Reviewing the Competition, Or, 4 Reasons Photo Books Are Better

collage overview
Note the easy-to-rearrange aerial view?

There are a lot of companies that make photo books out there. And let’s be real: a lot of those photo books are pretty great. It’s just that, in our humble opinion, is…well, better. Are be biased? Maybe a little. But facts are facts, and the fact is, we’ve got the quickest, easiest, and most customizable photobooks around.

What can do that the competition can’t? Let’s take a look.

Get Started — Without A User Account

Requisite login at Mixbook.

Say you’re making a photo book of dog pics (and why wouldn’t you be?). What’s your first step?

At Mixbook, you’re going to have to start by creating a user account. Not sure you’re ready to commit? Want to peruse your options? Too bad — you have to create a user account anyway. You can’t do anything until you’ve created a user account. At Picaboo, you can get a little farther, but as soon as you start arranging your photos,  you’re faced with the dreaded login screen. Shutterfly, to their credit, lets you get all the way to the ordering phase before creating an account. But only allows you to go all the way — from uploading to purchasing — without creating a user ID. (At the very end, we’ll ask you for your email so we can send you your receipt — but that’s it.)


Fewer Unwanted Embellishments Mean Better Results

shutterfly styles
A small sampling of Shutterfly templates.

What do you want your book to look like? Mixbook gives you choices. So, so many choices. And each choice will have templates. So, so many templates. Which template do you want? Because there are really a lot of templates. Not enough templates for you? Try Shutterfly, which has even more templates.

At, though, we don’t believe in templates —  you tell your story your way. Instead of focusing on clip art and stock backgrounds, we put the focus on YOU. Every photo book is unique — and rather than try to make your pictures fit into some pre-ordained framework, we’re about helping you build the book that makes sense for your vision.

How do we do it? Thank our engineers. They’ve built innovative software that automatically fits your photos perfectly the page, regardless of their size and aspect ratio — no templates necessary.

Verdict: (unless you’re really into seasonal templates).

In-Depth Editing Tools Increase Your Options

picaboo photo editing
There’s nothing WRONG with Picaboo’s editing options, exactly…

Want to tweak some of your pictures before sending your photo book to press?  We hear that. And while Shutterfly, Mixbook, and Picaboo all let you make basic edits, only lets you get down in the (digital) dirt. Does it matter? You decide.

With Shutterfly, you can crop your picture. You can rotate it 90 degrees. You can correct redeye. You can add one of seven filters. And…nope, that’s it. Picaboo lets you zoom, crop into shapes, adjust opacity, saturation, brightness, and contrast, and add stickers. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can go black and white or sepia. Same for Mixbook, which also allows you to flip your picture and add borders.

But does all that — and a whole lot more. Our full set of Aviary photo editing tools gives you more filters, more features (blemish correction, anyone?), and more control. And the best part is? It’s easy to use. Who said customizability had to be complicated?


We’re Faster. Period.

Features aside — how long does it take to make a photo book?  We were curious, so we did a little experiment. And the results — well, the results were more than we bargained for. A Mixbook takes 3 minutes and 27 seconds. Shutterfly is 4 minutes and 19 seconds. And Picaboo, based on our calculations, takes a full 6 minutes and 7 seconds., meanwhile? 32 seconds flat.

Don’t believe us? Watch the video.


So what are you waiting for? Give it a try. Here are a few tips to help get you started.

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