Do you capture life’s moments but never hold them in your hand? Are your mantelpieces and book shelves bare while your phone and laptop are overflowing with memories? Fujifilm Pop Books may be the answer. They enable you to put together fast, easy and physical collections of your best times or favourite people. They takes minutes and can last forever. Or at least until the next trip or family gathering. Pop Book invited us to try making one. Interested in finding out more? Read on…
A moment to capture
Cameron wins a trophy at his dance school’s annual award ceremony. There are few boys at the event and many, many tutu’s, so we don’t make a fuss in case our obvious parental pride embarrasses him. Two days later I remark that it’s time we took a picture of boy and cup.
“Because we take pictures every time you guys win something. Always have.”
“So we can put them on the mantelpiece.”
I glance around. The mantelpiece has a collection of photographs on but they all seem to be of the kids as toddlers. In fact, save for a few framed pictures on the walls there are no photographs of the children as they have got older. Except for tens of thousands of them stored on the computer in the office. This black box with a double screen is the keeper of our memories and dreams, the tracker of our ageing, the proof that we all actually exist. From the moment digital cameras appeared this box has been catalogueing, processing and manipulating our appearances; with our help of course. And probably one day it will be able to manage this all on its own.
“Ok, well, I’ll need one to put in the film show at your wedding,” I say to Cameron, who rolls his eyes.
The lost art of printing
Cameron suspects this proposed photograph will never see the light of day and he is probably right. We have lost the art of printing images, holding them in our hands, and putting them on the mantelpiece to grow fond and favoured and faded. Now there is almost no cost attached to taking a picture, we capture so many slices of life that they barely register on our consciousness, let alone our homes. Our social brags are now on Facebook, our kids achievements are a fleeting post on Instagram, or a flash of colour on Snapchat.
Pop Books let you hold onto memories
Pop Books from Fujifilm bridge between the digital world of fleeting moments and the physical world where you can hold your child and their achievements in your hand. They are what they say on the tin, little books that you can give as a gift or a souvenir, or put on the coffee table as a conversation starter. They are also incredibly cheap and simple to make. A nine year old with a budget of a fiver could do it, so we put our nine year old in charge of ours.
A gift for Granny
Hannah wants to make a gift for Granny, who is constantly complaining that no one ever supplies her with family photos. Hannah is delighted to be the new manager of the family’s self publishing venture. She is very enthusiastic and spends hours selecting and deselecting images on her Dad’s phone. Granny would really like a book of pictures of the family together at weddings, parties and significant birthdays. Hannah would really like to give Granny a book of images of herself on a zip wire, up a tree or on a trampoline. It’s a good job Pop Books have given us two codes to try.
Here’s how it works
Hannah takes over the sofa in the living room. She needs space to be creative! She downloads the Popbook app onto Stuart’s phone (only iOS for now so my Android phone can’t do it, although a version for that is coming soon.) She then clicks the ‘make a book’ icon and selects from a menu whether she would like to choose her images from Instagram, Facebook or the phone’s gallery. It’s a very simple and intuitive interface. Being a family of Instagram addicts the choice is made for her. And Hannah is off, pressing on the photos she likes which are then marked with a tick and added to a counter beneath until she has selected 21. Unfortunately for the boys the photo’s are pretty much all of herself. On a zip wire and a trampoline. It takes her about five minutes to select the photos, just one second to click “create” and a further few minutes to order the pages, select the size (either 10cm or 13cm square), choose the finish (matt or gloss), enter delivery details, pay and go to press. Who said self publishing was hard? From concept to print order in less than ten minutes.
What are they like?
Our first PopBook takes a few days to arrive. It drops through our letterbox in a small packet and Hannah quickly removes the protective foam to check out her first photobook. She flicks through the glossy, card-like pages of polaroid sized prints. The photos are clear and sharp, the colours bright, the paper thick, glossy and bound so the book folds flat. It is small and cute and at £4.99 including postage didn’t cost much more than a greetings card. It’s a little photo treat and both Hannah and I know Granny will love it.
Hannah’s version is simple; just a selection of photos, although the Pop Book app does have features that allow you to edit and treat photos with filters, and add and position text for titles, captions or messages. Something for next time I think.
Some PopBook ideas
Our first Pop Book is going to be given to Granny for Mother’s Day. But I think Hannah has the bug. When I come in a few days later I find her making one for me, a singing dancing version that she says I’ll have to wait to see. She is getting into her PopBook stride.
Of course there are lots of photo gift product sites and apps around these days but this one does strike me as incredibly simple, inexpensive and particularly well suited to use on the go. It’s perfect for making something more permanent of all those photos you grab on your phone that can end up getting forgotten or deleted. The books obviously make neat little gifts but we think you could use them for lots of different things. We’d love to hear your ideas. We came up with a few to get you started.
- Adventure Pop – capture moments from your adventure. Remember it in print. Give each family member their own personalised souvenir based on their contribution to the holiday, expedition or day out. You can even order them while you are still away if you have access to free wifi.
- Goodbye Pop – Give one to someone about to begin a long journey as a souvenir of home and loved ones.
- Holiday Pop – Pull together all those perfect moments in the sun, sea, sand or snow.
- Birthday Special Pop – Messages and images from a combination of loved ones.
- Team Pop – Share pictures of all the members of your team, extended family or delegates at an event to help people remember names and faces.
- Things I like Pop – Don’t tell them what you like – show them in a Pop Book. They’ll be no excuses once this has been delivered.
Disclosure Note: This post is brought to you in a collaboration with PopBook.