Congrats to Gwyneth, who blogs over at Travelgoon – I hope this prize helps her catch up on documenting her family’s travel as it has done for me.
Having a family travel blog means that I document just about everything to do with every place that I go with my children. You’d think this would mean my family had a treasure trove of memories to take out and examine whenever they want to. But the sad fact is that I’m notoriously bad about stepping outside the virtual realm and making scrapbooks or photo albums for my kids. And since they don’t yet have their own computers (and I’m always on mine, writing blog posts) they rarely get a chance to share in all of the travel stories and pictures. For this reason, today I’m dreaming of being more diligent about documenting family trips in ways that are more accessible to my children. And since they both love to read, what could be better than to create our own customized picture books? If only I could do this easily….
You know what’s coming next right? I’m a long-time fan of Shutterfly and have been using them for prints, calendars, photo books, as well as all our family Christmas cards since Tommy was born in 2002. I find their site easy to use and have always been pleased with the quality of the photos, their prices, and the speed with which everything arrived. So when I was offered a chance to check out how to make one of their new Custom Path photo books and given one for free, you can imagine I jumped at it.
Here are a few of the things I especially liked about the new Custom Path:
It’s fast (really fast). If you want to, you can simply upload the photos you’d like to use from your Shutterfly account, your computer, or from Facebook, pick a template you like, and the software will insert the pictures in the order they were taken (obviously this works well if you want the book to go in chronological order). Another option is to put the pictures in the page order you want using the storyboard feature, which allows you to group selected pictures on each page. Hit a button, and the software puts all the pictures into a layout for you to play with. I found that often I liked the layout of the pages, although they are completely customizable if you don’t. And if you prefer, you can always put the pictures in yourself.
The templates are attractive. I used the Bon Voyage template for my book because I wanted to make one for our trip to England last summer and it had some fun details available like the British flag. There are two more templates intended specifically for travel and a bunch of other options if you want to step outside that box. I really liked the small details like a compass or arrow that I could add to the pages to dress them up.
You can use a fadeout of one your own photos as a background. I loved using my own pictures as background for some of the pages!
You are free to add as much – or as little – text as you want. If you want this to be more of a narrative account, you can share stories. Prefer it to be simply a photo album? The layouts work that way too. I chose to add short text that I knew the boys would enjoy.
Like what you see? Well I’ve got some good news. This week I’m giving away a 20-page, 8×8 Custom Path photo book from Shutterfly.
Here’s how to enter: Simply leave a comment below saying what trip you’d use the book to document (past or future). Or, if you’ve got a Monday Dream of your own to share, go ahead and do it in the comments, and I’ll count that as an entry. For a bonus, if you tweet about the giveaway and @motherofalltrip I’ll throw in another entry for you. Nice and easy, just like making my photo book was.
A few conditions:
- One comment per person please. Anonymous or duplicate comments will not be included in the drawing.
- The contest is open to everyone, but if you live outside the United States you’ll have to pay the difference in shipping (shipping for a U.S. winner is free).
- You have until 5 p.m. EST on Friday May 27 to enter. The winner will be chosen at random from all the eligible entries.
Good luck to everyone! Happy Monday dreaming. And thank you to Shutterfly both for making this giveaway possible and for getting me to finally document our trip to England in non-virtual format. (Disclosure: I also got a free photo book. But I really was a satisfied Shutterfly customer before – and they didn’t ask me to say so.)