Whether you’ve traveled the globe seeking fine art photos, survived the safari of a lifetime or just had a new addition to your family, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better photo gift this holiday season than a personalized photo book.
Building a book can be as basic as clicking a button, but our friends at Blurb suggest a few tried-and-true tips for creating the perfect project each and every time. So when you’re ready to turn your SmugMug photos into your next book, keep these five tips in mind.
And as an extra bonus, keep reading for an exclusive Blurb discount for Smuggers.
1) Use only your best photos.
There’s more to choosing photos than just grabbing a bunch of interesting images. “Less is more” when it comes to a well-designed photo book, so eliminate any photos that you don’t have an emotional reaction to or are technically distracting (i.e., too dark, blurry, contain busy backgrounds, etc). You’ll end up with a more focused, powerful image selection.
And once you have them, don’t be afraid to edit your photos. Being tough on your own work is a surefire way to ensure that your book shows your best examples.
2) Keep it really, really simple.
Unless you’re going for a scrapbook look, keep the basic design clean and simple. Don’t go crazy by using too many different fonts, font sizes and a complicated page layout. Pick a simple & legible font that will print well! It’s easier on the eyes, and lets the beauty of your images shine through.
3) Keep headers and footers consistent.
One of the most easily-missed issues is the stuff on the edges: making sure all your headers and footers stay consistent throughout your book. In fact, you may want to do this part at the very end, after all other parts of your book are finished, since adding or reorganizing pages can override your header/footer settings. Be sure that whatever text you choose reads the same across left and right pages, and that you use a consistent font.
4) Don’t fall off the edge!
Just like with photo prints, you should keep an eye on the edges of your book and make sure you don’t put important parts of your images too close to the margins where there’s a bleed/trim area. This is especially important on covers, which usually contain graphics or words.
How close is too close? It depends on the cover option you choose but a good rule of thumb is to not put any critical content within an inch of your book’s edges.
5) Inspire with your cover design.
While we’re on the topic of covers: A great-looking cover is really important in getting people inspired and interested enough to open up your book and look more closely at your work. Our top tip is to keep it simple – don’t have too many fonts or photographs on the front and don’t always go for the obvious shot! It’s fun to be a little mysterious.
Blurb’s Very Smug Holiday Discount
If you’ve never made a photo book before through Blurb, now’s your chance to find out how easy it is! And if you have, then it’s the perfect opportunity to make another. They’ve got a huge variety of sizes, covers and papers so you can build the book that you want, at the price that you want.
Try any of their easy bookmaking tools to create your next masterpiece, and use the code SMUGCHEER to get 25 % off at checkout.*
And of course, don’t forget to take a look at their holiday shipping deadlines, to be sure that you’ve got something to give on the big day.
Happy page-turning holidays!
* Offer good for 25% off your print product total on books created by you up to a maximum discount of $200 USD, CAD & AUD, 120 Euros. Offer expires on Dec 10th at 11.59pm and can only be used by each person once. This offer may not be used towards gift cards, volume discounts or retroactively applied towards a previous order.
US Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 13th. If you’re stumped on gifts, here are some creative photo ideas to help you turn the usual brunch and flowers into a truly memorable morning.
Great Gifts in Your Galleries
1. Tote bag
Most ladies love bags, but mom’s sure to grab the one that boasts her favorite photo. Plus, it’s roomy, versatile and carries it all – from diapers to groceries to yoga mats. Proud smile not included.
2. Ceramic photo mugs
Have a peaceful moment with the kids and coffee. (We’re not kidding!) A family photo on the mug lets mom sit with everyone at the table… even when they’re still asleep.
3. Mouse Pad
It’s time to retire that free mousepad from 2003. This customizable photo mousepad is an easy, thoughtful way to brighten up the desk.
The kitchen is the heart of your home, a place for food, friends and family. Decorate the fridge with these custom photo magnets, or use them to proudly show who earned those straight A’s.
5. Desktop organizer
Whether it’s pens, pencils or paintbrushes (or all three), this mahogany desktop organizer keeps everything neat, tidy and looking great. Dress the front with her favorite family photo for an inspiring day at the office.
6. Box Framed Print
A beautiful alternative to a traditional printing options, these bold prints are photo paper mounted on board, then set away from the wall in a gorgeous wood box. A proud option for any proud parent, or anyone who wants something unique.
7. Custom Photo Cards
Way better than a drugstore greeting, a personalized photo card crafted around her favorite family portrait is sure to make her cry. Find the image in your gallery and click the Buy button > Create a Card option.
8. Her own photo website
The Gift of SmugMug is the perfect present for a shutter-happy mom. You can buy her 1, 2 or 3 years of Unlimited uploads, safe backup and easy prints and gifts.
Order soon for May delivery
Swing by our complete catalog to see all the goodies we offer. Remember that all print and gift items take 1-2 business days for processing and printing, so plan accordingly. Also, be sure to choose the right shipping option for a timely delivery.
We hope this sparks some ideas in you to create the perfect gift for those who make a difference in our lives. Here’s to making Mom’s Day 2012 a unique one!
Happy Cyber Monday, Smuggers! The Gift of SmugMug is back.
The dishes are done and the tree’s all lit up. Now it’s time to get back to the office, dust off your keyboards and… start shopping for sales.
