I now present to you my very favorite way to get my photos in print: (drumroll, and dah dah-dah dahhhhh!)
There are a gazillion photo book services out there. I have used four of them. Let me tell you what is so great about Shutterfly. (And no, they're not paying me to tell you this, but they should.)
1. The product is beautiful. Great color, crisp pictures, and LOTS of backgrounds and layouts to choose from. WAY more than the others I've tried. And as a recovering scrapbook store addict, I can tell you that having lots of free backgrounds to choose is just heavenly. :-)
2. The user interface is far superior to all of the others. Combined. Not that you don't have quite a few things to figure out, but if you are willing to click around (which you probably are if you're on blogger), you can do this!
3. Great deals all the time. Their regular prices are very reasonable, but these people come up with one special after another. If one offer is over, wait a few days to order, and there will be another. Compared to what I used to spend to buy film, print pictures, and put them in scrapbooks, I am saving a ton of money.
4. They are fast. They have an average of one day turnaround in my experience, before the book is on its way. Of course, they say to allow 3-4 days. The last two I did arrived within a week.
Not all services are created equal. I had a nightmare experience with a company this summer that was having a half price sale, which was a great deal. I didn't need a lot of flexibility with background choices, so what they offered was fine. What I didn't realize was that they were WAYYY understaffed for the surge in orders accompanying the bargain, and it took over a month. Most unfortunate, since it was meant to be used for a special event that came and went while they tried to dig out from under their pile. But enough about that.
Here's our vacation book. The pictures I wanted on the cover were a little busy, so I chose a solid background and a fun spine pattern.
Remember that guy on the end of the pier at sunset? Yeah, he only made the blog. Not my sunset collage.
But the best thing about Shutterfly photo books?
My family adores them, and they make wonderful gifts!
If you just need to have a blank page and lay out all of the elements yourself scrapbook style, my recommendation is scrapblog.com. It's awesome--but takes longer, a bit more expensive, especially on shipping, and is a little more cumbersome. But very, very fun!
Now it's time to go work on my latest project. How about you? Do you have a favorite photo book service? Do your pictures make it out of the computer?