Turn Beautiful Photos into Lasting Memories

Memories are precious. I cherish things that remind me that events in my life actually happened. I grew up in the era of 1-hour photo developing and tangible printed photographs that captured those moments in time. Today, we all have digital memories frozen on our phones and when that phone crashes and all the photos are lost…what happens to the memories? They fade. This is why services like Motif exists.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

DETAILS

Motif is an app extension for Photos that allows you to create, organize, and edit personal photo books. The system provides you with the tools to be able to publish books of memories as well as other items. Motif’s theory is that creating a keepsake shouldn’t be complicated. The technology behind their app extension reviews photos you choose for layout, composition, cropand size so that you have the best possible option for your printed book. You have the option to customize your book any way you want including pre-built themes, fonts, and working with flexible layouts.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

The tools provided in Motif make it easy for everyone to create keepsakes like a professional. Motif gives users the option to create calendars, books, and even cards right from the comfort of their own Photos library. The app extension is free to download, but the products you order from them aren’t. Calendar pricing starts at $19.99; book pricing starts at $9.99, and card pricing starts at $0.99.

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USER EXPERIENCE

Once upon a time, Photos provided an option for users to be able to export their stored images directly from the Mac app to print albums as photo books, calendars, and other keepsakes. Late in 2018, Apple discontinued their in-house printing services and instead, they refer people out to third-party extensions for the Photos app, like Motif.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

“It’s easy to make high-quality photo books, cards, calendars, framed prints, and more right within Photos for macOS Mojave. Third-party project extensions offer an expanded selection of services from partners like Motif, Mimeo, and WhiteWall, letting you create a unique gift for someone special or for yourself.

Just go to the Mac App Store to learn about and download each extension. To start a project, simply select photos, an album, a memory, or even an existing project, and then choose the extension you want to use.”

“MacOS – Print Products.” Apple, www.apple.com/macos/print-products.
Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

It’s true. Making physical, printed keepsakes is very easy with Motif. To start, you visit the App Store and download the app. Now, I do want to point out here that while you are downloading an ‘app’ — it’s kind of a misnomer. You see, the app is really just a splash page on your computer that eventually directs you to the Photos app where the extension has been installed. Motif refers to their product as an extension and an app on their website. In my opinion, I feel that this can lead to some confusion. Personally, I’d like to see them either develop the desktop app a little further or simply change their marketing of the product on their website.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

That little details aside, the product that Motif has built works really well. Even though they provide several different options for keepsakes, I decided to create a photo book and that will be the main piece I discuss in this review.

When you open the Motif app on your Mac and click ‘get started,’ you will be taken to the Photos app. At this point, you will want to select or create an album that contains the photos you want to see printed. If you right-click on the album title, you will see the menu option, ‘Create.’ From there, you select, ‘Motif’ and then you get to customize the project to your heart’s content.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

Once you have all the pages laid out and tweaked just the way you want, select ‘Checkout’ and go through the final preparations of your book. You will have to register an account with Motif — it doesn’t go through your iTunes account — and enter a form of payment before proceeding to checkout. You will see from my screenshots that the book I built ended up costing around $80. One of the nice things I found with this process is that as you build it, you have a running tally of the cost in the upper right-hand corner. So, if you are working with a budget and see that you are starting to go over that number, you can pull back what you are doing rather than wasting a lot of time editing and customizing your layout just to find out you have to delete pages.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

CONCLUSION

Aside from the way you used to be able to print directly from Photos, I found this to be the best option for creating keepsakes from digital photos. I spent a lot of time working on my layout and placement of photos because I intended my photo book to be a portfolio of my photography work. If you have a family photo album that you just want to share with family as a printed book, you could easily export it to Motif and send it out as you want.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW
Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

I have had the experience of using services like the one that Walgreens provides and I feel like Motif is a much more seamless, smooth way to work with a book layout. In comparison to Walgreens, the price is very competitive, too. I created a book that is 13 x 10 in size and while Walgreens doesn’t offer that exact size, they do offer 11 x 14, which starts at $90.

Motif Photos App Extension REVIEW

Given that Motif is a free extension and as a pay-as-you-go service, I think it’s totally worth it to give it a try. I hope to see them develop their ‘app’ a bit further, but the service they provide works and it works really well. My book was delivered on time and looks great! The only issue I had was that a small part of the cover was torn. That tear probably happened in shipping though and the production of the book itself is incredible.

For more details, visit Motif, Facebook, and Twitter.