I recently had the awesome opportunity to try my hand at creating a Smilebooks photobook. I had a bunch of unscrapped family reunion photos from last summer, so this was the perfect chance to get them done…thank you Smilebooks!

I began by downloading the free photobook software provided by their website. I was then able to create my photobook directly on my PC, which was great in that I didn’t need to have internet access to work on it. This is the third photobook company I have created with, and I found Smilebook’s software to be the most user-friendly and easy to understand.

You can plop photos into several different templates with many cool design options (from 1 to 9 photos per page), backgrounds, and colors, or you can create your own digital page and use that as well. If you want to create your own page there’s no need to download special templates with guides, or to add extra space around the edges. Just create your canvas the size of your book (12×12, 8×8, etc) and the software takes care of the rest. They offer standard 12×12 and 8×8 sizes, and also an A4 size (approx. 8×11) and a smaller 5.5×5 size. I created an A4 book and I love the unique graphic look of this format.

My book is hardcover and I’m thrilled with the quality of it. The pages are 135 lb extra heavy digital print paper and look gorgeous. The images on each page are straight and trimmed perfectly. I have had experiences with other companies where the pages were crooked or trimmed unevenly, but this was not the case with Smilebooks.

Smilebooks is based in Europe, and the cost is a bit more than USA based companies I have dealt with previously, but the production and shipping times were comparable. However, if excellent quality and user-friendly easy-to-understand software are important to you, it is definitely worth the extra cost. Take a look, check it out, and you decide! (All digital supplies from Designer Digitals.)

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