Oh how I love Shutterfly. I’m one of their best customers! They offer many products, all of which you custom make and use the photo(s) you upload, but my favorite are the photo books! They’re basically printed bound books with photos and a lot of times, text.
I really wanted to make “family yearbooks” once we had Andrew. I saw the idea on Pinterest (of course) and since we had Andrew in October, I made one for that year (2014) but started with his birth. The book ended up being 25 pages or so (October 17th to December 31st). January rolled around and I started our 2015 family yearbook. Then February came and I added those photos to the book as well. I realized very quickly that I take A LOT of photos! By mid February I had about 30 pages of photos. If I made a 2015 family yearbook it would be like 200 pages and cost me an arm and a leg. And I can’t just NOT add ALL of the photos, no way, they’re all going in that darn book. So now I make a new photo book every 2 months and just label them, for example, “August & September 2015”. Yeah, that’s better. Now I’ll have about 108 photo books by the time Andrew is 18, probably more if and when we have another child…that seems necessary. 😉
My favorite thing about these photo books is that you can add text to your pages wherever you so choose, unlike a regular photo album. I love adding a little information about the photo if there was a story behind it or if I just feel like writing down what I feel when I look at that particular photo. Or not! Again, it’s custom. My husband always says I take too many pictures and I’ve even had someone say this to me, “if everything is special, then nothing is special”. Meaning – if you take a picture every single day to turn new slippers into a special event, then when a “real” special event comes around, it won’t be that special. I 100% disagree. Not only is photography a passion of mine, but I just absolutely love looking at pictures, especially of Andrew. I also believe he will love looking at all of the photos later in life. I know I love to see old family photos now that I’m older and it’s so fun to see what I looked like as a kid but also what my parents looked like when they were young (not that you guys are old, mom and dad). So I refuse to stop taking pictures! Ha!
I’m serious when I say this – my main reason for taking so many photos and writing down information that goes along with them is this, if and when I get too old to remember my life when I was 28 years old and Andrew was 1 year old, I can look through our 2014 and 2015 photo books and relive those days. Same goes for when I’m 35 and Andrew is 7, you know? I love reminiscing and my memory is so terrible right now (even at 28 years old) that these books might be the only way to remember anything. I love that I have the ability right now to create these stories of my life.
I love that you can start a project on Shutterfly, save it and continue working on it later (notice how I keep using the word love). This is absolutely essential when you have a little one. I typically work on a photo book once a week when Andrew takes his morning nap. Events are still fresh in my mind and in one week’s time I already have an abundance of photos. Shutterfly allows you to store an unlimited amount of photos for free and they won’t ever delete them. They also offer a ton of different layouts, backgrounds and embellishments to add to your pages. It’s so fun! One last thing I love about photo books vs photo albums is that you can resize your photos in photo books. So now you can make that one picture of your kid with weird uncle Al – (the one you have to add to the book but don’t really want to) – now you can make it the size of a dime so you don’t really have to look at it but you did your family duty by adding it. In a regular photo album that holds 200 4×6 photos, you just have to deal with it and print out a 4×6 size photo and your SOL (google the slang meaning if you don’t already know). Go with a photo book and you’ll just be happier looking through it! And if you hate this idea and just want your regular ol’ photos, well, Shutterfly offers prints as well…so there ya go! To each their own.
Okay, back to these amazing photo books…
Here’s the key to ordering photo books, DISCOUNTS! Shutterfly offers so many different discounts all the time. “40% off everything” is the best one. I’d say they offer that about once a month so hold off ordering anything until you see that “40% off everything” on their homepage. It also seems like there are $20 off coupons floating around everywhere. I saw one in a baby bath set basket at Target the other day and recently received one for buying my bridesmaid dress at David’s Bridal. They’re everywhere! So if you use the $20 off AND the 40% off then you save big time. I also get discounts periodically from Groupon (https://www.groupon.com/). It seems like every time I go on Groupon they have an 8×8-20 page photo book from Shutterfly for $9.99. You just purchase the Groupon, you’ll get a code and you enter that code into your Shutterfly account. Once entered, it will apply it as a free photo book so you basically get an 8×8-20 page $29.99 photo book for only $9.99. If you add additional pages to your book (which I always do), it will cost more but it’s still fairly inexpensive. I typically pay $25-$30 for my photo book every 2 months and it normally consists of about 40 pages. I don’t think $30 every 2 months is bad at all!
So there you have it! Shutterfly is easy, inexpensive AND they provide great quality products. They’re basically awesome. I literally just ordered my latest photo book yesterday and I CANNOT wait to see that vibrant orange box in my mailbox.