I haven't mentioned before about the photo books I ordered. In the latter part of last year, I had a coupon for a free book through Shutterfly and I decided to make a book for my friend Gaye for Christmas, with pictures of all the cool things she has given me as gifts over the years as well as some of her other art. Back when we first met, there was no such thing as digital photography for the average person, and neither of us has much of a record of what we exchanged.
I was determined to stick to the guidelines for the "free" book (number of pages, size, etc.) and only be out the cost of postage. But, of course, in the long run, just before I hit the "order" button, my inner self said, why don't you order two copies, so you have one for yourself. So, "free" is relative at this point! I was pleased with the books when they came, and actually gave it to Gaye well before Christmas because I just could not wait for her to see it. That's her 8x8 book on the right, with a couple of page spreads following.
Last month, I had another book coupon and decided to make a book with pictures of some of the books I've made. I ended up calling it Volume I because it only has books through around 2011. My book is 8 x 11 and is the one on the left in the top picture. The cover shows close-up detail of one of my journal pages. Below are a couple of page spreads.
Overall, I found Shutterfly pretty easy to navigate. There were many options for page layouts, and it is easy to move pictures around to see what you like best. I know there are other companies that make photobooks, but I have not used them and can't compare.
So basically, Shutterfly gets a fairly good grade. That is, unless you include the Mystery of the Missing Package. Just before Christmas, I ordered some cards using photos from a family gathering. Because, yes, I had a coupon. One thing about Shutterfly, once you order, you constantly get new discount offers. I knew that because of Christmas and New Year holidays, my order might be delayed a little. But, each day when I checked the tracking number, I became more confused. At one point, the package seemed to be bouncing back and forth between Atlanta and Memphis a lot. Pretty ironic, since all the people I planned to mail the cards to live just a short drive from Memphis. So close, yet so far...
After 10 days, they consider it a lost order. I was impressed with how quickly they resubmitted my order and got it to me, along with an upgrade in cardstock that I didn't even ask for. Kudos to a business that makes things right. But their shipping... hmmm, not sure why that turned into a problem.
Will I use them again? Probably. You know, when I have a coupon...