Thursday, April 12, 2012

Favorite Things - Shutterfly Photobooks

I’ve been a faithful Shutterfly customer for five years now.  I started using this online photo printing site on recommendation from our wedding photographer.  That’s when I discovered the awesomeness of photobooks!  If you take a lot of pictures, you know how time consuming it is to print pictures and load them into a traditional photo album.  And it’s the worst when you realize you skipped a page and have to unload and reload the pictures again if you want to keep them in order.  By making a digital photobook you can avoid all of this.  It's so easy to swap photos back and forth and choose different layouts to fit one to multiple photos on a page.  You can even add stories and captions without the fear of making a writing mistake or having to see messy handwriting.  Making a photobook is sort of like scrapbooking, but without the mess.  I typically make a photobook for each vacation I take.  Sometimes, if there is a special deal, I will make a ‘year in review’ photobook too.  I really should get better at doing the latter though because it is nice knowing that you have a hardcopy of your favorite pictures.  And one of the best features of a photobook?  They take up a lot less space then a traditional album.  And who couldn't use a little more space?!

In the five years I’ve been making photobooks I’ve always been impressed with the quality and service of Shutterfly.  However, my last photobook….not so much.  I opened my book and the first thing I noticed was that the cover photo was crooked.  That’s a big error in my opinion.  I don’t want to display a book with a crooked front photo!  Without even opening the book I saw another error.  The book was brown; not the usual black that I order.  After looking back, I realized the color choise was my mistake.  I also found a spelling error inside.  Again, my error.  I knew there was a chance that here wasn’t much that could be done about my mistakes, but I contacted Shutterfly customer service about the unaligned front picture.  After sending a photo of the complaint they offered to reprint my order.  Great!  Except I really wanted to fix the cover color and the spelling error too.  I contacted them again to ask if there was any way I could fix a spelling error I found before reprinting (I didn’t mention the cover color since that really wasn’t that big of a deal…well, it was in my mind!).  Instead of just reprinting, they credited my account for the price I paid for the book along with the free shipping I originally received.  The credits have an expiration date two months away.  Awesome!  Not only do I get to fix everything I want, but I have almost 2 months to do it.  And I still get free shipping and don’t have to send the original photobook back.  Now that’s customer service!

If you’ve never made a photobook before, I highly recommend it.  It is a bit time consuming (especially if you are learning) and a tad pricey depending on the cover style you choose (Shutterfly always has sales, so just wait a few weeks until one pops up before ordering), but I think the final product is well worth it!

Crappy Photobook

Not Crappy Photobook

I realize now that the collage thing (with a white border) might not be the best idea for the front cover!

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