Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Shutterfly's Idiot-Proof Photo Book Process

Two days after I got back from my solo vacation to Cape Cod with Wee ‘Burb, I got a notice from my favorite photo site, Shutterfly. It was a coupon for a free photo book! I was elated because my mother had taken over 100 pictures a day and I had planned a great book with all the beach and food pictures. What can I say, my mother loves to take pictures of people with food in their mouths. This time, Wee 'Burb was the victim instead of me. Win for all.

The catch? I had 24 hours to complete it. Allow me to elaborate: it took me two months to put together our wedding album, and I still have our honeymoon album half done. I got married two years ago. 24 hours is just…well it’s mission: impossible.

But I’m cheap. So I set forth and decided if it took me all night, I would get this free album!! So I set to work creating backgrounds (Shutterfly has an awesomely overwhelming set of backgrounds) and my book size and all that, and then I noticed something different. They had a storyboard option for the photo book.

You guys, this is genius! It’s like they heard my cries of “how the heck am I going to do this in 24 hours” and they answered with “why, just go ahead and drag your pictures to this here storyboard and we’ll take care of the formatting.”

I like this option so much better than letting them put together the album. I really wanted to pick my pictures, and put them in a certain order. But for me what has always taken time is choosing a layout and trying to fit the pictures into the layout. The storyboard option picks the best layout based on the pictures you put in there. MAGICAL!

You can go back and change things, of course. I like to keep my backgrounds fairly consistent, so I did go back and fix those so they were all the same. But all in all it took me three hours to make a 20-page photo book!

So later when Shutterfly contacted people and asked them to blog about their experience, I jumped at the chance! I know there are a lot of photo sites out there, but of the ones I have tried and experienced, I truly think Shutterfly is the most user-friendly, and tends to offer the most deals.

A week doesn’t go by where I don’t get some sort of code from them, whether it’s free shipping or free photos. I’ve taken advantage of so many, and so far we’ve made baptism and Christmas Photo Cards for Wee ‘Burb (or, of Wee 'Burb, actually). And we’re looking into thank you cards for after Wee ‘Burb’s first birthday, which is COMING UP, I can’t believe it!

I am very excited also to share that Shutterfly has offered some free codes to my readers! To qualify please comment here by October 2nd about a favorite photo you have or what you would most like to order on Shutterfly. I’ll announce the winners October 4th!


Rachel said...

I heart Shutterfly so very much as well. Their books and calendars have been awesome for gifts.

Amanda said...

My sister made me an album for my wedding shower and it was beautiful! I love how easy it is to work with...I'm sure once my little guy gets here we'll be using it frequently!

hungrigyrl said...

I have been using Snapfish for years, but recently purchased a Groupon for a photo book thru Shutterfly. I am excited to try it! I'm a new follower from Modern Mom. Check out my blog at

Kristy said...

Yes, I think Shutterfly is fabulous. It was PERFECT for grandparents on Mother's and Father's Days!