I’ve just started using Aperture on my iMac rather than iPhoto because I have been told I have too many photos for iPhoto to work well and I was definitely seeing a slowdown in performance. I really miss the output options in iPhoto though, most especially the ability to make photo books and order prints. Can I do any of that in Aperture?
You can most definitely order photographic prints and make photo books in Aperture 3, the latest version of Apple’s photo management and editing tool. In fact, Apple has some great videos to get you started, including Making photo books in Aperture. Well worth watching.
I experimented with this feature recently too, though I just wanted to order a couple of prints of a particularly good photograph of my Dad and my daughter, taken in the beautiful grounds of the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
To order the print, I simply Command-Clicked on the photo after I’d finished editing it and tweaking it in Aperture itself. The pop-up menu appeared with the following options:
Lots and lots of choices. Typical Aperture. Confusing, but if you have the patience to pick through the options, notice that I’ve found “Order Prints…” from the “Output” option.
Selecting that particular option brings up an editing window that includes the price for the different size prints:
Easy to deal with, I hope! I am going to order a 5×7 and an 8×10 of this particular image by replacing the “0” in the quantity box adjacent to the specific size with a “1”. Note the price too: a very reasonable $0.49 for each 5×7 print and $1.99 for an 8×10. Shipping will show up later, but I can tell you it’s only $2.99, which means it’s not a great way to order a single 4×6 print, but very cost effective for anything greater.
Once I’ve picked the desired sizes, “Continue” takes me to a confirmation page that summarizes the base print charges:
$2.48 seems reasonable for the two prints, so I’ll again click “Continue”…
Where’d all this come from? My iTunes Store account. Ah, those smart programmers at Apple, they figure that if you’ve already set up your iTunes Store account to let you buy music, videos, apps, etc., then you can use that for photographic work too, saving all the tedious data input of a third-party photo print service. And they’re right. Easy always wins!
This all looks good, the payment method is correct and the total shipping charge of $2.99 is acceptable for the speed and convenience of the print order. Even better, I’m still in LA, so the photos will be waiting for me when I get home to Colorado in a few days. How easy is that?
I click on “Place Order” and now the photograph (or photographs, depending on your order) are uploaded to the Apple print server:
(my guess is that this is outsourced to a third-party photo printing service, but I haven’t been able to identify which company it is, and in any case, I prefer to think of it as magic. You click the button and a few days later, the prints show up!)
Anyway, once the image is uploaded, you can go back to working on your Aperture photo albums and galleries, as the friendly message highlights:
Finally, once everything’s been successfully sent to the photo print server and set up for your job, you’ll get the final confirmation message:
Note that we’re in Aperture but it’s doing an upsell of photo book printing in iPhoto. This is a clue that both apps are using the same service and that there are a lot more people using the iPhoto app than the more expensive Aperture program. No surprise there, but still a bit of a surprise that the message doesn’t promote making photo books within Aperture itself.
That aside, I hope you can see that it’s really easy to order photo prints from within Aperture and the price is eminently reasonable for the service and quality resultant. In terms of photo books? I’ll be trying that out — and writing about it — shortly. Stay tuned!