Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Create a Compelling Photo Book with Shutterfly

I've been a huge fan of Shutterfly for many years.  I've gotten most of our Christmas cards from Shutterfly.  I order all my print photos from Shutterfly.  I've gotten several gifts from Shutterfly over the years including mugs, office/desk items, and other prints.  My favorite thing to create on Shutterfly is a photo book.  My sister-in-law makes one on Shutterfly every season.  I wish I was that organized.  I have made them for our vacations each summer and for a family wedding.

I have to admit, it was hard for me at first to get used to making a photo book rather than putting photos into an album, but once I made my first one I was hooked.  Over the years, Shutterfly has come up with so many neat styles, artwork, themes and ways to really make the photo book your own style.  Plus they are always saved on Shutterfly in case you ever wanted to give one as a gift. A Shutterfly photo book would make a great gift for a new mom, a child's birthday, a grandparent or even a high school graduate.  I've seem them used as guest books at weddings, graduations, and birthday parties.  Such a great idea!

If you have ever thought about making a photo book, but wasn't sure where to start, my best tip is just to jump in. Upload a group of photos from a special event or year and start adding them to your photo book project. Without pressure of having to print it or finish it by a certain date, you are much more likely to take your time learning all the ways you can add your own personal style to a photo book.  Just remember to always SAVE your work by naming your project right away.

I have a great guest post for you today from Heather Hewitt from Shutterfly with her best tips for creating a photo book. To create your own photo book with Shutterfly, go to

Three Tips to Help You Create a Compelling Photo Book - Heather Hewitt

You go to a friend’s house and notice a colorful book of photos on the coffee table. When you pick it up to look inside, you’re immediately impressed with the way it captures your friend’s Hawaii vacation with simplicity and beauty. Yet, because of the captions and fun layout, it’s more interesting to look through than a regular photo album. “I can do this,” you think. And you can! There are a lot of online sites that offer predesigned photo books that you can customize with ease for vacations, events, year-in-reviews, and much more.

Here are three tips for making your photo book stunning and compelling.

·         Choose good photos. If you’re designing a photo book, obviously the most important component will be the photos you select. With today’s use of the digital camera, or phones for that matter, we tend to take a lot more photos than in the past. But that means more to sort through, so how to choose from the hundreds – maybe thousands – you’ve taken? Simply put, you want to select photos that tell a story. Perhaps there’s more to them visually than others. Maybe the lighting is better. Maybe they evoke emotion. Try to choose interesting pictures, especially for the photos that will take up an entire page or stand alone.

·         Select a varied layout. The layout of a photo book can change the tone of the book as a whole. It’s important to alternate the number – and type – of photos used on each page. For example, don’t make every page a standalone photo with a caption. On the other hand, a photo book full of collage pages will make it hard to focus and might make the viewer’s eyes tired. As tempting as it is to cram as many photos as possible into as small a space as you can, it’s a much better choice to make the layout interesting. Together, the photos will tell a story they can’t tell alone.

·         Write detailed captions. Have you ever thumbed through someone’s photo albums and wondered who people were and what event they were at and what was so darned funny? Just think how much more interesting those photos would be if you had captions. Not only that, but as the years go by, details tend to leave our brains. So when writing your photo book, make sure to write captions with as much detail as you’d like to remember – and that you’d like your kids and grandkids to know later. Remember, you’re leaving a legacy with these books! Just like you might have learned in yearbook class, details could include names, dates, locations, etc.

When you adapt these three tips, you’re well on your way to create a compelling photo book. Take time to decide how you want to tell the story of your vacation, year, or significant event – then take joy in creating and sharing it with family and friends!

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.


Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

We are taking vacation soon, so I will have to keep this idea in mind for our photo's. I always worry about the quality of the paper that will be used. I assume you have been please and no issues with that quality?

Stacie said...


I am happy with them. It isn't real thick paper, but not so flimsy that it tears when you turn a page either. I haven't had any issues with it and I have kids that look through them.