SmartAlbums: The Single Best Black Friday Purchase You Will Make

If you do anything with albums whether it's wedding albums, personal albums or even portfolios to sit around your studio, this is going to be your jam. Two amazing photographers have developed a program called SmartAlbums. It's a full application that allows you to create albums without all the hassle. And yes, it's possible.

Photographers everywhere dread albums. They outsource and do anything they can to diminish the headaches that come from building them.  But I have been on this beta of SmartAlbums for a month and it's a game changer. It takes album building down to fifteen to twenty minutes. Yes that low. Do you want to know why? Because it does all the thinking for you! It takes the hassle away and the software is more responsive than you could ever imagine. It has templates for over twenty different album companies and all their products. It takes into account bleed room and post print cutting. I will have a full review for you guys upon it's launch on December 26th, but folks, this is an amazing deal. It will save your sanity, I really can't put it into good enough words to convey to you why you need this product! If you need any more convincing after the first video, here's a five minute full demo, but prepare to fall in love. Currently this product is only for Mac, but the Windows version will launch in 2014.


If you're interested in this, they currently have it for a kick ass deal. From Friday to Monday, you can purchase SmartAlbums for $199, thats ONE HUNDRED dollars off the full price. This is a brand new program so with the payment you will get an invitation to the beta. The beta software will be delivered to your email Thursday, December 5th. Don't think that just because it's a beta that it's not worth it. The team at Pixellu is the best, they've been working 24/7 for the past two weeks to make sure everyone's bugs were fixed and addressed. They've been noting requests for upgrades and adding them one by one. Then the official version will launch on December 26th and you will get the upgrade to that. This $199 pre-sale price is from Friday 12:01 EST to Monday 11:59 EST. On Monday at midnight the price will jump to the full price of $299. If you want to wait for the full launch you will get  30 days free.



Love them on facebook and twitter. I don't say love lightly, but believe me. You'll kick yourself for not jumping on this offer.

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Sarah Williams is a award winning photographer in San Diego, CA. She specializes in photography for rad people and brands such as Airstream U.S.A. She has a deep love for flamingos and tattoos. If you want to know more, she's pretty honest on instagram, so check her out.

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We are in no way against a Windows version - we just don't want to make promises at the moment.

Is it possible to create your own layouts?

Not at the moment, but it's one of the features our users have been requesting, and we hope to have it in the future.

I spent my money on some sweet sweaters and Steve Jobs looking black shirts. They'll still be around in a year. If I want to make an album, I use Lightroom (which does have a Windows version oddly enough). People who sell albums also have free software. Maybe you can get one of those idiots who bought into Coin to buy this too.

We don't claim to have the first album design software; we know photographers have many options. We just think that SmartAlbums is an easier and faster way to design an album.

The Lightroom design program is definitely intuitive but sadly it lacks a lot of important features. One for example is the ability to export in spreads (which is how many album companies require them.) Another is the lack of page layout options. Thirdly, it doesn't have the album sizes built right into the program - you have to dial in those settings on your own. Lastly, there is really no support or ability to reach the development team. I have reached out to Adobe on numerous occasions asking for improvements on their album design module and sent over a list of improvements to make - but have yet to receive any response (it's been over 12 months) or seen any improvements. On the other hand the guys over at Smart Albums have thoroughly impressed all of us that are currently testing it in beta and have been releasing updates to the program regularly.

I used to use Millers and then as they came out with newer software, they wouldn't port old albums. When a client asked for another album, I had to redesign it for the new software. Once you use one company's software, you're tied to it and it's limiting when they change or disappear or anything. It was too frustrating to lose all those. Then you want to upload to get a sample at some other company, you need to redesign it using their software. It makes less sense to lock to one company than find something to do it for any company.

I tried LR, which I use for 90% of my edits, and I found their module a bit clumsy. I'm using Fundy right now to see how that goes since I just didn't like LR for this. We'll see how it goes.

My album designer tested this software recently in our studio and we were impressed enough to purchase after one test design. Its intuitive and easy. From a business point of view the saving I can make financially in employee time, even just in the Beta period was enough for me to buy in. This isn't trying to be indesign, but it doesn't have it's price tag. PS. Marta isn't out of a job ;)

Thanks Simeon! Really glad to have your support

Very similiar, and already at its fifth release Lumapix Fotofusion. Definitely worth a try.

Does it support adding titles or text elements?

