- The Good
- Numerous templates to choose from
- Layout editor is easy to use
- Excellent print and materials quality
- Large library of clip art and themes
- The Bad
- Layout feature doesn’t include a shuffle button
Shutterfly has a tremendous catalog of templates, clip art and themes that you can use to make your photo book look personal and professional. You also get a sturdy book with excellent print quality. The only disadvantage is that Shutterfly won’t lay out pictures for you automatically. You have to take time to place them manually in the digital version of the book. You can, however, pay one of Shutterfly’s designers to make the book for you.
- The Good
- Simple software
- Plenty of options to personalize books
- Exceptional quality
- The Bad
- Relatively high price
Pinhole Press offers exceptional quality and graphic design software that makes it easy for you to personalize your photo books. The company also charges higher prices than most of its competitors. Although you spend more, you get an excellent book that will last for decades.
- Starting at $29.99
Shutterfly photo books start at $29.99. The price will go up as you add to your project, though. For instance, you can choose a leather cover to replace the paper version included in the base price.
- Starting at $34.99
Most of the books sold by Pinhole Press have prices that start at $34.99. Lay flat books, however, start at $74.99. By the time you finish making your book, you could easily pay $100 per item.
- Book Creation
- Easy layout options
- Up to 1,000 pictures
- Multiple sizes
- Free, unlimited photo storage
Shutterfly makes it easy for beginners to start creating their photo books. The design software shows you exactly where to place your images. You can also resize images and use filters to match a desired aesthetic.
- Book Creation
- Easy graphic design software
Pinhole Press uses simple graphic design software that lets you organize your pictures online. Unfortunately, the software doesn’t have tools that let you correct flaws in your photos. If you want to correct flaws, you should use a different program before uploading your images to the Pinhole Press site.
- Book Options
- Sizes from 8x8 to 11x14
- Numerous cover options
Shutterfly makes photo books in 8×8, 8×11, 10×10, 12×12 and 11×14 sizes. You also get to choose from numerous book cover options, including die-cut covers, premium leather covers and premium crushed silk covers. All of these factors make it possible for you to create a photo book that looks just how you want it.
- Book Options
- Lay flat
- Spiral bound
- Brag books
Pinhole Press makes books in a variety of formats, including panoramic, lay flat and spiral bound. Pinhole is one of few companies that let you make a brag book. Brag books are small, accordion-like publications that only require a few photos. If you want to celebrate a graduation, birth or other event, you can make a brag book even if you don’t have many photos to include.
- Phone, email and live chat
Shutterfly offers three customer support options. You can contact the company via live chat, email or phone.
Shutterfly: User Reviews
Pinhole Press: User Reviews
Shutterfly got started in 1999, so it had plenty of time to create great products before many other companies even formed. The photo book has been the company’s flagship product for several years. Many people choose to make photo books with Shutterfly because they are familiar with the company. They know that the business does good work, so they feel comfortable using it to make personal photo books.
Storing images on a hard drive, CD or DVD might seem like a convenient option, but many people miss the opportunity to hold photos in their hands. The digital revolution will never change that. With Shutterfly, people can create photo books that memorialize important events, such as weddings and graduation days.
Today, many companies offer services that are similar to Shutterfly’s. Browse their options before you determine which company can make the best photo book at the right price for you.
How Does Shutterfly Photo Books Work?
Shutterfly gives you three ways to make a photo book. The Make My Book service takes all of the work off of your hands. Once you upload the pictures that you want included in your book, a professional designer will create a layout that brings the images to life. It takes about three days for the designer to make your book. It’s free to get started, though, if you want to check out the service before paying any money. You only have to pay when you decide to order a book.
The Custom Path option lets you create your own photo book from scratch. Shutterfly gives you access to all of its backgrounds, layouts and other embellishments that you might want to include. You also get to add text to any or all of the pages.
Custom Path is a good option for people who want to take control over their photo book projects. If you have some graphic design experience, then you may find that Custom Path gives you something fun to do over the weekend. Even if you don’t have any experience with graphic design, Shutterfly’s online software makes it relatively easy for you to add the pictures, texts and decorations that you want.
The Simple Path is your easiest way to make a photo book without paying a professional designer to do the work for you. Simple Path gives you 40 styles with preset layouts and backgrounds. Once you choose the style that you want, you simply add your pictures (up to 30 per page). Simple Path can arrange pictures for you, but it does so randomly. If you let Simple Path arrange your photos, you will probably want to go back to rearrange or replace some of them.
After creating the inside of your book, you choose additional features that will make it a unique item. Many of the additional features cost extra money, so pay attention to your total price as you customize your project. Then, Shutterfly can get to work making your book. Within a week or so (depending on the delivery method you choose), your new book will arrive.
What Makes Shutterfly Photo Books Stand Out?
Shutterfly Photo Books stand out by offering such a wide variety of printing and packaging options. Many companies only let you choose between two or three types of paper for your covers and pages. Shutterfly has a large catalog that you can use to personalize your photo books.
It’s also important to note that Shutterfly has a lot of experience in this area. The publishing company has been printing photo books since 1999. Over the years, Shutterfly has learned effective ways to print high-quality books without charging high prices. That helps make it one of the most popular photo book publishers on the internet.
Common Reviews of Shutterfly Photo Books
Practically everyone who uses Shutterfly to make photo books seems to love the service. Reviewers point to the high quality of the photos, binding, covers and pages as proof that Shutterfly does a better job than most printers. A lot of people also like that the company has so many options to add to their books. This doesn’t just include upgraded jackets and paper. It also includes clip art and themes that can turn drab books into fun objects that you’ll want to leave on the living room table for guests to browse.
