I’ve never done a product review before, but I’ve now ordered quite a few things from Picaboo. I get questions about where I got our canvas and album from, so I thought I’d pass along that information to all you fine folk who haven’t been in our house at some point in the last year. (You should come, by the way. We’d love to have you!) Let me preface this by saying I’m in no way affiliated with Picaboo, and they’re not giving me anything for reviewing their products… though wouldn’t that be nice?
iPhone 6 Case
Picaboo gives you the option of using your own image for your cell phone or tablet case. They sell two cases: a “snap phone case” and a “tough phone case.” The tough phone case wraps right around the front and comes with a liner. The snap phone case is slim and doesn’t have as much coverage. I knew I was getting an iPhone 6 for Christmas (thank you Rob!), and part of its appeal is the slim profile, so I opted for the snap phone case. I also got a matt finish because I like the look better, and thought it might be easier to hold. Have a look! (Case image was taken by me.)
Review: I love it. It fits perfectly, with not a hair to spare, and yet somehow I’ve successfully taken it off with surprisingly little trouble and no scratches to the phone. I like the matt finish, but I forgot that when printing matt you lose a bit of saturation. In addition, I think their toners were off a little, because there was a loss of yellow/bright green in the image. It’s a little disspointing since I know what the original looked like, but I’m still really liking the final product!
Because of a deal that was going on (never buy at full price from Picaboo), I bought a few larger prints. Please ignore the temporary frame and lack of matting in these photos!
Review: The prints were all shipped in separate tubes, which seemed like a waste of operating budget to me, but hey, it’s not my company. They took longer to arrive than a canvas ordered at the same time, which I thought was strange, but their shipping times are still great; they give you a wide buffer so that you’re always impressed. In my experience, shipping estimate might say 10 days, and it arrives in four.
The colour of these prints was noticeably off, and was the opposite problem as the iPhone case: these ones had too much yellow/green tone to them. While it worked nicely for this image, it’s not true to the original photographer’s image (our wedding photos were taken by Henry Ng, who is no longer working as a photographer).
I’ve only had these prints for about a month, so I can’t comment on longevity of colour or quality of paper.
Here’s a cropped detail for comparison. Keep in mind that this is a large print (16 x 20), so it’s meant to be viewed far away, but you can still see great detail up close. It was also in a glass frame when I took the photos for this post.
Picaboo sells a variety of albums, ranging from inexpensive soft covers to leather flush mounts that start at $400 + tax and shipping for just 20 pages. A lot of people have heart palpitations when their wedding photographers give them pricing for albums, but the truth is that you get what you pay for: they’re expensive to produce and very time consuming to make, even with templates! Picaboo is a cheap option company, so if they have albums at $400 you can just imagine what a mid- to high-end company charges to produce.
Review: It took two years before I sat down (while unemployed) to finally make our wedding album. Then it took me almost three weeks, and I had to sort through 800 photos (which is hard when you’re emotionally attached to every. single. one). I first ordered two parents albums in 8×8 for my parents and Rob’s. It was my first time ordering from Picaboo, and I found the company through a Groupon — $30 for $125 of merchandise. The first albums had a couple weird splotches here and there, and one of the pages was trimmed incorrectly, but I thought it was worth the price, so I ordered a larger one for us and kept my fingers crossed. I printed ours as a larger book with lay-flat pages. We purchased it in black leather.
Picaboo is very customizable, or you can go with templates. I started with a template but then went back to doing it from scratch. It took a very long time, and the photos were “fussy.” Although they all had great resolution, some of them would appear blurry until I zoomed in or zoomed out just a little. With no way of knowing whether or not they would print like that, many frustrated hours were spent tweaking, but the final product printed clearly — without splotches.
The lay-flat pages are a nice step up, and make it easier to flip through the album. Picaboo’s label is also on the back, with no way of paying more to take it off, which is annoying — but again, you get what you pay for.
Here’s the colour comparison between the album and the 16×20 print. The album is much more true to the original image.
Canvas Gallery Wrap
This was something we’d been looking at for a long time. You’ve seen how pricy they are in stores; it’s just as expensive to make your own. The biggest size Picaboo currently sells is 24×36, which is unfortunate, as we’d like a few bigger options.
Review: Like the cell phone case, the colour was also a tad muted in the greens/yellows for this one, which might be a result of printing on canvas. Shipping was fast and well protected. The image is very sharp, especially when view from the appropriate viewing distance. It was wrapped very securely, exactly where I’d indicated online. The wood seemed sturdy and put together well. Again, I have no comment on longevity or resistance to fading, but the gallery wrap is by far the product that has turned out the best!
Overall thoughts: For the price point, I’m very pleased with Picaboo’s products! Don’t expect perfection and they can be a great place to purchase from.
Tips for purchasing through Picaboo
1. Never buy full price. Their products rotate through sales every 6 weeks or so. You should be able to get at least 40% off any given product.
2. Maybe go through their customer service and see how what you’re printing on affects the colour of your image so that you’re not disappointed with the results.
3. Quality albums that are designed well are worth the money. Rob and I never go through our digital wedding photos… but we flip through that album all the time, and I’m not going to lie: I will probably eventually re-do it with a better quality manufacturer.
4. There are a lot of companies that do this sort of thing, so if you can’t wait for a sale, make sure you shop around!