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Photo Books

If you’re a camera-toting mom or dad, you’re likely already familiar with online photo book services that turn digital pics into scrapbooked memories. These specialty sites emphasize innovative processes that make creating custom keepsakes simple and fun.

The Time Saver

For $10 more than the price of a regular photo book, SmileBooks.com lets you leave the design work to the pros. Just upload your photos and select a book size. A designer will create your custom digital scrapbook, so you can spend less time fussing with photos online and more time capturing those family moments. From $29.95.

You could win a $100 gift card to SmileBooks.com from MetroKids! Enter to win May 1-31, 2012.


Tips for organizing and selecting photos for your photo book
from MyPublisher.com

Create a logical system for your photos. Rename your photo files with descriptive names. Set up folders on your computer for every month or year and for photo-heavy events such as birthdays and holidays.

Keep the book simple. Pick your favorite photos to include in the book. Don't feel pressure to cram every photo into one book.

Keep it real. Don’t eliminate photos where toys are strewn on the floor, bananas are smushed on your child’s face, or everyone is not smiling. A photo doesn’t have to be perfect to be memorable. Sometimes these photos capture the most endearing moments.

The Made-to-Order Alternative

MyPublisher.com offers lux details you used to only find working with a photographer offline, such as thick archival paper in every book and a super-gloss printing upgrade option. The books also come in various sizes, from the wallet-sized softcover mini that costs as much as a cup of coffee to the coffee table-worthy large hardcover album. From $2.49.

The Group Effort

While you were busy preparing dinner at your child’s birthday party, your sister-in-law was snapping photos. Somehow your BFF turned those photos of you chasing after your little one at the playground into perfect candids. KodakGallery.com’s Group Albums make it possible to pool together the best shots from that party or play date, allowing multiple contributors to privately upload images that can be gathered for a single album. From $11.99.

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