Little Black Books

Sometimes customization doesn’t have to come from monograms or the like. Sometimes a gift can be more of a project that is really entirely, 100% unique, and created by you (with the help of some experts of course). Black’s Photography is a cool throwback to old school camera shops meets cutting edge photo experts, a Canadian company that dares to continue growing and staying strong as our nation’s photo experts. Aside from high-quality in-store products and photo developing expertise, they also offer a few customizable goodies to help you preserve your memories for a lifetime.

One of those products is the Little Black’s Book, a digitally created photo scrapbook that allows you to select your favourite photos – on a theme, person, or just in general – and output them into a stunning yearbook-style coffee table book. Using software available in-store or for a free download online, you basically drag and drop either 100 or 200 of your favourite photos into a layout of your choice, starting with one of dozens of fun customized book covers.

The software is simple enough that even the luddites out there should be able to tackle it (if you’re reading this blog, it’s no scarier than this!), and the prices are actually quite reasonable. If you want to throw together 100 pictures from your trip to Vegas, the 6 x 6 collection of books will lighten your wallet by only $29.99. If you’re going for a more comprehensive look for your parent’s twenty-five year anniversary, the 8 x 8 series (which lets you use 200 photos) is a reasonable $119.99.

Photos are underrated these days, in the era of facebook where we’re mostly content with browsing through others’ low-res photos online. There’s something to be said for a nice collection of hi-res images that you can page through, especially if they show a progression of time. It’s a great gift to surprise a best friend with to chart your friendship over the years, awkward haircuts and all. Or to create as a travelogue for your hubby that you recently trekked across the nation with. Or as a special gift for a parent or grandparent to showcase the many branches and eras of their family tree. The sweet thing about these books is they basically suit any occasion and any person, as long as they appreciate a good bout of reminiscing.

Finally I’ll note the Black’s website is still up and coming in terms of developing their full line of Black’s Books products. They’re launching a new mini-book shortly which is only $10 and lets you take 24 photos from a special day or time in your life (gents, consider putting together one of bi-weekly baby tummy photos for the mom-to-be!). They also promise a new range of covers for their regular photobooks to suit a range of themes and decor tastes, all at the same prices listed above. Finally they also have ‘quickbooks’, which in this case doesn’t refer to accounting software but to one-hour-photo style photobooks based on existing, easy-as-pie templates, starting at just $12.99 with a variety of sizes and finishes. This is definitely one gift that’s as pretty as a picture!

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