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Best Photo Book Printing Companies Compared (Top 11 Options)

Photo book printing services have become a coveted resource for photographers around the globe, from the home-based amateur to the freelance professional. For the hobbyist looking to document a recent trip, photo books can add a special touch to your memories. For professionals, a high-quality print of your portfolio can be the thing that raises you above your competitors.

No matter where you stand, it’s no surprise that photo books have been taking the photography world by storm lately. But in the midst of the photo book online printing craze, choosing a reputable company can be harder than ever. Join us as we take a look at the 11 best photo book printing companies today and find out which one will work best for you!

What Is an Online Photo Book Printer?

Photo books have been around for years; although, changes in the industry have made them more customizable and easier to create with each passing day. Today, you can order a photo book online from a variety of print companies. For some, you can create and order directly in your browser, while others offer easy-to-use apps.

If you’re a hobbyist photographer, this can be a stress-free way to add a personal touch while printing your favorite photos. Whether you’re trying to print a photo book of your family’s latest vacation or documenting your journey into the world of photography, there are options for just about any type of photo book you can imagine. You can even add colorful borders, text, and images to your pages to make them unique and add a kind of high-quality scrapbook feel to your book.

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Alternatively, photo books have become an amazing way for professionals to deliver photos to their clients, or even just to compile an impressive portfolio. Printers today will typically offer options for lay flat or flush mount binding, allowing you to produce photo books with a full-bleed spread on each page. Depending on which service you select, you’ll be able to say goodbye to losing your image to the gutter when printing.

1. Printique (Our Pick)

There are many photo book options you can choose from online. Some opt for a few simple pages stitched together, while others splurge for elaborate, leather-bound books. In our opinion, Printique hits the sweet spot as an accessible option with stellar results.

You can read our full Printique review for an in-depth assessment of its photo books and other products. Here is our verdict about Printique in a nutshell.

What we love:

  • Craftsmanship. Printique offers excellent craftsmanship and print reproduction.
  • Features. Premium features like specialty paper and layflat binding come at little to no extra cost.
  • Book sizes. There are plenty of sizes to choose from in portrait, square, or landscape orientation.
  • Customer service & delivery. Printique’s customer service is fantastic offering a quick assembly and delivery.
  • Usability. The software used to design the book is suitable for novice and advanced users alike, or you can simply upload a PDF of your already-designed book to their website.

What we’d change:

  • Limited length. There is a 100-page cap on all books.

Order Your Book at Printique

2. Shutterfly

Perhaps the most well-known photo printing company, Shutterfly offers the ability for even beginners to make a professional-looking book.

Related Post: Shutterfly vs Mixbook: Which One Is Better?

What we love:

  • Tons of styles. You can choose from dozens of different design templates to get the right style for your specific book theme. Options include summertime and seasonal themes to cute animal prints for pet lovers and even a heartwarming design for the world’s best grandparents.
  • Multiple cover options. We love the variety offered when it comes to Shutterfly’s cover options. Currently, there are 12 options available, including hardcover, softcover, hardcover with a matte finish, padded photo cover, or a cover made of cloth, linen, leather, or silk.
  • Great customer support. Shutterfly has been known for amazing customer support. After ordering your product, you’ll receive information on how to contact the company in a variety of ways.

What we’d change:

  • Not cheap. If you opt for a premium leather or hardcover book with lay flat binding, even a short book can be quite expensive. And at $2.49 per additional page, longer book costs can quickly add up.

Order Your Book at Shutterfly

3. Mixbook

Founded in 2006, Mixbook has quickly risen to the top as a major competitor in the photo book market. Making it on the list of one of American’s Most Promising Companies by Forbes, Mixbook offers photo book printing options for just about every type of client.

Read our complete Mixbook photo book review to see why we gave it 4.8 stars.

What we love:

  • Massive variety of designs to choose from. You can pick from hundreds of preset designs to plop your photos into, or you can go fully custom and create your own from a blank book.
  • Super easy to use. The user interface for Mixbook’s website is incredibly easy to navigate, even for those who want to add additional features. The built-in photo editor is intuitive and makes great work of minor photo alterations.
  • Variety of book covers. Currently, Mixbook offers five options for photo book covers: softcover, hardcover glossy, hardcover matte, hardcover soft-touch matte with dust jacket, and leather with dust jacket.
  • You can choose premium paper. Currently, they offer both semi-gloss and matte. Plus, there’s a pearl finish or premium lustre lay flat option for some book designs.

What we’d change:

  • Can be expensive. For those looking to print longer books, adding more pages is can really add up. Themes start at a varying minimum of pages (could be 20, could be 45), but if you want more than that, prices range from $1.86 to $3.07 per additional page.

