Well, I finally have my new camera and can say that I am now the proud owner of a Fujifilm Finepix S1, thanks to a lightning deal on Amazon and some birthday pennies… so soon I will be back to going out and taking pictures, and everything else I did with it before my old one was stolen! Expect a review of it to come up soon, as there are a few new things to explore with it!
However, that doesn’t mean I’m neglecting my old photos, oh no!! Snapfish were kind enough to get in touch with me to invite me to review their photo calendars in the run up to Christmas, basically by sending me a voucher** and telling me to go crazy! Who am I to turn that down? Nothing ventured and all that!! So, I hopped on over to their site and had a look – there are several different ones to choose from, from poster style, through to desk calendars and wall calendars, so I made a mix and match and ordered several, and began to work through the design process.
This in itself can be as simple or as involved as you want to make it – for the more traditional ‘page a month’ calendars, you choose the style you want, which will dictate the backgrounds and text etc, and then you can choose for the site to automatically assign your pictures to a month, or you can work through month by month if you want a more curated display. You’re also able to add special dates to give it that even more personalised touch. If I’d been using photos of people/family then I would have been tempted to go with the easy option, but I’d got some specific photos I wanted on specific months, so went with the more involved option. It’s also possible to change the layout of the monthly page – which did take a bit of working out how to do, but once I’d worked it out was pretty simple. I opted from these to make a two wall calendars, and a desk calendar, and I was really pleased with how they came out. Enough space to put on dates and days for the recipients, and also really liked the finish on them. I’m confident that they won’t smudge, despite having a slightly glossed finish (but more satin than high gloss) The photos came out fine; I deliberately chose a mix of high definition images and normal, and was given a warning when the images might have been distorted for being too low resolution, making it pretty foolproof!
I also opted for a poster calendar, which was really really simple – I uploaded my images for the project, and it automatically will arrange them into a collage – if you don’t like it, then click refresh and it’ll do it again. I clicked this a fair few times, and was a little disappointed that the algorithms meant that I had a lot of clicks before two images I didn’t want together ended up far enough apart for me to be happy with, so my advice here is definitely to just keep clicking and it will eventually happen. Try changing the order they’re added into the project as well, as that seemed to help for me.
Once all of this was done, all I had to do was wait for my items to arrive, and they arrived quickly! I was expecting something else that day, (which didn’t turn up) but instead was cheered up by these, as they all looked great! The paper quality is really good, and as I mentioned before has a lovely finish on it. The exception was the poster collage calendar, which had a high gloss finish on it, which whilst it does look great, won’t make writing on it that easy, so if you don’t write on your calendar, that’s fine, but if you’re like me, it might drive you a bit nuts, but nothing a post it note won’t solve (and if you’re being really thrifty, you can always cut the dates off at the end of the year, and you have a photo collage poster left!)
Having experienced the process, I’d definitely consider these as presents for birthdays/Christmas (you don’t have to go from January to December with them) as they come out lovely, and even if they aren’t home made in the traditional sense, they’ve had thought and love put into them. I’ve used Snapfish in the past for other prints, and always had good service from them, and a whole bunch of sometimes very generous offers, so you can often get what you’re looking for at really reasonable prices – so go and check them out, and if you make a calendar, I’d love to see it!
**voucher received from Snapfish in return for a post about their photo calendars, however all content and viewpoints remain my own.