PhotoAffections Vs. Shutterfly: Better Photo Printing Service

So, you want to print some photos, but aren’t sure which service to use? PhotoAffections and Shutterfly are two of the most popular online photo printing services, but they have some key differences. This article will compare the pros and cons of PhotoAffections and Shutterfly to help you decide which is the better fit for your needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

PricingCheaper base prices, frequent salesMore expensive without membership, discounts with membership
Print QualityProfessional printers and paper for excellent qualitySimilarly good print quality with Kodak paper and labs
Product SelectionStandard prints, canvas, metal, acrylic, wood printsExtensive selection including home decor and speciality prints
Photo BooksHardcover and softcover options with customizationMore binding styles, templates and designer collections
Ordering & DesignIntuitive online editor, email proofsApp & website ordering, unlimited photo storage
Mobile AppsNoneiOS and Android apps for creating and ordering
Turnaround TimeNext day printing on most items1-2 day average turnaround

Overview Of PhotoAffections

PhotoAffections is a photo printing and gifting site that offers a wide selection of personalized photo gifts including canvases, photo books, calendars, mugs, puzzles and more.


Some key things to know about PhotoAffections:

  • Founded in 2006 in Austin, Texas.
  • Offers premium photo paper and professional printing technologies for high quality prints.
  • Has an intuitive online editor that makes it easy to design personalized photo gifts.
  • Provides 100% satisfaction guarantee on all orders.
  • Does not require membership or subscriptions.
  • Regularly runs sales and promotions to get prints for cheap.

Overview Of Shutterfly

Shutterfly is one of the largest online photo services, offering prints, photo books, cards, calendars, home decor and more.


Some key things to know about Shutterfly:

  • Founded in 1999 in California.
  • Requires free membership to access all features and discounts.
  • Has its own photo storage service for uploading and organizing photos.
  • Offers exclusive designer partnerships on home decor and gifts.
  • Has an app to create and order photos on the go.
  • Provides unlimited free storage with membership.
  • Runs frequent sales and promotions.

Photo Printing Options

One of the biggest differences between PhotoAffections and Shutterfly is the types of photo prints they offer.


  • Standard prints in matte or glossy finish up to panoramic sizes
  • Metal and acrylic prints
  • Canvas prints in multiple shapes and depths
  • Custom wood prints like ornaments and signs
  • Unique options like prints on glass, bamboo, leather and more


  • Standard photo prints from wallets to panoramic sizes
  • Specialty prints like magnets, tiles and mini accordion books
  • Canvas, acrylic and metal prints
  • Home decor like blankets, pillows and tapestries
  • Poster prints in classic and collage styles

Both services can print standard photo sizes at good quality. Shutterfly offers more extensive home decor and specialty print options, while PhotoAffections has a better selection of wall art like canvas, wood and metal prints.

Photo Books

Photo books are a popular way to showcase vacation, wedding or family photos. Here’s how the two services compare for photo book printing:


  • Hardcover and softcover binding options
  • Multiple paper types including matte, glossy and metal
  • Standard landscape and portrait layouts
  • Background and text customization


  • Hardcover, softcover and spiral bound options
  • More background and layout templates to choose from
  • Advanced editing features like removing photo backgrounds
  • Partner designers for premium book styles
  • Layouts for different occasions like weddings, babies, etc.

Both sites allow you to fully customize photo books with your own images, backgrounds and text. Shutterfly has more templates and binding options, while PhotoAffections offers premium paper upgrades. Also watch this video!

Print Quality

When comparing print quality, both Shutterfly and PhotoAffections produce good results using professional lab printing.


  • Uses Fuji Crystal Archive paper for rich, vivid color
  • Offers optically-brightened papers for truer whites
  • Prints with professional photographic printers
  • Doesn’t compress images so quality is retained


  • Utilizes Kodak Professional Endura paper
  • Tests and calibrates printers regularly for color accuracy
  • Prints photos at 300dpi for sharpness and clarity
  • Has technicians check for quality errors

The printing technology for both services delivers excellent quality with accurate colors and high resolution. You can expect clean, sharp images with either choice.

