Choosing your best photo book path

by Kristin S Posted on November 28, 2009

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Okay, I admit it, I’m a rule maker. I impose a lot of rules for myself whether it be how many Holiday treats I can eat a day or how I organize pictures in my Shutterfly folders. Photo books are no exception to my rule making process. I’ve done it all, from taking creative control in Shutterfly’s Custom Path, to using shortcuts like the Storyboard™ Tool, to letting it all happen automatically with the Shutterfly Simple Path process. If you’re wondering which is best for you, here are my “rules”.

Simple Path – if you’re open for anything and don’t have a vision in mind, you should try Simple Path. Shutterfly has literally taken all the work out of the photo book making process and has done it for you! You can choose the size and background design, add a few captions if you want, and you are good to go. I mean it, it’s fabulous especially for a quick gift (think holidays!).


Storyboard™ Tool – if you would like a little more creative control, use the Storyboard™ Tool in Custom Path. You group pictures according to which ones you would like to see together on a page and Shutterfly will “create” the book using your “vision”. It’s a definite time saver since you don’t have to toggle between page layouts to see how you want the pictures to appear. This is my favorite tool Shutterfly has created so far!

Custom Path – If you know exactly what you want – how you want the pictures to be laid out, which background designs you prefer and what font style you like, then go for Custom Path. It’s still easy to do, but you have more creative control.

Okay, there are the rules.  I am sure I will impose more as time goes on.. I’ll keep you posted!

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  1. Earl J Says:

    A terrific and clear way of describing the photo book options, Kristin.

  2. Joey Says:

    I agree, a very clear description on each kind of book options. I was so surprised the cover of one of my books is in this article. So cool. I made that one for my sisters mother-in-law for her birthday last year.
    Great job Kristin. I hope more people see this as I think some are confused by the book options.

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    I have used all three Shutterfly tools! In addition, my rule as to which method to use is how much time do I have to complete the book and how important to me is the timeline of the photos used. If I want to take all the time in the world to make it perfect…well I go with digital scrap booking and custom path, story board if I am a bit of a hurry and simple path if I want to crank out the book after the event quickly. I find I love Simple Path for single event books a like a birthday party. Because I love seeing, the events unfold chronologically as the photos were taken. I made a book of the events of Halloween this year and the photos in order made it easy for me to write a short story to go with the book. I love the fact I have all these tools to make my books. Thanks again Shutterfly!

  4. TonetteB Says:

    Kristen,
    Great article! I also have used all 3 methods & I love them all! I agree with you that certain options work best for certain projects you have in mind! I love the examples you used & you explained the options so well! Thanks! :)

more about Kristin S

I started my first photo book when I was pregnant with my third child... the pictures were getting overwhelming and my disorganization would wake me up at night! My mother is a photographer and her pictures are outstanding... I needed to be able to display them appropriately but was not into scrapbooking. I worked my way back in time creating "yearly review" books, birthday books and holiday books all the way back to 2001 (the year my first was born!). I am up to date and the envy of all my friends... all thanks to shutterfly's 8X8 photo books (and mom's pictures of course!)... they were truly life changing and I believe I have saved myself a few wrinkly worry lines! :)

View all articles by Kristin S »

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