Now before I go on, I should mention that I love Shutterfly. I upload a lot of pictures there. I get prints. I make calendars. I even used it to make a great Christmas present for Mom this year, a little "brag book" with all the best photos I took of my nephews and the rest of the family.
But in this particular case--well, I'll let you judge.
The text of the email said:
Short on time? Preserving memories is easier than ever. A photo book filled with your pictures makes the perfect gift to give or keepsake to treasure. We’ve arranged your pictures just the way you took them, but you can organize them any way you want.
The photos in question were a group of shots I took of a flock of turkey buzzards. I uploaded them to Shutterfly so I could send a link to a friend so she could see them and help me decide which one to use for that day's 365 project photo.
The proposed book cover features a tasteful shot of the whole flock feeding by the roadside (shown at the top of the page). You can't quite tell what they're feeding on--I like to think it was a ripe, burst-open garbage bag, but it's hard to tell. I didn't want to get close enough that I could tell.
On page one the buzzards are merely hovering menacingly over . . . something. In the first spread, you get some closer shots of groups of buzzards. The page with three buzzard shots against a pink flowered background is particularly festive, though I would have used the pink on page five, the first of the shots of a pair of buzzards billing and cooing like turtledoves. (Shown at left. Who knew it was buzzard mating season?)
I like that they dedicated a single page spread to the closeup I got of a particularly fine individual buzzard. I'm not a buzzard expert, but I bet he's a grizzled old buzzard, a veteran of many roadsize carrion picnics. He even looks rather noble, almost regal. Well, for a buzzard.
Not making fun of Shutterfly. Well, just a little. Seems like every time I upload some photos these days, I get an email offering to turn them into a book. Shutterfly's trying to maximize its sales, like everyone else. Sometimes I find the memory book offers annoying, and sometimes useful--after all, if they hadn't sent me one in November, I'd never have thought of doing that brag book for Mom.
So I'm probably going to pass this time, Shutterfly, but thanks for asking. And even more thanks for, unintentionally, providing me with a good laugh at time when I could really use one!