Shutterfly Photo Book Review and Giveaway

When I was a kid, photographs were taken on film and then you would get them developed and have tons of photos around. My mom would put them into albums or other organizational devices.Today, I take all of my photos digitally, mostly with my iPhone. I love that I can take a ton of photos without paying for developing. However, my photos live mostly on my computer and the internet and my daughter does not get a chance to look through them very often.

My Photo Book

I keep saying I should put together photo books, but never seem to get around to it. It always seems to be such an effort to select the photos and assemble them into a book. Shutterfly asked me to review their photo books, which provided me incentive to get a book done. I made a 2011 Year in Review Photo Book.

I was able to make my book in an evening. I started about 4:30p and placed my order by 12:30a with a about a 3 hour break. The time included selecting the photographs, arranging them, and doing some photo editing. It was definitely the fastest that I ever completed a photo book.

My photo upload went fairly quickly, however when it asked me about arranging the photos I selected to arrange them by date taken. However, while all photos from the same date were grouped together, they were not in chronological order (the dates were displaying properly in iPhoto). While it was nice that my photos were at least grouped together, it would have been more convenient if they were properly sorted.

Shutterfly offers Simple Path which will take your photos and pre-arrange your photos for you. I thought this sounded like a great idea, but I ended up with a 60+ page book (20 pages is the standard length). I didn’t see a great way to say combine photos. Combined with the shuffled picture order, I decided the Simple Path was not so simple and made the book manually through Custom Path.


I found the Storyboard option a great way to specify which photos went on which page. I do wish there was a way to select multiple photos at a time and add them to a page in bulk instead of needing to do it one photo at a time.

I also had a lot of pages with 6-10 photos on them. The page layouts for 5+ photos are all grouped together and not divided by the number of photos, although they are sorted by number of photos. Since most of my pages had at least 5 photos this was an inconvenience for me. I also found that many of the layouts with less photos had “pre-designed” pages whereas the pages with lots of photos were plain white leaving me to add my own embellishments. While it is nice to be able to customize my pages, it made for a slower design process.

For the previous photo book that I made on Shutterfly, I made the pages offline and saved them as a high resolution jpeg. I then used a full page photo layout on each page. I liked the flexibility that this gave me to use a full photo as the background. It also gave me the flexibility to work on the book when I was not internet connected or having to wait for the pages to reload.


I love my photo book and am happy with the quality from Shutterfly, but may look to make my pages outside of Shutterfly and upload them as a full-page photo.

Shutterfly photo books are a great way to capture memories from the last year or a special vacation. They also make a great gift for a milestone birthday, anniversary, or special event.

Shutterfly is giving one of my readers a FREE 8×8 photo book (20 page maximum). In order to enter, please use the Rafflecopter entry form below. The contest will run through 12:01a EST on January 18, 2012. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was provided with a code for a free photo book from Shutterfly through Family Review Network so that I can review their photo books for you.

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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