Currently there is no way to add text/titles. Our users have used Photoshop to add titles to one or two spreads (usually first and/or last)

So you need Photoshop on top to $299 to add a title to the photo book? You must be kidding...

Most of our users don't add titles to their books. Out of those that do, use Photoshop. However, we know that it would be much more convenient to do it all in one program, and we hope to be adding this feature in a future update of SmartAlbums.

Because there are not other applications that can add text on top of an image. Mountain out of a ant hill.

You must be kidding. Each proprietary photobook software of the providers I use can do that! And if I'm not wrong even Lightroom can!

Fantastic! I thought I was almost done with purchases but I guess not!

Looks indeed promising; the only thing that kind of annoys me is the fact that for now it will only be available for Mac users?? This even feels disciminating... Will the Windows-user also get a chance to purchase a rebate-beta-version than?

The decision to be only on Mac in the beginning didn't come from some prejudice against PC users. It was simply because we wanted to focus on one platform due to limited resources. If/when we have a public beta for Windows, PC users will be able to join the beta testing just like the Mac users were able to.

Will there be a presale discount price for the Windows build, too?

At the moment we don't know if there will be a PC version. We have the intention of building it, but we can't say for sure. If/when there will be a Windows open beta testing, then there *might* be a pre-sale, but at this moment we don't know.

It's a shame there isn't a Windows version.

Isn't beta testing usually free ...

This is like Kickstarter without Kickstarter. The video looks impressive from a usability point of view. Looks like you are restricted to the Layout which is built in (which would be enough for me), no text/title functionality and you never know if the software will actually work as promised ... in the end it's a beta. At 299$ I don't see it selling that well (out of budget) ... at 199$ worth a thought (depending on your number of clients) ... at 99$ I would purchase it.

Beta testing is in fact free. The pre-sale is not for the beta version, but for the actual finished version that is coming out on December 26th. By pre-ordering the software, photographers receive $100 from the retail price.

I'd like to clarify that the software is 99% finished with hundreds of photographers using it at the moment in it's beta stage. Kickstarter is usually made to fund a concept, not a nearly finished product.

We understand your skepticism and would love to use the 30 day free trial to test the software. The 30 day trial will be available starting December 26th, when SmartAlbums officially launches.

You are right ... it's not the beta. You get the full product (but as you can't test it right now you buy an unfinshed product and don't know what you really get ... The website does not talk a lot about functionality more about that it is just easy and beautiful. (I know you want to keep it simple).

At 99$ I would purchase it as is ... without knowing that it might all work (as it is not finished but looks impressive). For 199$ I would want to see the product and test it ... For 299$ I would keep on using my existing workflow and not even test it. But that is just me ... every photographer will have a different price point (depending on how important albums are). :-)

We definitely see your point. Currently you may pre-order at $199, receive a beta version on Dec 5, and request a refund before Dec 26 if you did not like the software. In a way, this would be someone of a "trial period" :)

Hehe .. now according to my text I should buy ... 199$ and I pretty much get a trial period until the 26th to test it ... :-) I needed to produce a few sample albums ... so maybe give it a shot.

For those looking for something similar on PC :
I've been using it for a few months and it's a lifesaver. There's also a sale 30% off today..not sure when it's going to end though

Fundy is not even close to what this can do.

Is this that much better than the Book module in Lightroom (especially in Lightroom 5)?

This looks like Blogstomp for Albums

This program is amazing!! I just designed an album in 20 mins. Holy cow!! Now if I hadn't just purchased the 5D MIII, I'd be buying this sucker! Grrrrr!!

No windows version? Seems like a poor choice to aim at the smaller side of a 2-sided market...

I have a couple of questions. Can it start from scratch without any pre selected album company? Is it licensed for a single computer? How does it work?


- Yes you can use put in your 'custom size' for whatever album you're making (we support over 95% of dimensions)

- Single license for one user, but multiple computers

- This five minute video explains how it works:

Any chance you are going to be compatible with Millers for album ordering?

I am a few days late finding this but am still very interested in trying the Beta version, but when I go to the site now it just says they will be back later. I thought that I could still purchase into this at the normal price and receive the Beta. I do not mind paying for it if it works. Do you know if there is still a way to try the beta version? Either free or with paying for the software?

Is it too late to buy the pre order at the reduced price?

New Smart Albums for Windows was designed. It’s going to be available for purchase on February 16.

I would recommend trying Memento Pro from MememtoPIX (, its easy, fast and intuitive.