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Getting Creative with My Travel Photos: a Review of Photobox

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        I received my first digital camera aged 16, from my mother as a Christmas present. It was a large clunky Canon which required 4x AA batteries, can you believe it, but I adored it at the time and as a student doing my Art AS-Level it was invaluable. Aged 18 in Chile during my Gap Year it was stolen, so I then bought a Nikon which survived my gap year travels and up until my 2nd year of university, aged 20. After dropping it one too many times on university nights out, the camera was laid to rest and I reverted back to a Canon. A couple of Canon’s later (I can’t speak more highly of Instant Replacement camera insurance, it has saved me many a time!) and I finally got hold of my current Panasonic Lumix G5, which is a mini DSLR and I took a step towards ‘proper’ photography.

         Anyone who has been on holiday with me at some point in the intervening nine years (gulp) will complain about my addiction to taking photos. Who knows why I can’t stop taking photos, but I honestly love it and I have amassed thousands upon thousands of photos over the last nine years. My photos bring back memories and inspire me to plan future travels. I’m a very visual person so, as well as surrounding myself with postcards, I also have a great deal of photos that remind me of moments that I forget when I’m caught up in the busy day-to-day of London life. Given how utterly addicted I am to taking photos, I jumped at the chance to choose and review a couple of items from Photobox, a company that prints your photos onto pretty much anything you can imagine: classic prints, clothes, accessories, presents, calendars, cards, canvases, you name it…

iPhone 5 Cover

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          I opted for two items: firstly this iPhone 5 cover above which I designed on the Photobox website using my own Instagram photos from recent travels. They have a variety of layouts and photo size options and the website is really simple to use, giving you a 3D preview of your iPhone case too before you hit ‘Purchase’.

Photobox Screenshot2

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        I stuck to a blue and white theme to avoid clashing colours, so lots of the photos feature the sea or the sky. I chose a Matte finish (the other option is a Gloss finish) and the total came to £26.97 including postage. I’ve received so many compliments on it and it’s fun to point out to friends which photos are from the trips we’ve taken together. The only critique I’d have is that the photos wrap around the sides of the case too, but they are a tiny bit stretched and distorted. Only an examining eye would ever notice it, as it looks fine at first glance. Otherwise, the quality of the printing on the main part is very good.

Collage Canvas

Photobox Collage Canvas

         The second item that I ordered from Photobox was a 60x40cm Collage Canvas. Having just moved into a new flat in Parson’s Green, back in London, I’m trying to spruce up my flat with paintings and artwork, and a collage of some of my favourite travel photos seemed the perfect way to decorate and personalise the new flat. Having chosen from a selection of 25 different layouts, I set about choosing photos in warmer tones, such as yellows, oranges, corals and reds, to populate the 15 spots available.

Photobox Screenshot

        Keen to make the collage that much more meaningful to me, I decided to add in three of my favourite travel- and life-related quotes, from Michael Palin, Mahatma Gandhi and Marcel Proust. I really like how the canvas has turned out and I’m impressed by the quality of it, especially after such a lot of effort and indecisiveness went into its creation (to my detriment in this case, I’m not a very impulsive decision-maker!).

Photobox Collage Canvas

         The canvas now hangs in pride of place in our drawing room and has already attracted lots of compliments! I’d recommend you check the pixel resolution of your photos against Photobox’s Resolution Guide, which came in very handy for me. There is currently a sale on, so the canvas along with Classic thickness and postage came to £50.49.

Photobox Collage Canvas

      Overall, I’m thrilled with both of the items from Photobox. The quality of the photos is really good and I do love being surrounded by my own photos, ones that inspire memories of past trips that enchanted me. Printing a canvas or an iPhone cover seem slightly more grown up ways of displaying my photos than the ‘blue tack approach’ I adopted at university. As I grow up a bit I realise there are classier ways to display photos, and that is it still important to print them out. Don’t leave your photos to gather dust in a long-forgotten Facebook Album you never look at nowadays. Print off a selection of your best photos and display with pride the places you have travelled to, and importantly the lessons you learnt in those places. I am often guilty of thinking too much about the future, and not being grateful for everything I have already experienced, so looking back at the past through my photos is excellent food for the soul.

How do you like to remember your travels? Do you print out photos or do you store them inside your memory?

14 Comments »

  1. That photo collage is great! I am definitely going to look into Photobox for creating one myself. I remember my travels by photos too… much like you, people are usually having to wait up for me because I am taking 10 photos from different angles of the same thing 😛 I’ve been working with film more lately and love the added surprise of not knowing exactly how the photo will turn out!

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    • I also take 10 photos of everything, I’m currently having problems with storing them all as both my laptop & external hard drive are full to the brim with photos… And that’s brave of you to experiment with film, I’m not sure I could make that transition having got so hooked to digital!

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  2. I love these Virginia! I do print out and have on canvas a fair few of my pics from travelling but these both look fab. I don’t usually like the idea of putting your own photos on phone covers – it often ends up looking quite tacky – but the way you’ve done it looks great. I’d spend ages deciding on which photos to choose too!

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    • Thanks Ayla! Mmmm about tackiness, I was quite keen to avoid cheesy smiling holiday photos… while they might be a great memory and of really important people to me, they often don’t stand the test of time and look dated once some time has passed.

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  3. Looks great ! Being quite old-fashioned I still have many photo albums detailing travels in the dark and distant past. More recently however I’ve started posting on Flickr and Facebook, though having said that, it can be quite liberating sometimes to go somewhere without a camera and absorb the place as you see it rather than through the lens of a camera. I had a friend (passed away sadly) who spent most of his time travelling and working the world but never once took a camera, I’m not sure he even owned one ! Quite inspirational in one way.

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    • I tried going sans camera this weekend but just found there were too many things I want to photograph and remember. That’s purely because I’ve conditioned myself to take lots of photos, I certainly remember the pre-digital camera age. I remember everyone being a lot less vain and probably an awful lot happier in the moment! How interesting that your friend never felt the need to capture his travels on film…

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      • As you say Virginia, I think he committed most of what he saw directly to memory as he was never short of a traveller’s tale or two ! The nice thing about digital is that you at least know your pics are okay before getting home and facing a hefty processing charge ! Happy snapping !

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