Photo Book – Insider Tips

Brittany Prim, our photo books Merchandising Manager shares with you insider tips on making photo books.

A few months ago, I got my dream job at Shutterfly. I have been an avid Shutterfly user for years, and having the opportunity to be a part of the design process and bringing new photo book styles to life was a dream come true. Once I got my feet wet in my new position, I learned many tips and tricks while making my photo books. I’d like to share with you my top three “Aha” moments since joining the team. Be on the look out for more in the future!

1. Storyboard
I vividly remember the moment I discovered storyboard. I was making my 2011 year in review book which had 800 photo’s in it (yikes!). It became extremely overwhelming to sort through the photos, even after Shutterfly put them in chronological order. And then I saw it – the storyboard tab. This let me drag and drop my pictures onto the pages I wanted. I had complete visibility to all images and pages at the same time, making it extremely fast and easy to tell my story. This has continued to save me hours on my projects.


 (Find the storyboard button towards the bottom right)

(The Storyboard palette allows you to drag pictures from the left to individual pages on the  right.)

2. Two-page Spread Photos
You know that AMAZING wedding/baby/vacation picture you took that needs two whole pages to really do it justice? Well, I had a great shot from my wedding of my husband and I walking across a street in downtown San Diego. It was a wide shot and I wanted to see all of the details. Then I learned about photo as spread. I could click a little button in the photo strip and within seconds; see my photo fill two whole pages. This became even more exciting when I learned I could add embellishments and pattern bands on top of the images.


3. Extended Palette
I spend a good amount of time selecting the perfect style to showcase my images, however, there are still moments during the creation process that I wish I could steal an embellishment or idea page from another style. Case in point; I was making a travel book capturing my family road trip from San Francisco to Utah this summer. I selected Travel Snapshots because I loved the map backgrounds, Polaroid frames, and brightly colored quote embellishments. Halfway through I realized that Pictogram had the perfect idea page for a specific photo. This was my first time going into the extended palette tab and actually pulling in additional idea pages and embellishments from other styles. The end product ended up being a perfect blend of travel snapshots with pictogram. It was just one more trick that helped me customize the book to make it truly my own.

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