Making photo albums online with uploaded digital photos can be complicated, especially for technophobes. Shutterfly makes online photo album creation easy, and has a few decorative details that make it especially valuable for travel or vacation photo books.
I recently participated in a virtual walk-through of Shutterfly’s new photo book creation system, and was very impressed with the ease of navigation and the intuitive aspects therein. After creating an account and logging in, Shutterfly users can upload digital photos and start creating their own photo albums, personalized photo cards and stationary, calendars, and more. Since I knew before the tour that I wanted to create a photo book for my parents about our multigenerational family volunteer vacation in Costa Rica, I loaded in 40 digital photos right away by clicking “add pictures” on the main page. They loaded in very quickly.
I planned to make an 8×8 photo book with 40 photographs. I arranged them the way I wanted them to appear, and into the photo book they went. Again, very easy. One thing I noticed was that vertical photos are forced to the outside end of the page when two photos are put on one page. I also discovered that it is helpful to resize vertical photos before uploading them into the Shutterfly system; users are able to crop photos after uploading them, but there was one photo that was too long, and couldn’t be made to fit without cropping off part of the top and bottom.
After that it was a simple matter of adding captions at the top or bottom of each page. I knew how many pages I wanted before I started, so I didn’t need to add more pages — but that’s an option as well. Like the rest of the process, this was very intuitive and user-friendly.
I picked a photo album cover that’s vaguely travel themed (in any case, it’s a cover found in the travel category) and a bold font that seemed easy to read. There was a snag in that I wanted to use one of the photos from the photo book as a cover photo as well, but couldn’t figure out how. I don’t know if I missed something obvious, but I’d recommend that anyone making a digital photo album with Shutterfly upload an extra photo or two just in case this happens to them too. Photo album covers can be hardcover, padded, cloth, leather, even faux lizard. There are 41 styles, including quite a few in the travel category, so there should be a design that is right for any occasion represented in the photo book.
Check out was incredibly easy, and I sent the photo book to my parents’ address. They live 3,000 miles from me, but soon we were visiting for a spring break in NYC. What a delight; my kids and I were at their apartment when the Shutterfly digital photo book arrived! Great timing. My parents loved looking at the photos of their grandchildren and themselves in Costa Rica, and I loved sharing the photo book with them.
Shutterfly offered a bunch of bloggers, travel and otherwise, an 8×8 photo book. I enjoyed creating an album of our Costa Rica volunteer vacation so much that I ordered a second one, for myself! Having registered at the site, I now see that there are occasional emails alerting Shutterfly members about free shipping and other promotions.
We all take thousands of photos in this digital era. Shutterfly makes it easy to arrange our favorites into pretty, well-constructed and sturdy photo books. Digital cameras are wonderful for travel, but there’s no better way to document a family vacation than with a photo book that can be looked over, shared, and admired. Thanks for the walkthrough, Shutterfly; I’ll be back.