Shutterfly: Create A Photo Book

Shutterfly is a service that allows you to upload your original art or photos, and use them to create various products. Their Photo Books are a great way to commemorate a special event, like a wedding or birthday. They’re also a good way for artists and photographers to print impressive portfolios on a one-by-one basis. Here’s how you can make one of your own:

Log in to Shutterfly. Select a Photo Book size. (Personally, I think the 11×14 looks the classiest, but it’s pricey.)

Click on a book style. ‘Simply Black’ or ‘Modern Black’ are usually the best choices for personalization. You can change the style later, but if you’ve already added photos, it may cause changes to the layouts.

Shutterfly can place your photos for you. However, you’ll usually want more control. Click the ‘Personalize’ button. In the popup window, choose ‘Let me place my images’.

At this point, you could stick with the pre-designed layouts, but you’ll usually want the option to edit placement, size, background, etc. For this, in the upper right, click on ‘Advanced editing’. The most important sections are on the far left of the screen:

  • Layouts: Choose the number of images, their sizes & their placements.
  • Backgrounds: Choose from over 1000 backgrounds, including themes.
  • Embellishments: Graphic design elements, like borders and frames.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a section with the images you’ve chosen to work with. Images that have already been used in your project will display an orange checkmark. Note that you can logout at any time and come back later. Just go to ‘Hi, (your user name)’ at top right, and select ‘My Projects’.

In the main project pane, click on the Front Cover. Then click on Layouts and experiment with the different options. From the Photos ribbon, choose the image(s) you want, and drag it up to the cover. Photos that have already been used will have an orange checkmark displayed.

The green boxes are for text. Double-clicking inside them opens the text editing window on the far left. You can choose font, font size and font color. Then type in your text. Whenever the text editing window is open, ‘Cancel’ or ‘OK’ must be selected before you can do anything else.

Delete a text box by clicking inside it, then pressing your Backspace or Delete key. If you can’t delete a text box, you’re probably not in Advanced Editing mode. You can change the size and position of each image. Dragging a corner handle will maintain the current aspect ratio. Dragging the top, bottom or side will change the width or height.

As you drag images, you’ll see guides. These are thin lines that tell you when an image is vertically and/or horizontally centered, or when it aligns with another image. If you want to drag more than one image at a time, hold down your Shift key, then click on each image to select it. Now they can be dragged into a new position together.

When you’re done with a page, click on the forward arrow at far right to go to the next page. Click on that page to make sure it’s selected before you work on it. It’s also a good idea to go to the top left of the screen and click on ‘Save’ after you complete each page.

To add a Background to a page, make sure it’s selected, then click on Backgrounds at the far left. If you click on “Get More Backgrounds”, you’ll be able to search Shutterfly’s massive database by style, color, theme and keyword, among other options. For example, search for “wood”.

When you’re done with your Photo Book, be sure to delete any extra, unused pages. If you don’t, they’ll be printed as blanks, and the price for those extra pages will be included. Add the project to your cart, pay and wait for your finished product to arrive. That’s really all there is to it!

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