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How does Shutterfly help me? One person's experience:

Shutterfly is one more reason why I’m glad I went digital.

This spring, in time for my daughter, Sarah’s graduation from college, I finally took the plunge. I went digital. I saw how much fun Sarah was having with her digital camera. Plus, I really liked the idea of no more film and processing costs or wasting time on trips to the processing lab. It was Sarah who also told me about Shutterfly.

“Nobody goes to the one-hour photo labs anymore. Shutterfly is the bomb, Mom,” she emailed me. Then Sarah showed us the best of her 21st birthday bash photos with all her sorority sisters online. The whole family could all share these really cute snapshots online. And our family is spread out all around the globe. More than a lot of fun, it was just so great that we could all stay connected this way.

What is Shutterfly?

Shutterfly is a free way to share pictures online with family, friends, business associates ? anybody, anywhere, anytime . But, more than that, I also discovered that it’s actually less expensive to order great-looking digital prints from Shutterfly than it to print them on my own color inkjet printer.

Had I known about Shutterfly before I got my digital camera, I could have saved myself the extra $200 for the photo-quality printer that I really didn’t need. What I soon discovered, is that making decent photo-quality prints on my own is not as simple, or as foolproof, as the sales guy said. I was wasting lots of expensive inkjet photo paper and even more expensive ink cartridges just to crank out a decent enlargement. Plus, I wonder if they’ll last long enough for my grandkids to see.

I finally broke down and tried a few prints from Shutterfly. Actually, it was very affordable because Shutterfly has this fabulous deal where they give you your first 15 prints for free.

The whole online experience was so simple!

I just plugged my camera into my laptop using the USB port. Then, I went online to
Shutterfly. Registering was fast and free. In a few minutes I uploaded the pictures I wanted to share and print. That’s actually one of the best things about the Shutterfly service. You just share or buy the photos that you want. No wasted prints and all the wasted money that goes with them. Shutterfly will mail them to anyone you want.

Shutterfly has the perfect finishing touches

Shutterfly has these really easy-to-use online tools that let me quickly add all sorts of finishing touches. I usually caption all the prints so I know what’s what in the image.

Cropping often takes a so-so shot and turns it into something beautiful. Shutterfly has a cropping tool makes it a snap.

If I’m giving the prints as gifts, I’ll add creative borders to them.
Shutterfly has lots of different borders that I can add or remove with just a mouseclick.

Shutterfly also has these nifty creative effects that can turn a color print into black-and-white, soften the focus or create an antique sepia-toned look. I took a great shot of my folks at their 50th wedding anniversary party. Then, I softened the focus, sepia toned it, added a border and had Shutterfly make a big 16x20 enlargement which they even ship directly to my parents. They loved it!

More fun with Shutterfly

I recently discovered another new way
Shutterfly lets me get more out of my digital camera photos. They have this product called a Snapbook. You collect your photos and arrange them in an album. Snapbooks are bound into a mini album with one photo plus a description printed on each page.

I’m an interior designer and I use Snapbooks to create mini-portfolios of houses I’ve done. This is a great way to get business and a lot less expensive than printing a bunch of brochures. I also use Snapbooks to create mini-albums for the holidays and vacations we’ve taken. I did a Golden Anniversary Snapbook with an Elegant border for my parents. I also created a graduation Snapbook for Sarah. I even did one of our pets just for fun.

I also use
Shutterfly holiday greeting cards with our picture on the front and our personal message on the inside. I even used a scan of one of my parents’ wedding pictures to make the invitations for their Golden Anniversary party.

Shutterfly does film processing, too

I only wish I knew about it when I was still shooting on film because
Shutterfly processes color film and puts the images online the same way the do for digital images. I could have saved a small fortune that way. Shutterfly film processing costs much less than the one-hour photo labs and I don’t have to pay for the bad shots, only the prints I want. It’s simple. You just get film mailers and send them your rolls for processing. Shutterfly will develop your film, put your pictures in your online account so you can review and share them. They send your negatives back to you. They even send you an email alert that tells you when the pictures are in your account so you can sign in and order the prints you want.

Time saved is time to get creative

The best part of going digital and discovering
Shutterfly is I actually have time to think of lots of creative new ways to use the pictures I am taking. It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve rediscovered the fun of photography.

Why I waited so long and wasted so much paper and ink before trying
Shutterfly, I’ll never understand. Now, I can’t even imagine taking and using pictures any other way.

Free offer from

I think this is truly one of the best deals around. You can try
Shutterfly for yourself. Just click on the links in this article  and get your first 15 prints for free.

By Carrie-Anne Schneider


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