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      September 27, 2020

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Shutterfly vs Nations Photo Lab

Best Photo Books

To help you find the Best Photo Books, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Shutterfly and Nations Photo Lab.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Photo Books, please Click Here

Where is the best place to create and buy photo books? Photo books are a great way to compile memories in a more tangible way than storing all your pictures online or in boxes. They make for great anniversary gifts, birthday presents, or even just yearly projects to keep on your coffee table for easy browsing.

It is also not uncommon for photo books to be made with wedding photos and/or engagement photos for guests to sign at wedding receptions. Needless to say, photo books are something most of us will be making at some point in our lifetime.

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Best Reviews

2020

Photo Book Reviews

4.5 stars
Shutterfly

SHUTTERFLY

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Cost:

Starting from $15.98

Shutterfly might be one of the most well-known photo printing companies. They have been around since 1999, providing custom photo services to customers. Like many of their competitors, in addition to their photo books, Shutterfly sells cards and stationery, prints, gifts, calendars, wall art, decor, and wedding products. All of their inventory can be customized with photos.

Professional design, or do-it-yourself

There are three options that you can take advantage of when making your photo book at Shutterfly. One is more unique than any others we have seen. Customers can upload their photos and special instructions for Shutterfly's designers to make the book for them. Within 3 business days, the photo book will be ready for viewing and the customer gets to decide if they want to add any finishing touches or make changes and then buy the book. The design fee at the time of this review was $0, but is usually $10.

The other two options for photo book creation are make-it-yourself options. The custom path design allows for each page to be personalized down to the last detail. Text and photos can be added anywhere in the book and customers can choose from different backgrounds, layouts, and embellishments. For a more simple, fast photo book, the simple path design automatically arranges uploaded photos for you. Captions can be added if desired.

Best Photo Books

6 different photobook sizes

Photo books at Shutterfly come in six different sizes from 7"x9" to 12"x12". Once your size is selected, you can choose from the many beautiful photo book themes. They cover just about all the celebrations, activities, and special events you might be creating a photo book for. The design functions at Shutterfly are easy to use and allow for a lot of creative freedom. The amount of layout choices for each page ensures that no two books made on this website will be the same. You can truly create a photo book here that fits your own unique style.

Competitive pricing

The end price will be determined on the size, theme, book type, and page options. Adding pages to the standard amount that comes with the book is another $1.00+. To give a general idea of pricing, if you choose the 8"x11" size with the 20 standard included pages, your photo book will cost around $22. Shutterfly has really affordable options for customers and free shipping is offered for orders of $49 or more.

Satisfied customers

Shutterfly has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Even more telling is the number of satisfied customers that use Shutterfly for their photo projects. Great things are said about their customer service and their willingness to make their shoppers happy if any issues arise. We highly recommend using Shutterfly for your photo books and other photo projects.

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3 stars
Nations Photo Lab

NATIONS PHOTO LAB

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Cost:

Starting from $29

Nations Photo Lab transforms memories into art by allowing customers to upload photos for prints, picture albums, photo books, cards, gifts, and wall decor. They have been in business since 2005 with the goal of providing the best quality, turnaround times, and prices.

15 photobook themes

All of the photo books that you can create at Nations Photo Lab are hardcover and made with either leather, cloth, or lustre materials. They come in 5 sizes: 5x7", 8x8", 8.5x11", 10x10", and 12x12". You can choose for your book to be oriented either landscape or portrait. There are 15 photo book styles or "themes" to choose from at Nations Photo Lab or you can start from scratch and create your own. The pre-created styles are all very general, so you won't find as much variety here as you do with a higher-rated photo book site.

Cost varies

Photo books start at $29, but the end price is determined by the size, photo paper, cover choice, and the binding chosen. All books come standard with the option of adding up to either 21 or 29 photos total depending on the style chosen. It is about $1.30 for each additional page added if you have more pictures for your photo book than fit with the base price version. Once your book is finished, it will ship for free if you've spent over $49, otherwise ground shipping costs $6.95.

Mixed customer reviews

Although Nations Photo Lab receives an A rating from BBB, their customers have mixed things to say about their experiences here. Customers recently have complained that their quality is going downhill fast, which is concerning. Some have said that printing has been crooked, wording has been wrong, coloring was off, or pages were duplicated in their photo books. Many customers have been ordering from Nations Photo Lab for years and are now less satisfied with their customer service and the products they receive. This trend is something to be aware of, but in past years they have had many happy customers who feel Nations Photo Lab went out of their way to deliver high-quality products.

Nations Photo Lab is going to provide you with more basic photo albums. You won't find stickers here or very many templates to fit specific occasions. If you don't feel you are the creative type who can arrange photos, fonts, and background designs into an appealing photo book from scratch, we suggest using a higher-rated site that offers more unique themes for easier drag-and-drop designs.

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Continued from above

It used to be that in order to make a photo book, you would print hundreds of photos, purchase binders, stickers, fancy paper, and buy the tools to cut out fun edges for borders. Then it might take hours to glue pages together and hand write a description for each page. This scrapbooking method, although fun for some, was extremely time consuming and resulted in thick books that take up a lot of space. With online photo books, customers can quickly upload their photos and arrange everything in an appealing and functional way.

The other great thing about online photo books is they are easily customizable and can be made to suit many people's styles. They can be as simple as a photo dump of just pictures, or made to look like a scrapbook page with fancy borders, stickers, and text. If you are making a photo book of your beach vacation, some websites let you pick photo book themes so that you can add seashell stickers, "sandy" looking pages, and palm tree frames to the pictures. Whatever the theme, you can get really creative when making your photo book.

When searching for photo books, consider the following things to ensure you get the best deal and online shopping experience:

  • Cost. How does the cost of the photo book line up against competitors? Are you paying per page? Or for the entire book regardless of size? Make sure to check on this before starting the creation process.
  • Customization. Some photo book sites let you choose from a variety of sizes to fit your needs. Also consider if you want a softcover vs. hardcover book. Are there plenty of fonts, colors, borders, stickers, and photo arrangement options?
  • Functionality. You want to make sure that it is easy to use all the features necessary to create your photo book. If the website makes it confusing to jump around and use all the tools to create your book, it will take a long time and likely result in frustration. Find a sleek website that makes photo book creation both fun and easy.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best photo books available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best website to create a memorable photo book that you are happy with.

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