9.16.2008

Photojunction Lovin'

ETA: some pictures of my most recent album work.

Three posts in one day!! WAHOO! Hive five me!

Ok, so this post will NOT interest everyone, but it might interest some.  It's a review (critique, really) of my album design software.  Click here for the Photojunction website, and here for their blog.  

I decided to give Photojunction a try at the advice of one Kevin Swan, of KISS Wedding Books.  I had fallen in love at first glance with KISS books, just from their website and decided they were who I wanted to go with.  Kevin wrote back (super fast) and said that KISS really likes Photojunction.  They keep it simple and straightforward, just like KISS does.

Here's what I like about Photojunction. (Keep in mind this is the ONLY album design software I have ever used - some of these 'likes' might be available with other programs as well.)
 - As previously mentioned, it is simple and straightforward.  I didn't have to hunt a lot to get started or to find the features I wanted to use.  I never downloaded the free trial of InDesign, but if it's anything like Photoshop I don't have the energy to learn the program.  (I use Lightroom, for those wondering what a photographer uses who doesn't own CS3.)  I like things that are user friendly.  Things that don't require a semester of college to actually get the most out of it.

-It works on a Mac.  Not all the design software out there does.  When will the rest of the world realize that Mac really IS better?  

-It's relatively inexpensive compared to most programs I looked at.  $250 (per year) - but they offer discounts a plenty.  I got $75 off for my first year.  And, they reward loyal customers - this review, if well-received, will gain me another years subscription.  This is important for people starting out.  If they can get their software into a clients hands early on, they stand a good chance of keeping that person a client for the long term.

- The updates are free, or technically part of the subscription.  I like to feel appreciated as a client, and that my loyalty is rewarded.  And they post tips and shortcuts on their blog, which is great.


As for function: 
  • I like that it comes with templates.  And that I can make my own and save them.  There's as many album styles as there are photographers out there, so it's great when I don't have to recreate 'my albums' with every new job.  I can pull out a page I have already designed and tweak it for the pictures I want. 
  • I like that there are keyboard shortcuts.  I'm a big shortcut girl.
  • I am a fan of the different windows for each section.  There's a window for tweaking the picture, one for the layout, one for the album details (information), and one to preview all that you have made.  Sort of keeps the album designing process more compartmentalized.
  • It is supposed to be able to open a picture in my editing software directly from the program, which is a great idea, though I have had a rough time getting it to work seamlessly.  I think they made it to work great with Photoshop, which I don't have.
  • There's also a slideshow feature which I haven't hardly touched yet.

Things I am not a big fan of:
  • They are UK (I think) based which is only inconvenient when you need to get ahold of them and it happens to be noon on Saturday there already.  I have nothing against the UK.  Only the time difference.  It makes customer service more difficult.
  • I wish there was a way for me to set the page dimensions myself, for book sizes that aren't preloaded.  I know I can set the album dimensions (like 5x7) for the whole book.  But my main supplier for smaller press-printed books sets their pages by centimeter and I want to be able to drag and drop the bleed lines where I want them for those books.  If this feature is there and I'm missing it then please let me know!
  • I wish there was a way to just design storyboards without having to create a whole album.  It's not like it's that much of a nuisance, but having a storyboard option would be nice.
Ok - I think that's it.  Overall I have been very pleased and would recommend this program to any photographer or graphic designer who designs albums.  

2 comments:

Kevin Swan said...

Hey, girl! I'm pretty sure you can create page dimensions for yourself. Email support about that, but I'm pretty sure you can custom build your own templates, etc.

Keep on rockin' it!

Stacey said...

Hey Shaina! Kevin is a friend of ours from back in Indianapolis. We went to the same church. One of his "students" did our wedding pictures. I did a double take when I saw his name on your blog... two worlds colliding!