Monday, September 26, 2011

What To Do With All Those Digital Photos

If you're like me, you probably have gigs of digital photos sprinkled randomly across directories within harddrives, cds, webpages, and even some still lingering on your camera from 2009. If you're like Jon, then you probably have your images nicely organized on one drive labeled "2011" and sub directories for corresponding dates, ie "2011-05-23 - Chicago Trip". And as each year passes Jon would rename each folder to "2011 Archive" and move it to another drive. Although I use to find this kinda anal, it actually is the best way to organize your images, so you aren't scrambling when you need to say create a wedding slideshow in 2 weeks.

So you may have all this great organization, but now what? If you're like old me, you would print random pictures and never put them into any albums because it just became overwhelming. If you're like Jon, well you never print them and just leave them in the archive.

After Jon and I got married, I decided that I was not going to print anymore pictures, as they just started to stack up, and started creating photobooks. I have experimented with a few companies, (see reviews in previous post for Snapfish, Piccaboo, and Shutterfly). I have done a few posts on Shutterfly because I truly love their quality and service.  Since 2009 I have created all my photobooks through Shutterfly and each year their web application interface for creating the photobook gets even better.  The last time I used it it allowed me to do custom backgrounds which was great to get that continuous background look.  You could achieve this with photoshop, but Shutterfly was way easier. 

The photobooks are a great way to document all the things that happen in a year of your life.  I usually create one photobook a year and dedicate each page to an event (that's why being organized is key!).  I did create a special photobook "baby book" for my daughter and wrote a message inside for her. 

Below are images of the photobooks I have made.  It looks great displayed on the coffee table, and the books are so well made.  It most photobook companies out there are doing a magnificent job.  So no more photo albums, that's so old school!

Note: I did not get any compensation from Shutterfly for this post.  I simply think that they are an awesome company.  But more so I think everyone should use photobooks as a way to archive their family memories.
Bindings look like real published books.

Front covers are customizable.

Back cover also customizable with picture.
Message to Avery in her baby book

Page from Avery's Baby book.

More pages from her baby book.

Halloween in Avery's baby book.

Alaska trip book

2010 Family Album (notice the background that is a customizable image.. yes vegas trip!)

This is auto formated by Shutterfly application

More 2010 images, background again a custom image.

Cover of Alaska photobook.  We tried to spell ALASKA with our bodies.


  1. I love these books! I can't wait to see the 2011 one. I also can wait to start creating future memories!

  2. Hi thanks for following, I;m following you as well. Love the blog !

  3. I usually get my prints from mpix, their prices are comparable to shutterfly. I havent gotten any photobooks yet, but the quality of there prints, imo....are soooo much better. Worth trying anyways :-)

  4. I found you not too long ago and am procrastinating working on my Christmas cards (yes, it is 12/21/11 and I have about 60 left to do), so decided to catch up on all I've missed here. I'm with you on Shutterfly. The first book I made was a Mother's Day gift that detailed the first 1/2 year of my now-4-year-old niece. I also made one of photos my niece took with my camera -- her first published work when she was 2 years old! I make calendars (starring her, of course) as Christmas gifts. Shutterfly has lots of free or heavily discounted offers all through the year. For the price of postage, I've gotten 4x6 magnets with an image on them, coffee mugs, all sorts and sizes of greeting cards, and lots more. The trick is to be organized enough to be able to put together a project quickly, as the offers usually last only 3-4 days. I'm familiar enough with the Shutterfly site now that I can kind of think ahead and have ideas in mind if a good offer comes along. I've used other on-line sites, but always come back to Shutterfly. Their customer service is great, too. I haven't seen the actual calendar for this year (only online as I made it), but my mother, brother/s-i-l/niece, and my s-i-l's parents all peeked and said it was terrific again. This year I added little clipart images to the holidays and to her birthday. You can add any holidays you want from their menu, enter or make up your own, and include special dates like birthdays and anniversaries that are saved year-to-year. I don't get paid by them either, but am always happy to give a shout-out to a great company with high-quality products. Sorry, didn't mean to go on so long but, like I said, I'm procrastinating. ;-)


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