Order Your Book at Mixbook

4. Nations Photo Lab

Offering products made by photographers and with photographers in mind, Nations Photo Lab is a top choice in photo books, albums, photo prints, canvas prints, and metal prints.

Related Post: Nations Photo Lab Metal Print Review

What we love:

  • Good price range for every shopper. With their bargain one-size-only Buzz Books to customizable premium options, there’s a book here for everyone.
  • Alternative editing software options. For those who aren’t comfortable editing photos in the browser, Nations Lab Photos offers the option of downloading ROES desktop editing software to your computer. Their software allows you to edit photos directly and add your own text, much like other editing programs.
  • Offers industry standard paper. You can choose from semi-gloss, linen, pearl paper, and lay flat semi-gloss.

What we’d change:

  • Limited sizes. There are only five photo book sizes available.
  • No international shipping. Well, that’s not entirely true – it looks like you can contact Nations Photo Lab customer service to arrange for shipping outside the contiguous United States, and they’ll provide you a quote. But be prepared for taxes, duties, or other customs fees upon delivery.
  • Only three cover options. Your only cover options are hardcover cloth, leather, or lustre photo.

Order Your Book at Nations Photo Lab

5. PastBook

This may be one of the lesser-known companies when it comes to photo book printing, but PastBook more than makes up for it in the services offered. Its main selling point is its instant one-click photo book creation, where you can connect to Facebook or Instagram to quickly import your photos.

Related Post: 9 Ways to Print Your Instagram Images

What we love:

  • You can upload photos from multiple sources. For those who store photos in the cloud, you’ll be happy to hear that PastBook supports many cloud services for printing. You can upload from Dropbox, Google Drive, or even Facebook or Instagram.
  • We love the 200-gram paper. For those looking for high-quality paper, PastBook offers quality alongside quantity.
  • User-friendly interface. PastBook does offer an application download for those looking to create a photo book on their smartphone. Highly rated across all app stores, this feature is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Affordable price. A small (8.5×6″) softcover photo book with 26 pages will run you about $30 while a hardcover will run around $40. And a large 12×8.5″ 500-page book is only $125.

What we’d change:

  • Only two sizes available. While offered at a reasonable price, there are only two options for size: small, which is 8.5×6″, or big, which is 12×8.5″. Those looking for a specific size will need to look elsewhere.
  • Only two options for covers. There are only two options available for your covers: hard and soft.

Order Your Book at PastBook

6. Picaboo

A pioneer in the industry, Picaboo first offered a prototype photo album software in 2004. Now they’re leaders in photo book printing and other printed products.

What we love:

  • Good selection of templates. Classic books and mini-books start at just $19.99, or you can go full-tilt with the artisan-quality, leather, foil-stamped cover option for $469.99. You can choose from a pre-set design or design your book yourself. Keep in mind that you can’t make adjustments to different page elements if you choose a pre-designed template. While this is a great option for beginners, it might be a turn-off for professionals.
  • Incredibly simplistic interface. Picaboo is definitely built for the beginner. It features a user-friendly interface with a simplistic drag-and-drop style of designing that can be used by just about anyone. And the lack of customization options streamlines the process.
  • Decent cover options. For classic books, you have a choice between soft or hardcover. For premium books, there’s the option of leather, cameo, or acrylic covers.

What we’d change:

  • Photo book sizes are limited. There are only four or five sizes available, depending on which design you’re going with.
  • Additional pages are pricey. Prices start with a standard 20-page book, but if you want to add more, additional pages can cost anywhere from $0.75 for basic to $19 for premium options like wedding books.
  • Lower quality photos. There have been a number of complaints about photo books not being as high quality as the competitors. To avoid this problem, Picaboo does alert you to any low-resolution photos before you send your book to the printers.

Order Your Book at Picaboo

7. Snapfish

Snapfish makes it easy to choose your design with prices clearly listed next to each option. You can create your own photo book in three easy steps by first choosing the size, selecting the design, then personalizing the layout and background.

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What we love:

  • Clear and concise instructions. The step-by-step guide will be especially useful for beginners.
  • Over 100 templates. Putting Snapfish ahead of many competitors is the vast collection of templates available. For those looking for a simple photo book, these templates will be a major benefit.
  • Lots of options for customizing your size, cover, and binding. There are seven different book sizes available, as well as a variety of covers including linen hardcover, glossy, matte, and leather. There are also lay flat and flush mount options. Keep in mind, not every cover or binding option will be available for each size photo book.
  • Downloadable apps available. There’s a Snapfish app for iOS and Android for the people who want to design their books on the go.

What we’d change:

  • Limited delivery options. While this may matter less to hobbyists, it’s important to note that currently, Snapfish does not offer overnight delivery.
  • Lower quality. There has been a significant amount of customer complaints about the quality of their photo books. While some of this could be chalked up to user error, it’s worth noting.

