My favorite birthday photo books

by Earl J Posted on March 14, 2010

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It was exciting for me to learn that Shutterfly is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. I’ve been a customer since 2002 and I had no idea they were only two years old when I started ordering prints, enlargements and books from them. I can’t remember if they even offered books then — oh yes, I think the first books I ordered were called Snapbooks and they came with a neat spiral binding.

When I was asked if I would write a blog on my favorite birthday books, I said “No Problem”. But then I checked to see how many of birthday key words there were in the Shutterfly Gallery. Would you believe 3,908 projects had “birthday” selected as a tag when I checked last week?

You’d be correct to think that I didn’t select these from the 4,000 other Gallery birthday books. But I did pick books based on a good use of a theme or by showing special attributes that I hope will help you in designing your own book, whether on the birthday theme or not.

My first selection is Avery – Year 1, an 8×8 book by LauraK276. It illustrates a terrific way of showing the growth of her daughter. The author says “Each month on the 11th day, I took the same pic of my daughter in the same chair with the same teddy. It became increasingly difficult to take the picture as she did not want to sit still”. Each of her monthly photographs are on the left-side page, with a variety of candid shots on the right-side page.

Another very popular use for these books is for viewing birthday celebrations over the years. When I looked at the following book I noticed it had gathered 14 comments – it is a tribute to the author’s mother on her 62nd birthday. The author, pantantonia, calls it a journey through the years of her mother’s life. This 8×8 book is a wonderful record and gift for her mother.

A great cover design led me to feature this birthday book. Using a pink background with a slight tilt to the photo makes for a wonderful cover. I liked the same background, in pink with Happy Birthday repeated in a subtle way. It must make a powerful impact in the 12×12 size. The title is “CEL My First Year” and the author is Shelley L. One suggestion I’d make is the use of a larger type size to better balance the large photos.

I hope my selection has given you some ideas, and if you have any birthday photo book inspiration of your own, let me know by commenting on this article.

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  1. Joey Says:

    What a great article Earl! Happy BIRTHDAY to Shutterfly – 10 years and getting better each year! I love all the changes over the years.
    There are a TON of birthday books. I, myself, have made a birthday book for each member of my family and friends. I think I have seen the books you have featured, but I’ll have to check again.

  2. BarbaraJ Says:

    I love all your aticles, this one is one of my favorites. I also say Happy Birthday to Shutterfly. It is amazing all the wonderful books we have in our Gallery, I love this little one’s Birthday book. Thank you Earl for this article.

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    This last year was the first year I started making birthday books and it was all because of Simple Path. Both of the birthday projects were so easy and fun with Simple Path. So there is one more way that Shutterfly can make things easy and fun at 10.

  4. curicogirl Says:

    Hi earl! you really found some great books here! i really like the one with the picture of her daughter each month in the same chair. I am going to have to remember that great idea! Thanks for writing this wonderful article!

  5. TammyM5 Says:

    Great article, loved the books you mentioned above, especially Avery’s book with the repeated pics each month in the same chair with the same teddy, such a neat idea. I also love making bday photo books and just highlight the cake and special moments of the party, usually the unposed moments.

more about Earl J

I'm a long-time film photographer, starting with a darkroom in my parents' fruit-cellar when a teen-ager. I fought the change to digital at first, but no longer. I've become a convert and Shutterfly has been my on-line provider since 2002. Since then I've placed (as I write this) 135 orders for prints, enlargements, calendars for every year and 42 photo books in different sizes. I'm very pleased with the top quality of all Shutterfly products.

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