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September 8, 2012

Shutterfly + iPhone + John Cage

I don't know if this happens to you, but somehow my iPhone manages to take photos on its own, apparently when I don't turn it off after taking a picture. I regularly find blurred images of something—the floor, my hand, the inside of my pocket(?)—on my Camera Roll.

I haven't deleted these because some seem quite beautiful. A Shutterfly.com offer of a free photo book (see below) gave me the opportunity to put them together. John Cage's recent birthday (he would have been 100 on September 5th of this year) gave me the words to explain why I love this kind of stuff.

The book

I suggest you click "Full Screen" below to be able to read the quotes from John Cage inside.

Click here to view this photo book larger


The process

Shutterfly made it free, but they sure didn't make it easy.

I'm a sucker for free stuff, so when I get an email saying "Enjoy A Free 8" x 8" Photo Book" I'm pretty much hooked. I made this book yesterday. I'm thrilled with it so far (haven't gotten the actual printed version yet). But the process was as frustrating as the result was rewarding.

The Shutterfly website is both confusing and buggy. It took me about 3 hours to finish the book, 2 of which were spent on early versions that weren't saved despite the fact that I clicked on "Save" and the website assured me that it was saving my project. I took a long break mental health before coming back to try again.

Screenshot of Snapfish websiteThe third time was a charm, but... Also frustrating was the unreliable "Pictures" view that claims to show only the photos that you haven't yet put into the book, hiding those you've already used. A great idea for when you're designing on the fly, as I was.

What made me crazy, though, was when I'd remove a photo from a page and it didn't reappear in the unused photo area. At one point I had 3 images not currently in the book but none showed in the Pictures view, which stubbornly remained empty.

I'm no newbie when it comes to making photo books online. I've done about a half dozen via either the Kodak or Snapfish websites. Kodak is out of the game now, and my photos have been moved to Shutterfly, hence the free book offer, I suppose.

I'm going to withhold final judgement until I see the actual book, but for now I'm less than thrilled with Shutterfly.

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