I was offered this product for free in return for a review. Regardless, the opinions are my own and completely honest.
The only way I’ve presented my photography work so far has been through a digital portfolio (except for A Level projects, but I won’t count that). Despite this overwhelming digital age, photobooks are still heavily relied upon by photographers – and not just because not everyone’s as up to date. No matter how good digital presentations are, you can’t beat having your photographs in print.. and there’s something very professional and satisfying in having an actual book with your work in it and your name on it.
This is why I was so excited when I was offered the opportunity to review a photobook from Saal Digital – my first photobook portfolio! That is because this chance allowed to finally start thinking about getting these for my media work. I have created photobooks before, but it’s never been to present my portfolio.
I had the freedom of choosing my own content and style of photobook. Saal Digital provided me with a £40 voucher to spend on my order, and the rest was up to me! Keep that in mind when looking at the photos of the final product – it was made the way I chose it to be made and according to my preferences, so your ideal photobook could look conpletely different, and this service would still allow you to do that!
There is a software that you can use to organise your full content. I’m usually not happy when I have to download softwares in order to buy products, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one! Easily downloadable and very quick to start working on – it’s professional but also simple to use, so perfect for those who want a lot of control over the design but also ideal if you’re not great at figuring softwares out.
It took me one short evening to choose my photos and place them how I wanted them. I like to take my time with visual and creative decisions and I wasn’t sure what to actually put in there, so it took longer than usual. If you have your photos chosen already and ypu want the simplest design, you could even do this in 10 minutes, I promise you!
I ended up creating a ‘Portraiture’ portfolio book with some portraiture shots I’ve taken over the years – showing multiple different styles. I chose that because it was my first one so it was a good idea to go with a generalised theme – but also because I could see how photos very diffeent from each other will compare in the photobook, which gives a much more reliable feedback.
The software allows you to choose the style of your phoobook too, and there are many options which are explained on the website, to help you make the perfect choice. I found that great, as i loved exploring the different combination of styles for the book.
Photobook 21 x 28
Photo paper matte
Cover: Matte, Unpadded
Barcode: Standard (there are options on whether you want the barcode included)
Altogether, it added up to £39.40 – so the voucher ampunt was just perfect.
It arrived very quickly – came way before I expected it and unharmed. The packaging seemed to be pretty prptectove of the photobook. I got a white cover, and I usually expect whoteto get very dirty even before it leaves the manufacturer – and yet there was no spots, all white anf clear.
I did actually regret getting just a plain colour, as now I’m looking back imagining a photograph on top of it and it seems like a great idea. However, a few people did say they liked it being all white as it felt simple, clean and professional.
All the photos were set out exactly the way I placed them in the software, no changes, whoch is great as I’ve seen photobooks come back with pictures smaller or in different structures than the person expected from some companies. I’m really impressed with the quality and I’ll be very proud to be able to show those as my own work. The feel of the photos as well as the cover is exceptional – it feels amazing to pick it up and look through and I keep going back to do it again and again.
I think the only downside I’ve found in this photobook (apart from regretting some of my own choices) is that the last page is showing a low key photo with afully black background, however the back cover (which is white) is showing on the outsides of it, which I think takes appeal from the photo. However I don’t think it’s a huge problem, as I didn’t even notice it the first time around. And there might have not been much that could be done about it, as I’m the one who chose a black last photo and a whote back cover.
I think Saal Digital definitely exceeded my expectations and I would definitely recommend this to another person, photographer or not. I can definitely see myself paying money to order another photobook.. and I’m pretty sure I will, as I totally love the idea now.
Have you ever tried Saal Digital? If you’ve veen considering them, I hope you’ve found the review helpful!