. But what's really nice to know is that the customer service is also excellent. So even if you do somehow find an issue, you'll be able to get it fixed right away. It also offers 100% satisfaction guarantee and has a very fast delivery, as Bonusprint aims to deliver your photo book in six to eight working days.
It also has the very handy feature of a smartphone app, so if you have a smartphone (which we're guessing you do), you could make the photo book in under 10 minutes straight on your phone. You could quite feasibly do it on your commute to or from work.
The company also offers 100% satisfaction guarantee and a downloadable editor - this gets you extensive design options, making your photo book look exactly how you'd imagine it. Another plus of the brand is that it's trustworthy - Bonusprint has been around since 1979. It knows how to run a photo book business with the customer at the forefront, and you feel that through the process.
Plenty of deals are also available if you keep your eye out, so this can be very affordable, too.
For sheer print quality Bob Books offers a really impressive offering with stunning photos. Despite the high quality, pricing is relatively low with £9 getting you a 26-page book at 300gsm premium paper quality. Images are sharp, colours are punchy, sharpness is spot on and dynamic range is realistically accurate.
Not only is it quite affordable but the company offers a very high quality book finish, so if you're looking for a more professional touch to your photo book, Bob Books could be ideal for you.
It also offers plenty of options when it comes to sizes, papers, covers and bindings - so you don't have to compromise any of your ideas, you can get it to look exactly as you want it to. It also offers a very speedy domestic delivery, from start to finish the photo book can be delivered to you between six to 10 working days.
The online creator software is easy to use although book designs are limited. There is an iPhone app and even a professional design service available if you need that as well.
Photo book hints and tips
What is the best photo book of 2021?
Combining an interface that's really easy to use, pricing that won't break the bank and quality that won't disappoint, Mixbook is the best photo book provider of them all right now. It has hundreds of themes to choose from, with specialized designs for wedding snaps, holiday memories, baby keepsakes and more. You can customize them all as much or as little as you wish, to create the perfect photo book to keep or give to a loved one.
What is the best size for a photo book?
Sorry, we're going to completely sit on the fence on this one and say... it depends! If it's just cheap photo gifts that you have in mind, then keep the costs down by going for not much bigger than 8 x 8 inch. That's more than enough space to create an enduring keepsake.
But if you're after something more special, then crank things up. Taking things up to A4 or even A3 size means that you'll get larger (or more) photos to cherish and can turn your photo book into a stunning talking point to put on your coffee table.
Photo book hints and tips
If you've never made your own photo book album before then it can look like a daunting task. The best photo book sites give you myriad options and features to tailor-make your ideal book and that can be overwhelming at first. But it doesn't have to be...here are some things to keep in mind if you need a bit of direction:
Keep it simple: You could spend hours and hours creating your perfect photo book, with the trimming and bordering of every page and photo custom designed and a different font for every occasion. Could. If you're new to photo book creation, we'd suggest starting with one of the hundreds of themes that each service provides. That way, you still get a beautiful book, but need only think about what photos you want where without having to get hung up on every last detail. Themes usually range through every event you can think of: Christmas, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations, Bar Mitzvas... the list goes on!
Size matters: As with anything; the more you pay, the more expensive it becomes. And the price really can escalate, especially as your pages mount up. If you just want a keepsake of an event or holiday and are after something tangible rather than scrolling through your photos, then keeping it small can also keep the costs down. But if it's a special holiday you're commemorating, or perhaps a wedding or christening - a book that will live out on your coffee table - you may wish to crank up the size as a photo book can be a very special object to keep forever.
Matte, glossy or lustre: The finish of the pages are purely personal preference, but it can be tricky to decide. Glossy is usually the most affordable option and is most like a traditional photo album of old, so you can't really go wrong - it also makes your colorful snaps look even more vibrant. But going for Matte lends a certain air of luxury to the product and some services will make these pages thicker, too (which is reflected in the cost). If you need to hedge your bets, a few photo book sites will give an option somewhere in between called something like Lustre or Semi-Gloss.
Pimp your photo book: If you're a bit of a photo book pro (or have the time to be a bit more daring), then the likes of Mixbook and Snapfish have some frankly awesome customisation options. Every single detail is at your disposal, from the positions of the snaps, background detailing, front and back cover design and personalised text to accompany each and every photo.
Be careful of timings: In the age of Amazon Prime, we've got all too used to ordering something one day and it arriving the next. Not so with photo books. OK, so you can pay extra for expedited delivery, but generally you're looking at at least a week before your handsome photo book drops on to your door mat. So we seriously advise planning ahead, especially around peak times like Thanksgiving and Christmas.