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shutterfly photo booksAfter my first trip abroad many years ago, I spent hours sorting and crafting my photos into the ultimate scrapbook. I lovingly arranged my best shots into pleasing layouts, complete with captions, museum ticket stubs and the odd postcard or two. It was perfect for sharing with friends and family, and for leafing through whenever I wanted to remember the best moments of my trip.

A few years later I got a digital camera, and my scrapbooking habit went underground for a while — until I discovered Shutterfly. One of several websites that allow you to create photo books out of digital images, Shutterfly is perfect for travelers who’ve missed the experience of putting together a photo album or scrapbook after a trip.

Sharing Your Travel Photos and Experiences

I’ve now used Shutterfly for more than a dozen photo books. The process is almost endlessly customizable — you can browse hundreds of layouts, resize images, add captions, change the background and text color, and choose from a variety of cover types (including linen, leather and crushed silk). I love that I can fiddle with almost every aspect of a page, switching photos in and out and trying to figure out which shade of turquoise will make the best background to my underwater shots — but if you’d rather take a quicker route to the finish line, you can have the site auto-fill your photos in the order they were taken.

Shutterfly offers a “photo story” for iPad too, which allows you to add doodles or audio clips into the presentation.

The site has a number of competitors that produce similar high-quality, customizable photo books, including AdoramaPix, Blurb, Mixbook and Snapfish. It’s worth trying a few to compare not only prices but also book sizes, layout options, ease of use and overall quality of the finished product.

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Do you enjoy making photo books after a trip? Which site do you prefer?

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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One Response to “Shutterfly: Photo Albums in a Digital Age”

  1. Host Ciao says:

    I have always been by my own description an “insane” photographer. In 50 plus years of travel photography I have gone through slides, prints and now to digital for the last 9 or 10 years. I will say that I was best at organizing and identifying slides. And I probably have about 4000 just of Italy.
    Then I went to prints. I would take so many pictures that I couldn’t afford to have them all developed at once–I told you I was “insane.” Only when I retired from teaching and started watching movies I had on tape or DVD or from Netclix, did I actually get those many, many pictures into large, heavy albums.
    And digital–oh my or I should say I guess OMG! I truly have folders of travel pictures on Picasa that I have never finished writing captions for. If you can think of a better description than “insane,” let me know.
    A presto,
    Host Ciao
    PS And I’m off to take more pictures of Italy next November!

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