Order Your Book at Snapfish

8. Photobook America

Photobook America is one branch of Photobook Worldwide, founded in 2005. Since then, they’ve expanded to Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia to become one of the top photo book companies.

What we love:

  • Import from Facebook. You can upload your photos from your computer or Facebook. Or access previously-stored images you’ve already used on Photobook America.
  • Plenty of sizing options available. With four soft and hardcover options available, there are many different sizes ranging from 6×6″ to 18×12″.

What we’d change:

  • The interface can be difficult. Many customers have complained about not having alignment options within the program, resulting in a difficult time lining up your photos when in the design process.
  • Plus, we found the site slow. It took a while to load each page, even before getting into the designing process.
  • Limited delivery options. Keep in mind, there is no overnight delivery option for this company.

Order Your Book at Photobook America

9. Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising launched in 2012 and has become a thriving Denver-based business providing photo books and other printing services worldwide.

What we love:

  • Affordable options. With their softcover photo books starting at just $15, and hardcovers at $59, this is an affordable option for hobbyists or pros.
  • Professional, high-grade paper. For their lay flat photo books, all your photos will be printed on hand-mounted Mohawk paper. Their hardcover and softcover standard books are all printed on 100% recycled paper.
  • Good selection of customization options. There are plenty of sizes, fabric colors, cover designs, base page counts, binding types, and even a couple of book jacket options to choose from.

What we’d change:

  • The design process can be difficult to navigate alone. While the price is reasonable, this company can make things a little difficult to design your photo book. There are plenty of options for designs available; however, when you want to choose a different template, you’ll have to scrap all the work you’ve done. For those who want to try out a variety of templates, this can make the process frustrating.
  • Average print quality. Some users have complained of less-than-perfect print quality compared to other printers that offer silver halide or high-definition inkjet prints.

Order Your Book at Artifact Uprising

10. RitzPix

Under new ownership as of 2018, the RitzPix name celebrates over 100 years in business, beginning as an Atlantic City portrait studio in 1918. The company now has retail locations across the States and offers online photo printing services around the globe.

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What we love:

  • Reasonable prices. A 20-page book runs anywhere from $25 to $200.
  • Plenty of sizes available. For those looking for small photo books, Ritz is one of the few companies that offers a 4×6″ book while also going as high as 12×12″.
  • Plenty of templates available. There are pre-designed templates to choose from for every occasion from elegant wedding designs to seasonal themes.

What we’d change:

  • Limited number of pages. You can only create photo books of up to 74 pages. If you’re looking to print a longer book, some of the other options above, like PastBook, will be a better choice.
  • No international shipping. As of now, Ritzpix only ships within the United States.

Order Your Book at Ritzpix

11. Walgreens

With Walgreens, you can get your book in under 24 hours, which works fine for the hobbyist or anyone who doesn’t need professional-grade binding and craftmanship.

Read our in-depth Walgreens photo book review to get the full picture.

What we love:

  • In-store pickup. You can order in-house for a 24-hour turnaround or have your photo book shipped to another Walgreens for convenient pickup.
  • Good variety of sizes and templates. There are seven sizes, plus nicely designed templates for minimal customization if you want to keep it simple.
  • Different ways to create books. You can use the design wizard on the Walgreens website, mobile app, or in-store kiosk to lay your book out and customize it.

What we’d change:

  • Limited design wizard. You can’t create your own design from scratch but are instead forced to choose a pre-made template. You can then make changes to the template, but customization options are lacking.
  • Lay flat quality is poor. The construction is not really lay flat, in that they use a perfect bind and perforate the paper edges to create a lay flat appearance, with staples clearly showing in some places.
  • Cheap cover printing. The back, front, and spine are printed together and attached to the book with an adhesive, giving it a cheap and rushed look.
  • Disappointing image quality. You won’t get the best color balance or definition in your prints, and more serious photographers will be disappointed with things like lost details in shadows.
  • Expensive for what you get. The prices aren’t crazy and are in fact cheaper than more qualified printers, but $39.99 for a 20-page 8.5×11″ book that looks like it was taped and stapled together is surprising. And if you want more pages, you’ll need to shell out $1.99 for each additional spread.

Order Your Book at Walgreens

Let Us Know Which of These Photo Book Companies You Choose!

When choosing the best photo book printing services, there are a variety of things to consider:

  • What kind of cover will you be looking for?
  • Will you need additional pages?
  • How much control do you want over the design?
  • Do you need premium options like higher-grade paper or flush mounting?

While some sites are built with beginners in mind, others are built for the creative photo editor and designer. While the more dedicated printers will allow you to completely customize your book, that may be intimidating for those with less experience. So you’ll really need to consider how hands-on you want the creation process to be.

