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by Jon

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I'm interested in Windows and Mac software or a plugin (for Lightroom, Aperture, InDesign, whatever) for creating professional photo books that I can then export as JPEGs (or any other format that is open to me and not only to that software maker), so that I can do with it what I want (e.g. send it to a local printing service, create an online flash book, etc.).

What I'm looking for is something to help me make pages interesting, like having multiple images on one page, using frames, shadows, photo positioning, etc. to create a compelling book (a series of pages).

Lots of presets

Having lots of presets is a must. Presets being page templates, borders, captions, effects, etc.

No online solutions

Online solutions and software that is closed (only usable with the online service) are out of the question.

Professional-looking

It is not important to me for it to have thousands of frames and effects, I just want them to look professional and not amateur.

Customizable

If I can customize the effects, frames, placing of photos, etc., that's a big bonus.

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Finao has long time been one of the best wedding album studios. You pay for what you get though. –  dpollitt Sep 27 '11 at 17:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

What it sounds like you are looking for is album design software. This is really where someone with a background in wedding photography can lend a hand. It has been a tradition you could say to order a wedding album for yourselves as the bride and groom, and also to order "parent albums" that they can display proudly of the event.

There are many different options available, and I don't think you will find a general consensus on what the best is. I can give you a few options that I have had recommended to me though.

In my personal opinion, Yervant and Fundy are the best solutions if you are looking to do this yourself. FotoFusion might be the most in reach for enthusiast photographers though.

Fundy is probably the most popular one from the group of photographers that I know. It is very well done, and lets you pump out great wedding albums in no time. From the output you can send your files through most album companies ROES systems.

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For sending a book to a printer it has to be in a format acceptable by the printer. At the very least this tends to be a PDF. There is a lot of work necessary to get a layout ready for print and this is what the on line systems are giving you, the ability to do all this automatically so they get usable input into their print workflow. This tends to be different for every print shop so doing it completely yourself is not a simple thing. The only software I can think of for creating submissions to a professional print shop would be Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress which are pro DTP packages and very expensive. You also need to know about layout and have technical knowledge of printing to understand bleed settings, crop marks, imposition and other considerations when laying out a book of photography, much of this needing to be specific for any given printer.

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I'm not asking for a way to print a book. Actually, sometimes I don't even print my projects, if they are intended for the web viewing. I'm looking for a way to create it. –  duality_ Sep 27 '11 at 17:44
1  
The software recommended is for creating it. Since the question says professional, that's what I thought of too. Professional photo books – ones you might see in a bookstore — are certainly created that way. Maybe that's not what you actually want? If so, it might be good to edit the question to use a different term — "professional" can mean a lot of things to different people. –  mattdm Sep 27 '11 at 20:10
    
I've edited my question with a "lots of presets" section. I hope that helps ;) –  duality_ Sep 29 '11 at 8:23
    
Helps a lot I thought you were looking for something to enable you to send book layouts to a professional print shop. –  Paul Round Sep 29 '11 at 10:24

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking but if this will help:

Blurb is the only site that I have found that will allow you to create your own book design from beginning to end. They will furnish you with a plug-in for InDesign which will allow you to create your entire book in InDesign, then export it as a PDF for printing.

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It is very rare that a private person has InDesign, though. –  Michael Nielsen Mar 14 '13 at 7:53

Aperture has pretty good built-in support for making books (at least I think so). I've only used it in Aperture 2, and I imagine it's at least as good in Aperture 3.

You export the composed book as a pdf, which you can then either automagically send to aperture's built-in printing company (whoever that is), and you get your book back a week or two later in a neat little apple box - or, of course you could take the pdf to whoever you like for printing.

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Lightroom 4 now has Photo Book support.

  • hundreds of page layout templates
  • you can customise your own layouts
  • can create PDF, or upload to Blurb. I assume more online options will be added.
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oooh, now thats cool –  Michael Nielsen Mar 14 '13 at 7:54

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