August 3, 2011

Shutterfly photo books

shutterfly photo bookI’ve enjoyed making photo books over the years mainly to document trips to visit family. For those of you who may have never seen a photo book, they look somewhat like a coffee table book, but with your own photos in it. They can really look professional (and shock those you show it to that you were able to make it), and are a nice, and not too costly way to keep your photos and memories handy. I have used a number of different on-line and in store providers. I used Shutterfly photo books once for a book for my great Aunt M, but have never done one for myself. I was able to check out how it turned out when I was visiting her this summer, and was quite pleased with

it. The pages seemed thicker than other ones I had from other places which seemed to make them less likely to stick together. One of the drawbacks I found was that, unlike others I’d used, it could not be customized , but they came out with a new option that allowed more customization I had been interested in. So…

I’m trying the new “Custom Path” for my most recent trip’s photo book. It has a “Customize Page” option that allows you to fine tune a page’s layout. One thing I really like about Shutterfly’s custom editing is that it gives you info on what you’re doing. For instance, if you’re resizing a photo, it will tell you what size it is, moving: where it is, tilting: how many degrees it’s moved. This is very helpful if you’re trying do more than one thing the same or the exact opposite, for instance I’m putting a “4th of July” logo on each page, so making sure they are in the same place, and the same size on every page. The aligning and matching height/width options are also very helpful for customizing photo layouts. For instance, if you want to have two photos lined up, the same size on the page, this option is invaluable. I have not seen these in the other software I used to make photo books. Hint: since there is no “un-do” button on the Customize page section, be sure to “Apply Changes” often, that way you can always undo the last few edits by choosing “Cancel”.

Although I have not tried them myself, Shutterfly also offers (in addition to the holiday cards that are so popular right now), Bridal shower invitations and birth announcements both of which I think sound really fun.

Disclosure: I was offered a photo book in return for this post, but the opinions are mine.

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