As I mentioned in a recent post, I have been trying out Shutterfly after seeing and hearing about its many happy customers. I decided I would take a small sampling of photos that I have stored away in boxes that I never dig out, in this case waterfalls that I have photographed, and get a book made with them. The book arrived last week and I must say I was pretty impressed.
The website itself it fairly easy to work with. Once I had the pictures processed, cropped, etc, I uploaded them to their website after creating an account. The account allowed me to log in over the course of a week whenever I had a few minutes to spare and go about the process of creating a book for printing.
The whole process was fairly self intuitive though I fumbled now and then figuring things out. For example, I found it not very self intuitive to rearrange the order of pictures once they were laid out in the book. I wanted one large picture to a page and when I used the click and drag method, it would leave the page blank from where I grabbed the misordered picture and create a two picture page where I dropped it. You ended up moving pictures back and forth from your book layout to a virtual film strip to retain the page formats that you had. Another odd thing for me was that any text that you put on the page to go with the picture did not remain with the picture when you moved it to another page. I ended up getting all the pictures arrange just so and then going back to deal with the text at the very end.
Once all the pictures were in order and the text added, I spent quite a bit of time tweaking things like picture frames, text orientation, etc as well as double and triple checking the spelling. When I was finished, it was simple as submitting the order and waiting. My book of self photographed waterfalls arrived at my doorstep in a bright orange box very familiar to the UPS driver who delivered it and told me that he had pictures for me. I ended up getting the hard bound 8 x 12 inch book and it seemed well put together though the cover definitely marks up fairly easily. Since I didn't want a treasure but a book that I can look at more often, I'm okay with all the marks it has gotten already. Already I am thinking about doing another more ambitious Shutterfly project. I have long wanted to scan all my Colorado River trip photos and put them into an album to show more people what they are missing. But instead of a couple dozen waterfall pictures I am looking at a few hundred pictures, all of which need to be scanned and processed first before I start a book. Perhaps this winter when I have more time on my hands.