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8 Online Photo Book Services With Which You Covered This Mother's Day

One of my mom's favorite parts of Facebook is the Reminders section. She's always loved photos and has put together a closet full of photo albums from years of birthday parties, vacations and family events to prove it. While the days of handing in film canisters to a 24-hour photo counter and carefully arranging the prints in a physical album are a thing of the past for many, thanks to the digital age, I find that there is still no substitute for actually keeping those family photos on my lap.

Considering the coronavirus locks on-site quarantines and descriptions, now is a good time to go through your old photos ̵

1; not just prints, but Instagram photos too, Facebook albums and other social media accounts you may have forgotten. And as the quality of cameras keeps getting better, even cell phone photos are worthy of attention in a beautifully shiny book.

If the mother figure in your life is like mine, a photo book could be the perfect gift for Mother's Day, which is just around the corner on May 10. While you may not be able to present the book in person, you can email it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization say you're unlikely to contract COVID-19 through packages, but if you're nervous, you can also just save your project and order later. You can even use FaceTime with your mom and browse a sample of the book if you want (I promise she will still love it).


Creating a custom photo book can be a relaxing hobby.

Vlad Fishman / Getty Images

There are a number of reputable services available online to help you create photo books that you can send directly to your door. We tested a few to see how easy they are to work with, although we haven't made any books yet, so we can't compare the quality of the finished products. But everyone needs a place to start. Here are some of the best photo books to check out for Mom:

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Shutterfly / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Shutterfly is a of the better known digital photo book services. The site can help you put together a photo book with over a dozen occasion templates and book sizes, or with tutorials and ideas if you want to start from scratch. You can also choose Shutterfly & # 39; s Simple Path, which uses the site's software to format your photos instantly – just rearrange them if you want, and decorate and add captions . In short, you will have a personalized coffee table book with photos in no time.

You can add photography from your computer or photos already uploaded to Shutterfly, Facebook or Instagram. You can also use stock photos from Shutterfly's art library. Every photo you upload must be in JPEG format. The website does not take long to learn to navigate, even if you are not very digital savvy. If you need some inspiration, you can click Idea Pages for some pre-made templates.

How Much It Costs : Without sales tax, an 8-by-11-inch 20-page hardcover photo book would cost about $ 40 for shipping and tax. Shutterfly regularly runs sales, so you should look out for promotional codes that you can apply to your purchase to save some money. If you add or remove something to your project, Shutterfly will tell you that the price of your project has changed.

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Mixbook / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Mixbook's minimalist layout makes it very easy to use . The site has dozens of fun photo book themes – family, seasonal, wedding, travel, baby – and more specific designs in each category. There is also the option to compile a book from scratch.

With Mixbook you can upload photos from your computer, phone, Facebook, Instagram or Smugmug or use the photos you have already uploaded to the site.

I used Mixbook to organize my wedding photos just a few years later. It was easy to add and edit photos, text, extra pages and decorations in the template I chose. You can switch themes at any time, but as far as I know, you have to manually change the pages, although the photos are transferred.

You can be as creative as you want and deviate from the template as you like – or stick with it. As you create your book, you can click Preview to see what the final product will look like along the way. When you are satisfied with your book, click Order to finalize the book size, page, and cover.

How Much It Costs: Mixbook offers many customization options that can affect your final price. Photo books can be ordered in landscape, portrait, or square form in sizes 6 by 6 inches, 8.5 by 8.5 inches, 10 by 10 inches, and 12 by 12 inches. Mixbook offers four different page finishes and five different cover styles. The combination you choose and any additional pages will determine your price.

Choosing the regular semigloss page finish and a softcover can keep prices below $ 20. Designing a larger book with more bells and whistles such as hardcover mat or leather with a dust jacket increases the final price. For example, my 8.5-by-8.5-inch hardcover 39-page hardcover photo book came to about $ 30 with a discount code, excluding tax and shipping.

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Snapfish / Screenshot from Shelby Brown / CNET

Snapfish makes uploading photos to an album super easy by organizing all your uploads in a file. From there you can have Snapfish auto-fill your photo book or manually add your images. Snapfish had a similar user interface to Mixbook, but was more sensitive to image resolution. For example, if the resolution of an uploaded image is too low on both sites, it will be marked with a small exclamation mark. Some photos that were OK for Mixbook did not meet Snapfish's resolution requirements.

Snapfish had dozens of templates and themes such as Summer Snapshots, Grad Nostalgia, Family Farmhouse, Storybook Love, and Moments with Mom. If you chose a template to begin with, you can still swap pages for other backgrounds or change the book theme completely. Some decorations with certain templates had drop shadows for each photo that made them look more like traditional scrapbook pieces.

How Much It Costs: When you are done with your project, click View and Buy to place your order. For an 8-by-11-inch hardcover 20-page photo book, Snapfish charged $ 40. The site also offered to print 9 glossy 4- by 6-inch prints from the album for 9 cents each.