Let us know which photo book print service is your favorite for your printing needs by leaving a comment below!

About The Author

19 thoughts on “Best Photo Book Printing Companies Compared (Top 11 Options)”

    1. Based on various customer feedback’s, other reviews (e.g. Tom’s Guide) and our own assessment, Mixbook offers currently the best quality photo books.

  1. I create photobooks all the time and have tried most of these other labs. Some are ok, but have you ever heard of Saal Digital? They are pretty new in the US and they cost a little bit more, but the quality and color reproduction is waaaaaay out of the league of the ones in this test. #NotConvincingMeOtherwise 😉

    1. Thanks for recommending Saal Digital as the best photo book printing service.

      We haven’t tested Saal Digital yet but will test them in our next review round!

      1. I was thinking Mixbook was the best alternative, till I read the T&C you all have shared here. That could be a non-starter. I was a huge, huge fan of My Publisher, and haven’t made a book since they were bought.

        Besides Mixbook, who gives the quality and flexibility that I experienced with My Publisher?

  2. Smilebooks has a feature where you can actually embed a small movie in your book! It appears it appears as a QR code. You can play the movie on your phone by hovering your QR app over the icon in the book. I ordered it on my last smilebook and it works great !

  3. Thanks for the article. An issue that you do not cover and which is vitally important to many photographers is the company’s terms of service — some of these companies take rights to publish your photos without compensation. For example buried in Mixbook’s Terms of Service is the following:

    By posting Member Content to any part of the Service, you hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Mixbook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, perform, display, modify, publish, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such Member Content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses to do the foregoing.

    When I queried them on this they said they do not at this time use any work without permission but that they do reserve the right to do so.

    Noone wants to wake up one morning and find out they’ve relinquished control over their photos simply because they created a photo book on someone’s website. Future reviews would be very helpful if they examined this issue in addition to the other parameters reviewed.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Richard G! I’m looking to make a Photobook for a daycare family of mine that is very private. It would be horrid to find Mixbook used pictures of their child in advertising that I unknowingly gave permission to. You’ve helped me rule Mixbook out for my project, so thank you.

  4. Wow, I cannot believe that clause. I also contacted them and I got pretty much the same answer. They can tell you that they don’t use the images now, but that policy could change at any time (and without the need to change to TOS).

  5. I have made a lot of mixbooks. The company has been great about their satisfaction guarantee. My only wish is that their colors were better. I wish the blues and aquas were truer. If my original is periwinkle blue, that doesn’t come out at all. There are more green than blue tints to the blues and squad, which won’t matter to a lot of people but very much matters to me as I have a lot of ocean and sky and mountain pictures from Scotland and OBX.

  6. I was a devotee of mypublisher til they went out of business. Shutterfly bought them. Though I was unhappy with the software at first, they have continuously improved it. I’ve made 16 albums, eight with Shutterfly, as an amateur full-format photographer who has had nine solo shows. I’ve got to say I’m close to 100% satisfied with them, though I wish they made albums larger than 11 x 14 for special purposes. ( I don’t know anyone who does). Their deluxe lay-flat pages are on a wonderful bright thick paper that is worth the extra cost. And the printing and binding are excellent quality. I haven’t tried their fancier bindings, for such stuff as wedding albums.

    But it is the software where they really excel. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy to lay out every page exactly as you choose, sizing the photos as you see fit, including wierd sizes and two page spreads, a joy for a panorama freak. Their text, frames, and other decorative options are almost endless. If you are patient enough to design your book and wait for a coupon sale, you can cut the cost 40%. And if your friends like what you show them (on line viewing is available), they can wait for their best sales and they’ll get their books at 60% less than you paid to create them. I’ve gone on a few group trips where the group members ordered my books when I cued them to the sales.

    Their service is excellent as well. One book came “bent”. When I asked by e mail how to deal with it, they responded the same day and sent me a new code, for a new book, no charge, and upgraded to their best paper. Wow. No dispute, no hassle. That’s how you make a loyal customer.

  7. I am making a book for my daughters 21st Bday that will include some lengthy text ? Can you tell me who you might recommend?

  8. NEVER USE WALMART and don’t believe them when they advertise Same-Day pick up available. I paid extra for same-day pick up, kept getting excuses about them being out of paper and unable to get it quickly and then 17 days after I submitted the order, they called to say they have paper, but my file was automatically deleted after 2 weeks of submitting and I should just place the order again. Really? It took me 6.5 hours to create the book within their system on their layouts with no way to save the file on my end.

    1. You could try Blurb. Blurb lets you create a photo book with Lightroom and then you can share the digital version from the blurb.com account.

  9. For a lightroom dd user, any suggestions on how you upload photos to shutterfly? There used to be a plug in but the API stopped working last year. Thank you!!

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