Snapfish's photo-book software has lots of templates and some interesting design layouts that are fully editable, plus nice libraries of clip art and backgrounds. However, the content is poorly organized and has no search engine. More significantly, the physical book that Snapfish produced was cheaply constructed, with photos that simply don't sizzle. Go with Shutterfly instead.
Creating Your Book - Nice content, limited tools
Snapfish's photo-book software is uneven in functionality and creativity. For instance, it offers a nice amount of generally attractive content, but it's poorly organized, which made it difficult to create the book I envisioned.
Snapfish has far more content, functionality and editing options than Amazon Prints or Costco (both of which use Snapfish software for their photo books). Its generally attractive templates and layouts were fully editable, so I could remove, resize, rotate and add photos, text and clip art. Plus, I could simply drag and drop photos and clip art onto a page as well as set any of our photos as the background for one page or a two-page spread.
One of Snapfish's more useful and creative options is the Designs tab: a large library of artistic pages of clip art, text and attractively arranged photo placeholders pulled from Snapfish's numerous photo-book templates. Clicking on Shuffle applied random designs to my page, to give me ideas for my book.
Snapfish's photo-editing tools include on/off switches for color correction, auto contrast and fill flash, plus sliders for brightness and contrast. Filters include effects such as black and white, sepia and other color overlays. (Amazon Prints and Costco have no photo-editing features.) Unfortunately, Snapfish has no drop shadows for photos, text or clip art.
The very large libraries of backgrounds and clip art are not searchable, and most are categorized by types of events or concepts, rather than kinds of graphics. So, for example, when I was looking for clip-art fireworks, I had to click through numerous categories to try to find it. On the other hand, holding areas for recently used backgrounds and clip art made it easy to apply the same one to another page.
Text options are limited to font, size, color, background color and alignment, with no choice of bold or italics.
Borders have a limited palette of colors but come with a nice slider for controlling the weight of the line. Unfortunately, Snapfish didn't hold onto our last used border definition, nor did it have an option to apply the same border to all pictures on a page or spread.
The Printed Book: Unsatisfactory book, uneven photo quality
Similar to last year, Snapfish's photo-book production was poor. For instance, our book was missing the endsheet that should be between the front cover and the first page of content. In addition, the binding was already showing signs of separation; it was glued messily; just opening the book ripped the glue.
Print quality was nothing special. Interior photos were generally nicely reproduced with acceptable contrast, color and exposure, but none were brilliant or particularly lively. The cover photo had a magenta shift and a soft focus. Type had mushy edges.
Price and Options
Our 20-page, 8 x 8-inch Snapfish hardbound book cost $29.99. That was the same price as our Shutterfly 8 x 8-inch book, but was more than Amazon's $17.99 price for the same size and Costco's $15 for a larger, longer book. Snapfish has numerous other book sizes and options. For instance, for the same-size book, a softcover was $19.99, a lay-flat version was $39.99 and a premium lay-flat book was $59.99. Other hardbound sizes include 8 x 11 inches ($39.99), 12 x 12 inches ($59.99) and 11 x 14 inches ($69.99) — all of which have lay-flat options. In addition, some sizes are available with leather or linen covers for an added cost. Snapfish often offers discount coupons.
Snapfish had far more photo products than Amazon Prints and marginally more than Costco. These included photo books, calendars, photo panels, journals, phone cases, bags, jewelry, folded cards, prints, posters and more.
We can't recommend Snapfish for creating your photo book, primarily because of the unsatisfactory quality of its physical book. Choose Shutterfly instead, which has software that's more creative and flexible, and most importantly, produces a much better photo book for the same price as Snapfish. If you want to splurge, go with AdoramaPix for a gorgeous book that costs quite a bit more. Either one is a much better option.
|Import photos from||Facebook, Google Photo, Instagram, Flickr, your device|
|Templates & layouts||Fully editable|
|Backgrounds||Nice content, but poorly organized|
|Clip art||Generally attractive clip art, but poorly organized|
|Text||Customizable, but no bold or italics|
Credit: Tom's Guide