Walmart / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Get started with your photo book by creating an account on the Walmart website. You can adjust the size of your book, from 5 by 7 inches all the way to 12 by 12 inches, as well as the cover type, binding, and how quickly you want it delivered. Since I already had the photos available, I tested Walmart's All That Glitters wedding album template. You can switch templates at any time, but the photos you have posted will not be transferred and you will have to put them back in the new layout.

With Walmart you can upload photos from your computer, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox and Google Photos, but the site only holds the photos for a year. After you drop a photo, click it to start the editing process if you want to make adjustments. However, Walmart offers fewer editing options – a black and white or a sepia filter, the ability to crop, zoom, tilt, brightness adjustment and eliminate red-eye – compared to other websites.

It was easy to drag and drop photos or switch layout pages in the template. However, one of the drawbacks of Walmart's photo books was the lack of embellishments. The program allows you to add text, but & # 39; stickers & # 39;, like the ones on other sites, would have taken the design process up a notch.

How Much It Costs: When you're done with your project, click Next to view your photo book in storyboard format before ordering. There is also an option to view the full book page by page if you want a more detailed review before ordering. You will receive a notification if you leave slots empty, so don't panic. Walmart's option is also the cheapest of the bunch: an 8-by-11-inch 20-page hardcover photo book costs around $ 19 for shipping and tax. The store offers free shipping on orders over $ 35.


If you don't like to create an account and receive a lot of emails from a company, Mailpix might be the right choice. As a guest you can create a photo book, no account required.

Mailpix offers premium ultra lay flat, lay flat, hard cover and soft cover photo books, ranging from 8 by 8 inches to 11 by 14 inches in size. The site recommends designing the book on a computer and using JPEG files. You can choose styles for almost any occasion: birth celebrations, Mother's Day and Father's Day, holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and Hanukkah, birthdays and pets.

Choose a format and upload your photos. You can change the page layout at any time and the photos you've added to that page will be adjusted (unlike Walmart's service). One thing I didn't like about Mailpix was the red line that appeared around the page, indicating that part of it could be cut during printing. This made me a little nervous – especially with trim-heavy pages, and I found myself distracted trying to imagine who my page would turn out to be.

I experimented with a cute retro design that looked like something you might be able to recreate with real scrapbook material. There was a nice diversity in page layouts and the site alerts you if a photo's resolution is too low for you to adjust. Plus, Mailpix updates your price total as you go, so you won't be surprised by the final price at checkout.

How Much It Costs: If you are happy with your book, please name it and choose how many copies you want to order. Select a cover style, add a photo if you want and view it. The prices for the book styles and the number of pages vary, as with the other sites: the more enthusiast the book and the more pages you add, the more expensive it becomes. On Mailpix, each additional page cost $ 1.20.

An 8-by-8-inch, 22-page softcover book cost $ 37.40 excluding tax and shipping – overland shipping is $ 9, but Mailpix had a spring sale and two promo codes also available, which will lower your price a bit.

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Google Photos / Screenshot by Shelby Brown / CNET

Instead of uploading your photos to another app, you can make a photo book less quickly with Google Photos. In the Google Photos app, tap the For You tab (on my Pixel 3 phone, it's at the bottom of the screen, but it also works on desktop), then tap the Print button. Tap Photo Books to get started with a 9-by-9-inch hardcover or 7-by-7 inch softcover. Both books start at 20 pages and can go up to 100 pages.

Google will give you a few pre-made albums based on your photos, such as Best of Winter 2019, or you can create your own albums by choosing an album you have already created. There is also the option to start from scratch and manually add all photos by tapping Create Photo Book at the bottom of the screen.

Google Photos is probably the simplest choice if you are going to order a photo book. It offers a minimalist white page layout to which you can add captions. There are no embellishments like on Snapfish or Mixbook, but you can still create creative layouts with multiple photos. Hold and drag a page to rearrange or tap to edit. Google Photos still has editing options in the app that allow you to add filters before creating a book.

How Much It Costs: A 9 by 9 inch hardcover photo book costs $ 20 and 65 cents for each additional page. A 7-by-7-inch soft cover photo book costs $ 10 and 35 cents for each additional page before it ships.

More Options

Apple Photos

Apple discontinued its own photo book service in 2018. But you can download project extension apps to create photo books with iOS devices like iPhone and Mac. Open the Photos app and choose File > Create > Book . From there, you can download third-party apps Motif, Mimeo Photos, White Wall, ifolor Designer, Mpix, Fujifilm Prints and Gifts or Wix Photo Albums to start a project. Every app you download is available outside of Book when you create a new project in the Photos app.


Costco requires a paid membership to access the photo center. If you have one, you can create three different types of photo books from 30 to 100 pages with multiple themes, captions and layout designs.

The 12-by-12-inch premium lay-flat starts at $ 40 and has a special backing for larger photo spreads. The 11¼ by 8¾ inch hardcover photobook starts at $ 20. Costco also offers a dual 8×8 inch photobook with softcover starting at $ 20.

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