Also Read: Choose Between FractureMe And Shutterfly.

Ordering Process

Ordering your prints is fast and simple with both Shutterfly and PhotoAffections.


  • Upload photos from computer, Facebook, Instagram, etc
  • Use the online editor to customize products
  • Save unfinished projects to complete later
  • Get email proofs to confirm orders
  • Fast turnaround with most items printed next day


  • Upload photos or use existing Shutterfly library
  • Create and customize products in app or web
  • Save incomplete projects in account
  • Get notifications when order is complete
  • Average turnaround 1-2 days with rushed options

The online editors make it easy to personalize everything from prints to mugs. Proofing and notifications keep you updated on orders. Turnaround is quick with both, though PhotoAffections offers faster next day printing.

Pricing And Sales

Pricing is an important factor when choosing a photo printing service. Here’s how PhotoAffections and Shutterfly compare:


  • No membership fees or monthly costs
  • Standard 4×6 prints starting at $0.09
  • Frequent sales like 50-75% off sitewide
  • Low cost shipping from $2.49
  • Price match guarantee


  • Free unlimited photo storage with membership
  • 4×6 prints starting at $0.29 without membership
  • Ongoing promos like 30-50% off orders
  • Free shipping over $49 or with membership
  • Rewards program for discounts

PhotoAffections has rock-bottom base prices that get even cheaper with regular sales and promotions. Shutterfly is more expensive for one-off purchases, but membership and rewards can lower costs.

Mobile Apps

Having a mobile app for on-the-go photo printing can be convenient.

PhotoAffections currently does not have a mobile app. You need to visit the website for uploading and creating prints.

Shutterfly has free iOS and Android apps that allow you to order prints, create photo projects, and access your Shutterfly photo storage on your phone or tablet.

For mobile printing capabilities, Shutterfly is the better choice. But PhotoAffections’ desktop experience is user-friendly for most needs.

Also Read: Comparison Between Mixtiles And Keepsake.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is PhotoAffections trustworthy?

Yes, PhotoAffections is a legitimate and trustworthy company. They have been in business since 2006 and have a reputation for good customer service and delivering high quality photo prints. PhotoAffections uses secure encryption for transactions and does not sell or share customer data. They guarantee satisfaction with all orders.

What are the pros and cons of Shutterfly?

Huge product selection including unique home decor
Discounts with free membership program
Convenient mobile app for printing on the go
Unlimited free photo storage
Designer collections for premium styles
Prints are more expensive without membership
Pushy upsells during checkout
Some products have quality issues
Longer print turnaround times

Which one is better Shutterfly or Snapfish?

Shutterfly and Snapfish have a lot of similarities as photo printing services. However, Shutterfly edges out Snapfish in a few key areas:
Better print quality with sharper images
Bigger selection of photo gift products
More templates and design options
Higher quality photo books and stationery
More effective sales and promos
Snapfish does have cheaper everyday pricing. But Shutterfly’s quality and customization make it preferable for most users.

Where is PhotoAffections located?

PhotoAffections is headquartered in Austin, Texas. They have printing facilities in Texas and Nevada to handle production. PhotoAffections started in Austin in 2006 and continues to operate with customer service and offices based there.

Also Read: Comparison Between Zazzle And Shutterfly.

Final Verdict

So, when weighing all the factors, which online photo printing service comes out on top – PhotoAffections or Shutterfly?

For the best prints at the lowest prices, PhotoAffections wins out. The base prices beat Shutterfly hands down, and the frequent 75% off sales make prints ridiculously cheap. The quality is on par with or better than Shutterfly when comparing printing technology.

However, Shutterfly is the way to go if you want more customization options for photo books and home decor. The membership gives you unlimited free photo storage plus discounts. And the mobile apps make printing on the go easy.

Casual photographers or those on a budget are better off using PhotoAffections with their low prices, fast shipping and solid print quality. Shutterfly shines for avid photographers who want premium products and maximum customization.

So, weigh your specific needs, budget and preferences to decide if PhotoAffections or Shutterfly is a better fit as your online photo printing service. Either way, you can count on getting high quality printed photos that bring your memories to life.

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