We know you’re scouring the ‘net looking for good deals, so we’ll make this one quick. :)
What’s the Gift of SmugMug?
An easy way to give your photo nut in your life one, two, or three years of safe, unlimited SmugMug service. Unlimited uploads, worry-free subscription and peace of mind for their memories. What’s not to love?
We’ve brought the Gift of SmugMug back into our header, so you’re one click away from gifting that person that already has everything.
How much does it cost?
Depending on the plan, you can gift as little as $35, or three full years of Pro for $360. The more you buy, the more you save.
Look right here to see all the details on how it works.
Do I get anything?
You bet. Don’t forget that when you give them their own safe, unlimited website, you get $10 to go towards your own Smug Self. Now that’s good karma!
Today we’re having our good friends at Blurb share a few of their hottest gift ideas for the coming holiday season. You know Blurb as those peeps who bring you easy, affordable, beautiful photo books. If you haven’t, check them out now! They make your SmugMug images totally shelfworthy.
Keep the Pages Turning With Useful Gifts
Smart photographers know how to get their photos in peoples’ hands. As the gift-giving season approaches and you’re looking for that special present, know that there are lots of great, useful alternatives to the traditional photo book out there… and you can easily make them using your SmugMug photos and Blurb:
Use Blurb BookSmart® to design a custom Notebook filled with your photos and blank, gridded, or lined paper. In addition to paper choices, you can order them in Hardcover, Softcover, or Hardcover ImageWrap to complete the look. They’re as little as $6.95 for a 20-page softcover.
Use Blurb BookSmart® and make a weekly planner using our custom planner templates for 2012. Each month gets an image, plus you can customize the front and back cover. You can even add extra pages in the back for notes or more photos. At 131 pages, they start at $23.95 for a softcover.
Small gift books
Our Small Square (7×7-inch) size is a perfectly portable size for a photo book. Compact, but still big enough to showcase your work. These start at $10.95 for a 20-page softcover.
The ultimate personalized gift. Since you can order just a single copy of a book with Blurb, you can add dedications and make books with specific photos for just one person. Using our online Blurb Bookify™ tool, you can easily pull in your SmugMug photos and make as many dedications as you wish.
A Holly Jolly Discount
As an added bonus, SmugMuggers can save 20% on their Blurb book orders through December 15th.* Just use the code MERRYSMUG when you check out.
You’ll find Blurb in the Buy button in any of your SmugMug galleries, under “Create a Book.” Try out these fabulous custom book ideas and keep them thinking of you (and your beautiful pics) all year long.
* Coupon valid once per person, for purchase of books you’ve made yourself. Expires December 15th, 2011 at 11:59 PM, local time. Max coupon value $100, $120 AUD/CAD, 80 EUR, 60 GBP.
Did you wait? It’s never too late! All of us at SmugMug put our noggins together to share our best, most gratifying gift ideas for photo nuts like you.
We know it’s a shameless plug but we do think that completely unlimited, safe and secure photo sharing is a pretty perfect present for just about anyone. With our newest Gift of SmugMug, you can easily bestow your budding photographer friends with just a few clicks. Choose between three account types and even save them the fuss of renewing with two (or three) years.
It’s quick, simple, and we promise to be nice to them. From $35
Camera Phone Fisheye, Wide-Angle and Macro lenses
They may be small, but these deceptive little doodads will open up your camera phone in a big way. Give the gift of focal length with this great little stocking stuffer. From $25
It’s beefier than an iPhone lens, but Lightroom will revolutionize the way you edit photos. Period. This could be life-changing, folks. What will you do with all that free time? $249
Eye-Fi Connect X2
Wireless photo transfers from your camera to your computer (or your SmugMug gallery!) Need we say more? $49.99
Moo Mini Cards
It’s never too late to make an earth-shattering, job-booking first impression. MOO prints up gorgeous, thick, smooth, pro-grade business cards in funky little sizes. They’re business cards with a twist. We love usin’ ‘em! From $19.99
Tickets to Sandy Puc’s The Power of Passion Photography Tour
The best investment is education. Treat yourself (or a friend) to an invaluable seminar that will kick start your business and give you an edge. They’re starting in early 2011 so snag a seat and don’t miss out. $99
Spice up your photos by turning them into arresting, hands-free videos. No more snoozing through your holiday slideshows, cuz even grandma will be dancing to your tunes.
You pick the theme. You pick the music. Animoto does the rest. $30/year
Gift Certificate for Kevin Kubota Image Tools
Inspire your photo friends with custom filters, actions and other creative image tools. Their workflow is worth it. From $50
3-in-1 iPad Camera Connector
Don’t let a perfectly good iPad go to waste. Load photos directly to it from your camera and free up more space for shooting those holiday party shenanigans. $29.99
Re-Stickable Wall Decal Frames
A fun and totally non-permanent way to dress up plain spaces with your best faces. Change your mind? Peel it off and pick a new spot. We use them to decorate Smuggy Central! From $20
If you’re still stumped, don’t forget to check out ClubSmug for awesome, exclusive deals on photo-centric goodies. Log in and tell them Smuggy sent you.
We hope our list has refueled your gift-buying mojo. And if you’ve already done all your shopping, we just helped you get a 12-month start on next year.
Here’s to making photographers happy together!
The SmugMug Family