Saal Digital Photobook (Review)

I love photography but over the past few years, while I've taken thousands of photo's, I haven't really made a photo album of them. Well, when I finished university this summer, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a photo album to forever remember all my memories that I have made over the past 3 years, since moving to London and attending UCL.

It has honestly been a blast and despite not being able to say 'I've loved every second of it', I have loved the journey it has taken me on. I'm sure one day, I'll look back and appreciate all the hurdles, thanking them for making me who I am today.

Anyway, I came across Saal Digital on Instagram and thought it sounded perfect. They pride themselves on selling "photo products in high-end quality" that are "unique, exclusive, individual". I quickly looked up their website and immediately decided it would be a great option to make my photo album.

After spending all my free time for the next week going through my thousands of pictures (no joke, 5 figures), I narrowed it down to about 200 pictures. Eek. It took a lot of time! Then I had to decide how I wanted all the pictures to fit into the album.

Originally, I had planned to do them all in chronological order. I thought that would be really fun to look back on but in the end, it just proved too time-consuming so I went with the easier option of grouping the pictures by subject. I kept a page spread for each subject and gave me the perfect amount of pages. Term time for each year, followed by the subsequent summer for each, then repetitive events: my birthday, Yorkshire Show, holidays and The Rhubarb Show. It ended up working out quite well.

From there on I was expecting it to be really easier but unfortunately, with Saal Digital, they recommend downloading the programme. It's easily downloaded from their website, found in the top right hand corner. It has lots of features and saves the design to your computer once finalised, for you to then upload to the site. After a week or so, I realised they have programme available directly from the site as well, which personally I preferred. As far as I could tell, the only difference with the downloaded version is that you could save progress as you went and you could design it offline, with no internet access.

Unfortunately, I really struggled with the programme so had to use another programme to design my page layouts. While I think their programme is created with the best intentions for extremely personalised finished products, it is very much targeted at technically creative individuals. I spent countless hours trying to get the programme to work for my needs and despite everything, it just didn't work for the purpose I wanted it for. I wanted to create a college but it wouldn't allow me to move the photos into the positions I wanted.

Having become set on this photo book and determined to design it, I got creative and instead used another website which I was more familiar with and allowed me the freedom I required to drag, drop, rearrange and resize all the pictures to my specification. I chose PicMonkey and Canva.

Finally, I was almost finished. Using the different website to create my collages, I made each of the collages for the double page spread and then uploaded them instead. It worked out perfectly as then I only needed to upload 20 or so pictures, which was much easier. I think if you were only uploading one picture per page, it would be perfect. Many more pictures than that and it turns into a bit of a nightmare...at least for me.

I loved that before I was allowed to save my design and go to checkout, it forced me to check all the pages individually. Once you've checked each page, it puts a little check mark tick on the top of the page which allows you to see which ones you have confirmed as correct. Another check point before final payment confirmation, allows you to visualise your entire photo book. While this may feel tedious, I would recommend utilising the feature to triple check you are happy with the product.

I quickly received my photo book in the post in a very sturdy envelope, confirming the quality of the product. When I opened it, I was very pleased. The double page spreads are absolutely wonderful as the pictures don't look broken while they go over the spine. I am over the moon in love. The paper feels high end and the quality is superb.

Unlike many other photo book companies, the pricing is slightly more but I truly think that you do get what you pay for in terms of the quality in this. It's so much more than my other photo books and it provides a much larger sized product, which can be even bigger than what I bought.

Saal Digital have many products available, all based around photography and I strongly believe that they produce very high quality products with an amazing customer satisfaction rate. When I was struggling with their programme, they helped me out greatly over email, which I truly appreciated.

I would defintely consider using this company again but for a special occasion. I think it's the perfect place to create a special photo album, for example, for a wedding album. Personally, a single event would be much better suited because the pictures would look absolutely stunning with a single picture over a double page spread. 

Given all the features you can add on, plus the very detailed programme, it allows for a very personalised product which provides the highest quality end product. If you have the patience, money and specific event to create a photo book, this site will meet all your expectations and surpass them. 

Let me know if you end up creating your own photo book through Saal Digital. I would love to see pictures so be sure to tag me! 

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