Have you ever wished someone else would just take your camera roll and turn it into a gorgeous custom photo album? Me too. And, we’re in luck. The relatively new service, Tweed Wolf does it all and beautifully — and just in time for Mother’s Day gifts, too.
Even though I have developed a pretty good habit of going through my camera roll every week or so to delete all those whoops-wrong-angle, child-scowling-not-smiling photos, I still have nearly a thousand keepers just from the last year alone. I presume I’m not the only one who gets a little panicky and overwhelmed when it comes time to creating an actual album, so I’m happy about this custom photo book service which is completely hands off. Your hands off, I mean.
Send them your photos — it doesn’t matter how many — and they’ll curate them all down and select the very best, design a custom layout that shows off your best images, and a few weeks later, they’ll send you a professionally designed, high quality linen cover photo book complete with your photos beautifully printed on archival paper.
You get to do…nothing.
(However for all you type-As out there, rest assured, you get final approval on which images make the cut.)
Tweed Wolf gave me a chance to try out their service for review, and I admit that I was skeptical, but the results are super impressive.
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Now I’ll be honest, the service is pricy, starting at nearly $300 a book, with another $150 for additional copies. Comparatively, other DIY photo book services tend to cost around $150, but in those cases you’re doing all the work yourself.
So while a minimum of $300 is way more than my usual photo book budget, the results are worth it if you can afford it. I’d consider this an extra special gift for a new mom, a first-year birthday gift, an anniversary gift, or a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift for someone who deserves more than flowers this year.
If you’re still rolling your eyes at the price, think about the hours and hours of work you’re saving and what you think your work is worth per hour to decide whether a professional Tweed Wolf photo book is a good investment for you.
The company says most people send them thousands of photos to curate (I went with mere 838 photos which took a couple of hours to upload.) If even taking the time to upload your photos seems like a headache, the company will send along a flash drive to speed things up. You can provide direction in terms of layout and preferences (chronological, no kitchen reno photos, highly the family vacation) and a few weeks later, you get a digital layout to approve.
While they’ll gladly make the changes you want, remember this is a professional service and you’re paying them for their expertise. In other words, it kind of defeats the purpose of spending this kind of money if you completely rearrange their design.
Plus, their photo experts may have some objectivity in terms of the aesthetics of the layouts that you may not have as someone emotionally attached to the moment depicted in the photos.
Preview of pages
Final album preview before approval
As for the final book, yours will be anywhere from 40–120 pages with as many as 350 well-curated photos.
Even though Tweed Wolf cut nearly 500 of my own photos, I realized I didn’t feel like I was missing any major moments from my year. It turns out, having their objective opinion was exactly what I needed to get a long-awaited project checked off my to-do list.
The result is so exquisite, I really have just one true complaint: I do wish they offered more options for the book cover itself. The high-quality grey linen cover is wonderful and neutral, but I’m hoping they start adding other colors or even a faux leather option.
The other issue is the wait. The entire process takes about a month from start to finish, so if you’re thinking about this gift for Mother’s Day (and it would be a great Mother’s Day gift), you need to get going now. But then again, that’s a month of waiting — and not a month of you tearing your hair out over self-editing photo book services.
To make your own Tweed Wolf custom photo album, visit their website. Thanks so much Tweed Wolf for letting us create an album with you to try the service.
EXTRA COOL: For a limited time Tweed Wolf is offering Cool Mom Picks readers $50 off with discount code COOLMOM through 4/24/16, so hurry!