Photo Book Time Savers

I love taking photos, whether it’s snapping in the moment on my phone or pulling out my Canon camera for bigger events.  I previously wrote about how I keep my photos edited and organized.

The next step is getting those photos off the computer and on to something tangible.  My kids won’t want to look back through thousands of digital files to reminisce about their childhood.  They’ll want an actual album/book with pages to flip through.


Most everyone has made at least one photo book, and everybody probably has a company they like and recommend.  But can I show you a life-changing feature available on Snapfish?



This Shuffle feature is amazing because it’s a huge time saver!  I can drag as many photos as I’d like to a blank page in the book.  Just slap them on there, and leave it as a mess.  The shuffle button does all the hard work of arranging the photos.  It gives you tons of options – I never make it through all of them before finding one I like.  I’ve seriously put 15 photos on a page and had it come out as a beautiful collage in seconds!  And no more messing with layouts and figuring out which ones have the right number of photos in the right orientations.

Once the photos are arranged, I’ll add captions (if needed), add a title, choose a background, and that’s it!

There are probably other photo book sites that have added this functionality, but when I checked over a year ago, I didn’t find any.  Please share if you know of other photo book companies that have this feature!



I make three photo books every year – one for us to keep, one for my parents, and one for David’s parents.  My books typically go from the end of November to the beginning of the following November, which allows me to finish and order them for Christmas presents.

I figure David’s parents don’t particularly want full pages of our visit to my parent’s house and vice versa.  Not to mention that there are some random pages that neither of them would care much about.  However, I don’t worry about any of that until I’ve finished the “master” book.

The “master” book I create  is the book that we will keep, so we want all of those memories.  Once it’s complete, I do a “Save As” and save a copy with the names of my parents.  Then I do another “Save As” and save a copy with my in-law’s names.  Before making any changes, I make sure I see all three copies in my Projects folder.  Then I delete pages out of the parent versions as needed.  Voila – three custom photo books!

Also, I now order two “master books,” so each of our children can have one when they’re grown.  Just something to keep in mind!



Every photo book site has a learning curve.  They try to make it as minimal as possible, but it still takes time to learn the features, the buttons, etc.  Once you’ve found a site you like and that works for you, stick with it for future books.  Don’t go chasing the latest photo book coupon or Groupon for the cheapest deal if it means switching to a new site and slowing yourself down.  We all know how precious our time is and how little of that time we have for making photo books.  So make it count!  Just order your book around a holiday when deals and coupons are sure to be plentiful no matter the site – black Friday, leading up to Mother’s Day, etc.


Of course, if you’re really strapped for time, photo book companies will automatically fill your book for you.  I have not personally done this.  I’m pretty picky about how many pages I want to dedicate to something, so I like keeping control of what goes on each page.  But it’s nice to know it’s there as an option or as a starting point.

More than anything, just get out there and do it!  The sooner you start, the farther ahead you’ll be!  [I just made that up, but it sounds motivating, right?]


What are your favorite photo book sites / features.  Do you have any time savers or other tips?  I’d love to hear from all of you!

Photo Book Collage.jpg

4 thoughts on “Photo Book Time Savers

  1. Karen Ridgway says:

    You are so organized n full of good ideas! Wish I had started back when my kids were little. My picture boxes have been laying on my dining room table for months!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Marilyn Cobb says:

    Speaking as one of the parents who receives these books (from both of my daughters, by the way), I can tell you how precious they are to me. Such fun & so heartwarming to easily look back at all those memories.

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