Two Year Anniversary Shutterfly Photo Book

I recently put together a photo book of our two year anniversary this last year.  I am pretty behind in making my photo books, so getting a small one done felt like a big accomplishment!  I usually use Blurb, but had a free photo book coupon to try out Shutterfly.

First off, I love that the cover is a glossy finish.  Blurb books have a flat finish, so I will sometimes go with the dust jacket as it is a glossy finish, but does not last as long as a hardcover image wrap.

I usually stick with Blurb because they are less expensive for a still high quality product.  Though Shutterfly definitely created a quality product, if making a large book you are going to pay per page after 20 pages. 

Blurb on the other hand, goes up in price every 40 pages from about $5-$10 {Shutterfly and many other photo book companies charges $1 for each additional page}.  A much better value by page.  You can read more about comparing photo book companies in an older post.

I used Picassa for the first time to create each page in a collage.  This was back when Picnik {I just used the free version} was still available, so some of the elements are no longer available.

Picassa is free to download and has some great features to do basic edits and collages.  The main element I used Picnik for was to create transparent shapes to add a decorative element or for better reading text {like the grey box in the picture above}.

I have seen other blogger's share about using other free downloadable software now that Picnik is gone but since I have Photoshop, I use that now to add these elements.  I use Lightroom to edit my photos.

I will not go into detail on how I made the collages, but you can read a great tutorial on it over at Clover Lane.

My main design focus was to create more layers and add more text.  If you look back at some of my older photo books, they had a much simpler design.  The more books I make, the better idea I get of what I like and how I want to design the pages.

Using Picassa makes the collage process so incredibly easy!  You can also do this when making a book in Blurb but the process takes more time and is a bit more complicated.  I am sold at how easy it is to drag and drop and adjust photo sizes in Picassa.

The only thing to be careful of is when making the collage, you have to make sure to set up the page to be the same size as your book.  Since the cover is a bit larger, I had some trouble getting the collage to be the right size and so I could still see all of the text.  It took a few tries but I eventually got it!  Just to know for future reference, I dropped a few pages and the cover into Blurb and there was no problem adjusting the page sizes. 

Using different fonts and different sized fonts give the text a more professional and artistic look.

The curvy elements are images I used from My Memories Suite.

And when I say Naked Juice, I am referring to the drink.  I did have the stomach flu if you didn't catch that in a previous photo.  It was an anniversary trip, but don't worry, I don't document "those" type of memories! ;)

Much like adding text to images in blogging, I am following this trend to tell more of a story in the photos.  Instead of typing out summaries of our trips, I used words or phrases that help me remember what we did.

For the back cover, I included the photo and words I shared on the post I wrote for our two year anniversary.  A great memory for where my heart was at this season of our marriage.

For more tips and ideas on photo books and scrapbooking, read my other posts on this topic and visit my scrapbooking Pinterest board.