Four months ago our family expanded when Son Brian and Nicole got married.
Their agreement with the wedding photographer included digital rights. Shortly after the wedding they made a beautiful album for themselves, and they gave us a CD containing the images to use as we wished. I had a new family picture printed for the hall. I kept putting off getting any more pictures, though, until I received an email from Borders a couple of weeks ago. One of their affiliate partners is Shutterfly, an Internet-based photo publishing and printing service, which was offering a free hard cover 8x8 photo book.
I'd never done anything like this before, but I decided to give it a try. I just got the finished product:
Shutterfly offers two ways to make a book. The Simple Path method, which I chose, makes the book for you out of your images. You can choose from more than 20 styles that have preset backgrounds and layouts. This method allows 1-4 pictures per page; you can edit the pictures and enter short captions. (The second way is the Custom Path, where you do everything yourself.)
The first step was to upload my pictures to the Shutterfly Website. There was a bit of a learning curve to their program, but once I had the process figured out it was easy. Once I uploaded all the pictures, the Website put them together in album for me. However, I wanted a different layout, so I changed the background and added, deleted, and moved pictures around until it was just right. I had so many images to choose from it would have been easy to get carried away. I tried to remember that the finished book was small, so I didn't try to overload each page. The final result had one or two photos on each page, which worked out really well.
After I had the book the way I wanted, it was time to add it to my cart and proceed to the checkout. Even though the book itself was free, I DID have to pay shipping and tax, which ranged from $7.99-$21.99, depending on how quickly I wanted it. Shortly after I completed the order, I got an email that it had been received, and when the book was shipped I got another with tracking information. When I came home from work on Monday, there was a small orange box under the front doormat.
The book looks like something you'd find in the library. It has the title on the front cover, and again on the spine, white textured paper front and back cover pages, and sturdy photo pages. The only quibble I have is that the glossy cover shows fingerprints. (Maybe there are so many because I've been carrying the book all around to show to my friends!)