For most of my photography career, I classified photo books into two types:
- The cheap, easy-to-make books with lots of colorful themes to choose from, plenty of customization options, but only mediocre quality photos.
- Expensive studio-quality books with impeccable photo quality – the kind you charge clients $400 or $500 for. But these books didn’t offer much in the way of customization.
A few years ago, I discovered Premium Panoramic Photo Books from Mpix. Mpix, as you know, sponsors this blog. They provided the book I’m writing about below at no cost for review purposes, and I’m going to tell you my honest opinions about it.
With the Premium Panoramic Photo Books, Mpix has found a happy medium between affordability, ease of use, and customization, all without sacrificing studio-quality prints. I revisited this product from my last review several years ago and was pleased to find robust customization options this time ’round.
First off, why is this book called “panoramic?” Great question! You can print full-width panoramic photos on it – photos that span two pages with no white space around them. The effect is stunning. Like this:
(My husband’s eyes popped out of his head when he turned to that page of the book. It’s that impressive!)
But what if you want white space around your image? You can add it without scratching the surface of the customization options available in this product:
Creating and ordering this book was so easy from start to finish that I decided to make a short video to show you how it’s done.
Your customization options start with the size and orientation of the book. From 5×5 to 11×8.5 (or 8.5×11), Mpix offers a size that works for the story you want to tell. You’ll also choose the type of paper for your book’s pages from the following options:
- Semi-Gloss Photographic Paper,
- Glossy Photographic Paper,
- Matte Book Stock Paper, or
- Deep Matte Photographic Paper
I chose the Matte Book Stock – don’t let the name fool you, this is high-quality photo paper that shows off the colors and clarity in your photos perfectly. And for the cover, I selected a Custom Photo with a Matte finish. (You could also choose a linen cover in a variety of colors and add a dust jacket with photos on it.)
The Matte cover isn’t quite what I expected, although, honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It feels a bit waxy, but not in a way that I’m concerned that the finish will rub off. I’m not sure that I would have known it wasn’t glossy if I hadn’t seen the name.
Customize Interior Pages of Your Mpix Premium Panoramic Photo Book
When it comes to the interior of the book, you can choose from many photo layout options, you can add text, clip art, borders, and frames. You can even add backgrounds to your pages with colors and patterns.
Finally, print quality meets customization options. I love it!
Before you design, here are two important tips:
When you choose your theme, you aren’t choosing color schemes and patterns for birthdays, weddings, etc. You are choosing how the photos are laid out on pages. But don’t put too much thought into this as you begin setting up your book – you can change the page layout on an individual basis to create exactly the book you want.
Next, when you start customizing your book, play around with all the options. Get to know the borders, clip art, text, and page layouts. An overview of what’s possible will help you plan your book efficiently.
Mpix Premium Panoramic Photo Books Conclusion
Mpix Premium Panoramic Photo Books hit a price point somewhere between the cheap ones and the expensive studio albums. But seriously. How much did you spend on your camera and lenses? How much time do you put into taking your photos and editing them perfectly? Why print the images on paper that’s going to dull the colors and make those images that you worked so hard for look blah? I wouldn’t want my family photos on anything less.