Of course, you can always find some negative reviews. Even the best companies make mistakes. A handful of unhappy customers complain that they did not receive their photo books by the expected dates. A late delivery could matter a lot to someone who plans to give photo books away as presents. If the package doesn’t arrive by the right time, then you won’t have gifts for your special event. Shutterfly and other companies need to realize that delivery times make a difference to their customers.
Other than missing some delivery deadlines, Shutterfly gets stellar reviews from everyone who uses the company’s photo book services.
Is Shutterfly Photo Books for Me?
In most cases, Shutterfly is a good choice for people who want to print personal photo books. The company has affordable prices and excellent books, so practically anyone will enjoy using their services.
If you’re a professional, however, you may want to look for a photo book publisher that offers additional services. That’s especially true for professionals and experienced amateurs who plan to sell their photo books to consumers. There are other companies that will print professional photo books and help you sell them online through a variety of websites. A casual consumer wouldn’t want to use these companies. Someone with professional or commercial aspirations, however, should choose one of those companies over Shutterfly.
For the most part, though, Shutterfly is one of the best photo book publishers that you can choose. Of course, you should always compare prices and options from several companies before you decide to use Shutterfly. Most people, however, quickly discover that Shutterfly offers some of the best deals on the types of photo book services that they want.
Pinhole Press opened in 2011, so it has less experience than many of the companies that let you create photo books online. Just because it’s new, though, doesn’t mean that Pinhole Press offers a sub-par product. In fact, Pinhole receives a lot of praise for using high-quality materials and focusing on print quality.
Since Pinhole Press charges higher prices than most publishers, you should learn more about the company before you commit to a photo book. If you want a book that will stand the test of time, though, Pinhole Press is usually the right choice.
How Does Pinhole Press Photo Books Work?
Pinhole Press makes it relatively easy for you to create attractive photo books. You start by deciding what type of book format you want to use. Most people choose lay flat, hardcover, softcover or brag books.
Once you know the general type of book you want to make, you need to choose a template that matches your needs. Make sure you choose an option that can accommodate the number of pictures you plan to include. Some templates have as little as 18 pages, while others have room for 100 pages.
After you choose the specific book layout that you want, you get to choose colors to personalize the project. The available colors vary from layout to layout. In most cases, you choose from at least half a dozen colors. The colors will appear on the cover and certain pages inside your book. As long as you choose a color that you like, you won’t have any problems.
Finally, you have to add your photos to Pinhole Press’s product designer. You can upload images from your computer to the site. You can also get images from your Instagram account.
The design software shows you where to place your photos to give your book an attractive layout. You just have to decide what order the pictures will appeal in.
Once you make your photo book, submit your order with Pinhole Press. You can expect to receive your photo book in about a week. If you order from outside of the United States, shipping can take significantly longer.
What Makes Pinhole Press Photo Books Stand Out?
Most photo book publishers only offer a few size and layout options. These companies typically appeal to general consumers, so they don’t need to provide a wide variety to keep people interested.
Pinhole Press takes a different route. The company emphasizes the importance of quality, so it gives you more options. The additional quality also means that you will pay a higher price when you use Pinhole Press instead of cheaper companies that don’t worry as much about quality and variety.
It’s nice to see a company putting quality ahead of cost. Although some people will avoid Pinhole Press because of its higher prices, other shoppers will appreciate the value of quality paper, cover materials and printing.
Common Reviews of Pinhole Press Photo Books
Pinhole Press gets rave reviews for its photo book publishing. Reviewers love that the company dedicates itself to using high-quality materials and printing services. Repeat customers appreciate that they can reorder books without taking time to redesign their projects. Since Pinhole Press stores your information, you can reorder copies whenever you like.
Although most people love photo books from Pinhole Press, the company does receive some negative comments that you should think about before spending your money.
Some people complain that Pinhole Press doesn’t meet delivery deadlines. Most of these complaints come from people who live outside of the United States. If you plan to order a photo book from an American company, then you should expect delivery delays. Pinhole Press doesn’t have any control over its packages once they leave the warehouse. Your photo book could get held up at customs or other points along its journey to you. Receiving late packages can make you feel frustrated, especially when you plan to give the photo books away as presents. Make sure you give the mail system plenty of time to deliver your order.
A very small number of people say that Pinhole Press doesn’t use high-quality paper. While it’s always possible that Pinhole Press made mistakes on some books, the vast majority of reviewers say that the company uses excellent paper.
In some cases, you get to choose what type of paper Pinhole Press uses to make your photo book. Don’t make this decision arbitrarily. Some of the photo book customers who complain about poor quality may have chosen the wrong type of paper for their projects. Considering that nicer paper costs more money, you may feel tempted to choose the cheaper option. Know that this will affect the quality of your photo book.
Overall, people who use Pinhole Press to publish their photo books love the services and products. The company gets a lot of repeat business from satisfied customers who don’t want to take chances using other publishers. You will find a few bad reviews about Pinhole Press online. They’re greatly outweighed by the number of positive reviews.
Is Pinhole Press Photo Books for Me?
Pinhole Press makes terrific photo books, but it isn’t the perfect option for everyone. If you want a simple, no-frills book that doesn’t cost much money, then you can find publishers that will meet your needs better.
If you want professional quality, simple software and plenty of printing options, though, you won’t find a better publisher than Pinhole Press. By choosing Pinhole, you will spend more money than people who choose cheaper publishers. This is one of those situations where you get what you pay for. If you want a spectacular photo book, then you will need to spend a little more.
Pinhole Press is also the perfect option for people who want to publish brag books. Brag books are inexpensive and don’t require many pictures. You can put one together in a few minutes. They make good gifts, or you can leave one sitting one your coffee table for guests to browse.