This is not a paid advertisement / review.
A while back I was on their saal-digital’s social media, where they say there were giving out coupons to make any photo book basically free. It said something like “click to be approved”, I was like yeah right who does that, but since I was on my work account anyways so what the hell – Click. About a day later, they sent me an email with a coupon for over $100 dollars in exchange for my my honest opinion. Once again I was very skeptical, I don’t know anything about these guys, but I went and did more investigation on their website. No it wasn’t a joke, after calculation all I had to pay for is shipping, they are for real!
Now the fun begins, I wasn’t think they were going to send me a coupon that actually works. But they did, so the joy and nightmare of picking out photos for a book must begin. They have quite a few options I can do (sticking with their professional line), I could have done 8×8, 8×12, 12×8, 12×12, 16×12, then you can get it in XT (extra thick pages). All of the available options comes with a thick acrylic cover with no logos. Choices choices, what am I going to do? Well for my part I could have made 66 pages of randomness and call it good. But obviously that would be silly, if I am going to make a book i might as well make it worth while, and, coherent.
After 4 hours, I decided on 12 x 12 Professional Line XT, glossy photo paper, 14 pages with Acrylic + leather cover. Less but bigger images, most of the photos I am going to have them spread over two pages. Picking the photos was less than joyful, but making the book with their “Saal Design Software” was a breeze. literally pick all the options you want for the book, upload the image, arrange them, upload and pay. I was impress that when you upload an image for the page, the software will tell you if your image resolution is good enough for the print sizes. I decided make the book exclusively with black and white negative scans, with various negatives and scan resolutions. Cover itself was from a 4×5 negative, most of the contents inside this book are from 135.
Speedy delivery for the finished product, probably all done within 7 days if that. Shipped in a box specially made for their books lined with a foam wrap inside. Now I was wondering why my cover has a green tint on it, that was the acrylic protecting film! First impression the book seems to be well made, as I go through the page I can’t be happier. They don’t know this but even though I do have my monitors calibrated with an x-rite device, but I was too lazy to do all the extra things that I probably could have done, such as matching up with their icm profiles (didn’t investigate I imagine I can). Without any extra work, the results are stunning. I know you might think it’s not color, but to make beautiful black and white prints are not easy, prints that makes me happy are definitely not easy. With that being said, I am happy. I wish I had this when I was doing more wedding photography, imagine this to be a wedding album?
Visit saal-digital.com for your book printing solutions, looks like they do posters and fine art prints too, check it out yourself, they are legit