Photo books don’t need fancy pictures

I always encourage friends and family to try photo booking. Some of them jump in right away, but others are resistant, and when I ask them why, I hear the same answer over and over again.

“My pictures aren’t good enough for a photo book“, they say. “I don’t use a fancy camera.”  So I started thinking, I need to tell people that the camera doesn’t make the picture.

– Any picture is better than no picture. ~me
– The camera itself is worthless without the vision of you behind it. ~me
– The best camera to use…is the one in your hand. ~Jean Wallace
– No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want. ~Ken Rockwell

The bottom line is if you have a camera, no matter its value, and you’re using it then you aren’t going to do it wrong. That camera will capture the graduation, the wedding, the baby shower, the grandchildren, and the local festival…the 3Day race, the Holiday picnic, the list goes on and on. I promise that no matter how many photo books you end up making and no matter how great a photographer you become you will not regret making your first photo book.

If you still need more convincing, check out my “first photo book” tips below. It’s really that easy. And you’ll be so happy when you receive the finished product in the mail.


You Have Two Options
There are two ways to make a Shutterfly photo book:
1) Simple Path – a photo book will instantly be made for you. This is a great way to start your first photo book!
2) Custom Path – make your photo book and customize it page by page. If you want a lot of control over the creative process, go with this choice.

Quick photo edits
You can make your photos look the way you want with our simple editing tools (found next to each photo in MyPictures or in your photo book pages) – like black and white, sepia, color saturation and the soft touch

One of the first books I made was of my granddaughter’s first year. Some of the photos were okay and some weren’t so great. But when I changed them all to black and white, they completely transformed. They also gave the photo book a flow it hadn’t had before. I love that book; even now I still love that book.


  1. shannonr says

    Great advice :). I remeber taking the dive with my first photobook, I was clueless and thought my pictures weren’t really worth going through all this trouble to make such a nice book…..but I was so wrong! Some of my favortie books are of the worst pictures…those pictures taken way back when with a 35mm point and shoot, when your film comes back hope you have a few good shots worth keeping….LOL! I have scanned many of those pictures in to make a photobook. For those worried about not have a great photography skills the books really aren’t about the skill you have but the memories that are kept within those pictures. Thanks for the great article :)

  2. Joey says

    Such a great article. I love the quotes above. I’m always trying to get people to do photobooks too or more than one. I remember making a book for my nephew for Christmas one year – this was before i tried a photobook. I ordered over 100 prints and put captions under each photo and put in a traditional photo album. When I got a free coupon for an 8×8 book, I went for it and even those photos aren’t the best – its still fun to look at to see how much the kids have grown. Madeline was just 6 months old or so when I did my first book and she is now 3 – i have TONS of photos of her.
    As Vickie P said on my first book – once you get your feet wet you won’t want to stop and she was right. Seeing the book in my hands was priceless!
    50 some books and counting!
    This is a super article. Thanks Lisa!
    Come on people, give a Shutterfly book a try!

  3. BarbaraJ says

    Lisa, what a wonderful article. I can just hear your voice as I read the lines of your article. It is so true and I have told others the same thing. I love to take pictures and even with my old camera, it is the pictures that count not the camera!

  4. says

    Great article! I’ve even scanned some old family photos and made books for my mom, dad, brother, aunts, uncles, and cousins (made them cry too).
    It’s not about the award winning photo…… it’s all about the memories.

  5. lemaire26 says

    Some of my FAVORITE memories are captured in ‘less than perfect’ images. And yet, I am just so VERY glad that I have the memory stored in a photo album that allows me to keep the moment close to my heart.

    With ‘high tech’ this and ‘high tech’ that, sometimes the simple things get overlooked. It is the moment that we shared, the memory that we created that IS the most important thing.

    Thanks for the fun article Lisa.

  6. says

    Love all of your great advice on what a picture can be. I always say you can made a ok picture great just by cropping!! Sometimes imperfection is perfection years later as you look at a moment stopped in everyday life. Snap it I as and let the cards or ….photographs…fall where they may!

  7. TonetteB says

    Your tips and advice are so helpful and gives beginners so much inspiration. I love your quotes, Jean’s quote, & the quote from Ken Rockwell! Everytime my point and shoot camera malfunctions and I wind up with only a handful of not so great photos I think of your quote and that how right you are that its better than no picture! I agree that you won’t ever regret making your 1st photobook no matter what kind of camera you used and what kind of skill you had creating photobooks. It will always be treasured. I also love the flow of an all b/w photobook or all sepia photobook and have created a bunch of them as well. Thanks so for sharing your tips and ideas! :)

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