While there are a few flaws to this photo book printer (which we'll talk about below), they're one of the most popular photo book printing services out there for a reason. The quality of their photo books is high, they offer a good amount of options and customization without a lot of additional hassle, and their photo book creation software is clear and easy to use.
What We Review: When reading through Make Your Own Photo Book's Shutterfly review, keep in mind that we mostly stick to: the software, pricing, options, and customer service elements of Shutterfly. These are very important elements of creating a photo book, and tend to be what differentiates one printer most from another.
But the product itself is important, too. For user reivews of the photo books themselves and personal user experience, see the bottom of this page. Ordered from Shutterfly? Please share your experience, as well!
Shutterfly's Photo Book SoftwareOf course, the most important element of this Shutterfly review is the overview of Shutterfly's photo book creation software. A photo book printer's software will make the difference between a nice-looking and easy-to-create photo book, and a not-so-nice pain of a book to create.
The result: For the most part, my review of Shutterfly's online photo book software was a positive experience-- it'a a nice piece of software that you use directly on their website. No download is required. It doesn't have quite the flexibility or all the features of a downloadable photo book software, but it offers a lot for something that's so easy to use.
The only photo book software option at Shutterfly still lacking --and, really, the only thing that kept them from getting an A+ in this Shutterfly review-- was the capability of using a picture as a background, with the option of putting pictures on top, which is a nice feature some other photo book printing services do have.
Using Facebook Photos in Shutterfly
What does this mean? It means you not only can share the photo books you create with your Facebook friends, the Shutterfly Facebook connection also allows the photo book software itself to use photos directly from Facebook-- which means no extra time spent uploading those photos you've already got uploading. A really nice feature.
Shutterfly Photo Book CustomizabilityWhen you go to create a photo book at Shutterfly.com, you'll be prompted to choose one of two paths:
The next part of this Shutterfly review will be a short critique of each.
Shutterfly's "Simple Path" Photo Books
To Use or Not to Use? This tool is a great way to save time, but still end up with a digital photo book from Shutterfly that looks very nice. And it does create a nice book. But what it doesn't give you is a lot of flexibility.
Photo Editing: Be sure to edit your photos before you add them to the book because it does not allow in-book editing as it does with the regular books. I also had a case where I had taken my pictures with less resolution than usual and one layout showed the picture to have too low of resolution. I tried switching several pictures and that didn't work. What I could not do was to change the layout on the page to have a smaller picture. But all in all, it is a good option if you want a to put together your book with a touch of a button.
Shutterfly's "Custom Path" Photo Books
The Storyboard Tool: One thing that stood out in Shutterfly's Custom Photo Books was their Storyboard Tool. I like this software option, as it's a nice mix between custom photo book and automatic. It allows you to decide which of your photos you want on a particular page. But instead of having to decide what goes where on the page yourself, the Storyboard tool arranges them automatically for you. It's a nice feature and easy to use when you're short on time.
Types of Photo Books at Shutterfly
In the most basic sense, Shutterfly offers two kinds of photo books: "regular" and "premium" books. The regular books have more options available when you're creating a book. There are options to change backgrounds, layouts and edges of the pictures. The premium books are laid out with predetermined backgrounds with very little options to change-- but they look very nice as-is.
Bonus: Shutterfly's User Photo Book Gallery: Shutterfly has a large gallery section with a wide assortment of books submitted by users. I loved the fact that you could sort through the tags and find your area of interest quickly. This is a great way to get an idea of how a final photo book will look.
Cover Designs, Sizes, and Layouts
See the chart below for more information on Shutterfly photo album sizing and pricing.
Other Shutterfly Photo Gifts and Products
Besides photo books, you can also make a lot of other custom photo items at Shutterfly. Some of these options include: as well as mousepads, clothing, tote bags, jewellry, organizers, Christmas ornaments, etc.
Shutterfly Share Site and Photo Show DVDShutterfly lets you share your stories or send out your favorite photos through customized share sites that are easy to create. It's kind of a fun bonus, and it's great because it also works directly with Facebook.
Photo Show DVD
To read our Shutterfly review of this product and an overview the six steps you'll need in creating a photo show DVD with Shutterfly, click here.
Shutterfly Review: Customer Service QualityIn my dealings with Shutterfly (both as a website about making your own photo books, and as a customer), I've generally found them to be prompt and friendly. Which I suppose is the least you would expect from a company this size.
Their help interface comes in the form of email submission form, which will usually be answered within the next business day (faster, in my experience). They also have a customer service direct email address and a telephone number. I called once to test it out and the level of service was high, though it closes at 5pm.
Shutterfly Photo Book Specifications
|Max. # of Pages||101|
|Shipping for one book||$4.99 - 11.99|
|Mac Compatible?||Yes - if using Firefox not Safari|
Comparative Photo Book Software Review
|Background Themes||Nice variety|
|Layout Variety||A wide variety|
|JPG as a Background||No|
|Text - Variety and Full Page||Good variety, also able to easily change font.|
|Embellishments and Corners||Top variety of edges that you can apply to your pictures.|
Shutterfly Photo Book Sizes
|Softcover Photo Book|
|Hardcover Photo Book|
|12 x 12||$54.99|
|Padded Photo Book Cover|
|Leather Photo Book Cover|
Your Shutterfly Questions, Comments, or Reviews
Have you ordered photo books from Shutterfly? Tell other users about your experience!
Other Visitors' Reviews of Shutterfly
Click below to see reviews from other visitors to this page...
Print Quality Just Isn't Good Not rated yet
I disagree with the whole premise of your review. The most important thing isn't the book creation software; it is the quality of their printing. What …
Shutterfly's Photo Books with New Custom Path are SUPER! Not rated yet
I have made many books with SHutterfly but the new Custom Path option has made it so much more exciting. I can start with a pre-defined layout but then …
My Shutterfly Vacation Photo Book Review Not rated yet
I used Shutterfly to make a photo book of my vacation. It was very user friendly and fun to use. I used the custom path version and I had no problems with …
Shipping at Shutterfly- Question Not rated yet
I submitted my Shutterfly Photo Book order on June 29th. I requested the books be shipped to Nova Scotia, since I was planning to be there until the 25th. …
My family photo book at Shutterfly: First time user of ANY photo book site Not rated yet
My Shutterfly photo book review:
Making my photo book was difficult at the beginning... mainly because I was on a time frame and did not realize all …
My Experience with Shutterfly Not rated yet
I recently ordered two photo books (85 pages in all) from Shutterfly. When I received my order, I was pleasantly surprised that it looked better then …
Review: Shutterfly Photo Book Contrast a Disappointment
I created a Shutterfly book and I loved the online software. I loved the layouts, I loved the backgrounds. The book itself was very high quality with a …
Snapfish vs. Shutterfly Photo Book Review Not rated yet
Lately, I've been obsessed with making these online photo books. In the last month or so I've created two online books. Before creating these online books …
Patty Gale's Shutterfly User Photo Book Review Not rated yet
Everybody has someone on their Christmas list who is challenging to buy for. After a while, even if they are close family members, sometimes you just …
Shutterfly Photobooks... Not rated yet
I have had many photobooks printed through Shutterfly and am now totally hooked on photobooks. I spend so much time at Shutterfly that I was asked to …
This Week's Hot Deals
on Photo Books
Only Good for a Limited Time!
Buy one get one
free with code "SUMMERTIME"
Vote for your Favorites