A few weeks ago, I was invited to product test photobook software and products from Saal-Digital, a professional photo lab based in Germany (www.saal-digital.co.uk). In the interests of transparency, I was given a voucher code to produce a book of my choice in return for reviewing their product. No other payment has been received for this review and it is totally impartial.
I'm a great believer that photos should be seen, printed, displayed and not locked away on a mobile device or desktop. In this modern age where everyone is able at a moment's notice to capture an occasion, whether it is on a high end DSLR or a mobile phone, it has become more apparent that photos never really reach their full potential - to become a stunning work of art to be admired and adored. Therefore, I'm a huge advocate for photobooks; the modern day photo album. Each year, I'll produce one with my favourite images so was very excited to be offered the opportunity to trial Saal-Digital.
Who are they?
Well, if like me this is the first time you've heard about Saal-Digital, I urge you to check out their website
Based in Germany, they offer a wide range of photographic products with a very professional feel. A stark contrast to other providers on the market.
Ok, so this is the bit you are all interested in - the product.
The software I had to download was slick, easy to navigate and I managed to produce a complete 48 page book with text in under 2 hours. Based on previous experience, this was quick!
Once reviewed and ordered, the product arrived about 10 days later and wow! That was my first impression.
I ordered a glossy covered, glossy page A3 size book; perfect for portfolios and coffee tables alike.
The first thing that struck me was the quality. The cover was sturdy, meaning the book can be stood up to display but it was the pages that blew me away. How do I describe them? Thick, non papery - they almost feel laminated, yet still flexible and the quality of the print is sensational!
I used a variety of layouts throughout the book and even on its largest image, there is not one flaw in the print quality. I am proud of the way my work looks in this book and in turn, I am proud to show it off to friends, family and future clients.
The other thing I adore about this book is the lay flat design. This means you can place photos right across the centre of the spine and they are not distorted or misshapen in any way.
The book is bespoke to your requirements and you can add text throughout using one of the many preset layout designs, which are great for clients who are unsure how to place an image or as a great starting point due to the fact all templates are adaptable. However, if you are confident with design and layout, you can freeflow and add text and images to any point you desire on the page. I played with both methods and found them to be straightforward.
The ability to add text is fantastic, for wedding or baby clients, you (or they) could write themselves into their own magical story.... There are numerous font styles and colours resulting in your very own tailored storybook.
Can I find any faults? Well I can't even complain about the price. A 48 page A3 book in full gloss would have cost approximately £120. This book contains in excess of 250 images and therefore I feel the cost is not excessive compared to printing individual images and it offers a more personal and professional way to show off your images.
If I were to be massively critical, I would fault my own design of the back cover. I added too many images and it looks a little busy and I feel detracts from the otherwise classy feel of the book... lessons for next time!
So in conclusion...... This is by far the best phonebook I have ever produced. It exudes quality and feels expensive whilst on a par, costs the same as less sumptuous products on the market. Do not fear the unknown... If you have never heard of Saal-Digital or have been nervous about ordering through their site, be brave; you will not be disappointed!
Until next time, Smile for the Camera!
Love Carly x