It's gift-giving season and instead of throwing yourself into the mosh-pit that is the shopping mall, discover a fantastic alternative, especially to give to those who "have everything."
If you are familiar with the high-end photo publishing website Shutterfly, then you might already know that they offer a wonderful technology-based platform for users to share, print, and organize their photos. What you might not know is that Shutterfly has made it even easier to share those images that you so painstakingly collect through their beautiful photo books.
As a City Editor at Savvy Source, I was given the opportunity to experience making one of Shutterfly's photo books from start to finish. This is what I learned:
You begin by selecting a theme. With 20 themes to choose from, you're sure to find something that suits you (or the recipient). With the holidays around the corner, you might select the Christmas theme but if that doesn't appeal to you, peruse the others and it's likely that you'll find something perfect. The Seasonal Pre-Designed Book offers users the ability to create a "year-in-review" style memory book that would make a wonderful gift.
It's easy to do: upload your photos to your Shutterfly account. With several different options for doing this, you'll find it quick and simple. Next, select the photos you might want to include in your photo book. You will be able to view all your pictures in front of you as you go through the pages of the book, making it easy to select, de-select, edit, etc. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the theme of each page in order to match the proper photos with the page.
Next, personalize your book. While the pre-designed books come with headlines and templates, they also leave space for you to add your own thoughts. For example, on the page laid-out for family vacation photos, there is a spot that invites the user to add exactly where the image was taken or the names of the people in the photo. It's a special touch and adds finesse to the book.
Once you complete your photo book, you will be offered the opportunity to edit with the help of the program. Shutterfly will alert you to any problems within your book, including blank spaces (which you may or may not have left blank intentionally), misspelled words, images that will not print well, and so on. Tip: If you wish to view your photo book as a slideshow during your editing process (which is a good idea), you'll want to enable pop-ups on your toolbar. Once you go back and fix any errors, you will be ready for the final stage of your project.
You can add a title to the front cover of your book as well as the spine -- this was our favorite detail! We selected the 8x8 photo book with a hard cover. Our finished product looks like this:
We chose the seasonal theme and together with my kids, we re-visited fun events that occurred throughout the course of the year. On the Seasons page, we selected one picture from each season, and my girls could actually identify which picture went with each season! Going back through an entire year with children is a real eye-opener. For them to see how much we do in a year and for us to learn just how much they retain is a real learning experience!
After we clicked the Order button, we waited only five or six days before our product arrived at our door (incredible shipping service!). We were unbelievably surprised at the quality of our photo book. While we expected it to be good, we didn't anticipate how well it would flow, how beautiful our photos would look, how thick the paper would be. It looks professional, and I would be proud to give this as a gift to just about anyone.
Win it! Shutterfly has teamed up with Savvy Source to give away an amazing holiday prize package to one lucky reader. It includes:
Here's how to enter:
Create your own photo book using Shutterfly's system. Once you're done, upload your book to our Savvy Source sharing page using the Add+ link on the top right of the page. A winner will be selected randomly on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. PT.
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