In the fall of 2007 I went on a study abroad program that my university offered to the Pacific Rim. A group of 29 of us traveled to China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii, and a lot of us took pictures the whole way. The school had a Smug Mug account set up for us and upon returning to the states we could pay $25 and get CDs of everyone’s pictures (9 of them!). I honestly don’t think in the nearly 5 years that I’ve had those CDs I ever looked at them. Pretty soon after returning home I did print out a set of my pictures for a large collage frame, but that’s about all.
I printed one of those nifty photo books earlier this year for a trip I took to Europe (more on that another day) and loved how it turned out. I decided making one for my study abroad would be the perfect way to pull together pictures from my three months in the Pacific Rim.
I purchased a Groupon deal for a 20 page Shutterfly book. I don’t know how I thought I was going to fit 3 months of traveling into only 20 pages, but let me tell you that would’ve been a very difficult task, and I decided paying for the extra pages would be well worth it! My book will not arrive for another week probably, but until then you can check it out online. It mostly goes in the order of my trip, and I even found the emails I wrote to my family and friends back home. They make me a little embarrassed, but reading them again reminded me of a lot of things I’d forgotten about, so I thought they’d be a nice addition. Enjoy!
As for my review of Shutterfly: I really liked that it was web-based because I could work on my book anywhere as long as I had internet connection, and it didn’t matter if I was using a MAC or a PC. Being web-based did make it run a bit slower than it might have being on my computer, but I’ll take the slowness if it means I have better access.
Their program was pretty intuitive and I figured everything out pretty quickly. The page layouts were very customizable, and I liked the alignment and spacing tools that are offered when you customize a page.
Although I have Photoshop on my computer I found myself wishing Shutterfly had a built-in editor. It had a very basic one that would do red-eye (didn’t work on the one picture I tried though) and a few effects (black & white and a couple of others), but I really would’ve liked one that just enhanced the colors with the click of a button.
I’ll have to give a final report once my book arrives, but the creating process was overall successful!