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Making the Most of Your Family Photos

Too many pictures of the kids?

Nowadays, having your phone by your side makes taking pictures a breeze. It’s quick to snap a shot no matter where you are, but eventually you have hundreds of pictures drifting off into cyberspace, or even worse, getting deleted when you accidentally drop your phone into the ocean. Here’s how I manage all of my family pictures and an easy way to create a keepsake for years to come. 

Shutterfly was kind enough to give me a free photo-book using their make-my-book service for this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are mine. This also contains affiliate links, for full disclosures please check our LEGAL section. 

Start with Great Pictures

The better your pictures are, the more likely you’ll be excited to create fun photo projects with them. Mobile photography has come SO far in recent years, that even phone pictures can be great for projects, without needing to invest in a DSLR. If you’re looking for tips on how to make the most of your mobile photos – be sure to check out my How-To Guide to Mobile Photography here

Since I also love my DSLR, I have tons of everyday pictures with that as well. These pictures also make up about 25% of my photos. The higher quality image, the more freedom you have with it for photo projects (i.e. a larger print or canvas). If you’re looking for tips to getting started with a DSLR – check out my post Mama Got a New Camera, Now What? here

Best of Zee 2016

Automate your Uploading

I use a Samsung Galaxy S6 for the bulk of my family picture-taking. With the help of Shutterfly app, I’m able to automatically save EVERY picture I take. There’s a few benefits to this – I can easily download/import pictures from my computer. I can also secure all of my shots pretty much instantaneously in case my phone gets damaged or lost. Even better, once everything is backed up, I can delete them from my phone and save space!

Use those Pictures

Don’t just let all those great photos go to waste! You gotta use ’em! Of all the pictures I take, the BEST of them get posted to my Instagram account. My Instagram basically serves as a little memory jar of great times with my family and friends. Every now and then, if we splurge for professional family photos, or if I take some nice pictures with my DSLR – I’ll order canvases or photo gifts to have a physical copy of my pictures. Prints are also a cheap and great for keepsakes – but my favorite way to use my pictures is making photo books.   

Photo books have been around for several years now, and I absolutely LOVE them for things like special events and vacations. It’s so easy to go onto Shutterfly, upload my pictures, and create a book (especially since they’re integrated with several social media platforms to make uploading super easy). I’ve created books for just about every vacation I’ve taken and for both of the boy’s births. 

Create A Family Yearbook

As the boys are getting bigger, the time that I have to really sit down and crank one of these photo books out is really dwindling. So, rather than creating several photo books throughout the year, I started making one large book of highlights for each year. But even this has been a challenge! I’ve been meaning to get around to last year’s “family yearbook” since December, and just haven’t had the time. That’s why when Shutterfly asked if I’d like to try their make-my-book service, I was all ears. 

Now Shutterfly has all along made it easy to select some of your pictures and automatically load them into any of their templates. But there’s one problem with this – you still need to carve out a good chunk of time to go through your images, pick the best ones, and then review where they’re placed in the book. Enter the Make-My-Bookservice which makes this entire process faster and easier for only $9.99 (plus cost of book). 

Make-My-Book by Shutterfly

So I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical of handing a large chunk of photos over to a stranger and trusting them to create something really beautiful that I’d keep around for years to come. But, hey, it was free, so what did I have to lose? So, I chose a good amount of pictures from my entire 2016 year and entered them into the Make-My-Book pathway on Shutterfly. I chose a template I liked, a title for my book, and told them I’d like them to select the best pictures (rather than me needing to do it). 

A few days after sending all of that off, I received an update that my book was ready for review. I was blown away by the book that was created for me. It wasn’t just a book where someone carelessly went through and pasted together pictures for me (something I’d of course NEVER want to pay for). Each page was thoughtfully designed and cultivated like I did it myself! I was so happily surprised! 

After placing my order, the book was delivered in just a few days. Looking through it this weekend with my older son and husband reminded me just why these books are so great. While it’s always easy to get to your pictures stored on a cloud, nothing beats sitting around with family and paging through a physical book. I’d highly recommend the Make-My-Book service, especially for busy moms like me! 

So, are you ready to give the Make-My-Book service a try? It’s free to get started – you don’t pay unless you LOVE the book! Click here or the button below to get started!



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  • Reply angie February 28, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Pictures capture and hold our memories how very awesome is that . That is why they are cherished and I love the tips you offer to do with them
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  • Reply One Flawsome Momma February 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I absolutely love shutterfly! I started doing family yearbooks after my daughter was born and it has turned into such a special way to look back and reminisce. With everything being digital I often forget to print and update photos around the house, so this is a good alternative! 🙂

  • Reply ashktaylor February 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    This would be great to do for my girl’s baby pictures and mine and my husband’s wedding pictures! I might have to give it a try.

  • Reply Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood February 20, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I need to get one of those shutterfly books!

  • Reply milesandellie February 19, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    The make my book service sounds great! I never even thought to consider something like that. I have a ton of pictures that I would love to find a way to display, or to have on something other than my computer or phone. Thank you for posting this. This is definitely something I am going to look into.

  • Reply Lauren Cunningham February 19, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Okay, so like you mentioned, I was incredibly skeptical of the shutterfly “Make My Book” feature. How on earth could they work up something with hundred of photos? But you have convinced me to try it! It looks amazing, and it’s such a relief to know that this service is available.

  • Reply Michelle from The Best Home Life February 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I love your photos! Your family is so adorable.
    It looks like Shutterfly does an awesome job at creating a great gift or small family album. I will have to see about going through them to get some pictures done. I have tons of photos that need to be developed.

  • Reply amanda23rodriguez February 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Shutterfly books are my jam!! We have a zillion!

  • Reply ShortSweetMom February 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I have been wanting to make a photo book but have not had time. This sounds like an amazing feature! I will totally have to check it out.

  • Reply thetaylor411 February 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I am a sucker for these. I have made 5 books from Shutterfly in the last 2 years. They also make awesome gifts!!

  • Reply shopannies (@shopannies) February 19, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    what great tips something I will be looking to do this next year so many memories are being created now we should capture them in pictures
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  • Reply thecoffeemom0617 February 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I have been wanting to get a new camera. Right now most of the photos I take are with my phone or my Sony camera, but I have been looking into investing in a DSLR.

  • Reply Kim Amy February 19, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I make a season book through snapfish, I’m behind but every month it’s my goal to get two past months of photos done and in the books. Great reminder that I haven’t done it this month, yikes!

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