Written by Alexandra Lotzgeselle
Who doesn’t love to break out the photo albums once in awhile and reminisce about happy memories? Growing up, my sister and I would often times get out my parents old yearbooks and photos, and loved to look at their pictures from their younger days. Because of this love for reminiscing, I’ve always been really good about taking pictures and documenting important events and memories, and thanks to Shutterfly, my memories are nicely organized and styled beautifully! If you’re not familiar with Shutterfly, it’s basically a source that stores an unlimited amount of your pictures as well as offers services for printing your pictures on anything you can think of.
I’ve gotten invitations, address labels, coffee mugs, magnets, notebooks, and of course pictures from them. But my favorite product they offer would have to be their photo books. It’s basically a very nicely printed scrapbook where you have the option of designing every single aspect (I’m a control freak, so I always choose this option) or you can use their pre-designed pages and just insert your pictures where you want them. They have dozens of different themes and thousands of different fonts, embellishments, and customization options that you can add to your books.
I first used their services 10 years ago when I made a book from my first trip to Europe. Since then, their books have become much more elaborate and customizable, and I have continued to create them multiple times a year. Every time we go on a vacation, I make a book. Every milestone or celebration, like our wedding and the birth of our son, has a book. And every year since my husband and I have started dating I’ve made a book for our anniversary to serve as as sort of yearbook.
Now I certainly know that in our day and age and our obsession with technology, this may seem outdated or unnecessary. That may be true, but there is just something about being able to physically hold your memories. Looking at a picture on your phone or computer screen just isn’t the same. When I open up one of my Shutterfly photo books I get nostalgic and emotional. When I look at the book from our first trip to Maui together or our first year of dating, I am instantly transported back to those memories and feelings. Plus, having pictures on your phone and computer in no ways means you’ll actually look at them. I have all my books stored nicely in a cabinet in our living room where they can be accessed whenever we want, and, because I really went all out with the upgrades on our wedding book, it’s displayed on our coffee table. Nearly every time we have friends over someone grabs for the books to look through. It ends up being fun for our friends as well because everyone seems to enjoy trying to find themselves and also relive memories they were also a part of.
These Shutterfly albums also make amazing gifts! Anyone who has a parent or grandparent knows that older generations prefer having a physical image to hold. Sending a picture through text or email really doesn’t do it for them. So whenever something fun or momentous happens I love to create a book that I can give as a gift. One year my in-laws went on an Alaskan cruise so I got ahold of all their digital images and made a book for them as a Christmas Gift. This year for Mother’s Day I made a Shutterfly photo book of all the pictures we had taken through our son’s first month and gave them as gifts to my mother, mother-in-law, and both my grandmothers. Not only do they love having something physical to hold, but the time and effort it takes to make the books also adds an emotional aspect that not all material gifts can have.
Let’s face it, if I printed every picture I liked or every picture I took during a fun time, I would have thousands (if not tens of thousands) of pictures strewn around my house. Thanks to Shutterfly, I just upload all my pictures whenever I want through their app or my computer, organize them in any fashion I like, and then can do with them what I choose. When I go back every year to make our book, I can add descriptions, jokes, captions and embellishments that really that personal touch that a simple photo album lacks.
There are several other photo services like Shutterfly out there, but in my experience this is the best value. Everything is extremely high quality and they are almost always having a sale of some kind. I get their emails so I’m constantly getting coupons for major discounts. In fact, I don’t think a month goes by where I don’t get an email with a free product, and have even gotten several free photo books.
If you haven’t used their services yet, I highly encourage you to take a look at all Shutterfly has to offer. At the very least, I urge you to start making some sort of physical item out of your photos. You never know when your computer will crash or what sort of fun details you’ll forget about your last trip. And I can guarantee that at some point, either you, your children, or your grandchildren will love to take out your photo books and look at all the happy times of days past.