Checking out Shutterfly’s This Life Service + Giveaway
How many photos do you have? It feels like trying to count the stars, right?
Some are in Facebook, some Instagram, and if you are like me – the majority are saved in an iPhoto library. And while each photo is in each place for a reason, sometimes it feels really scattered. Not to mention, how are they all backed up?
I worked on a promotion with This Life founders a while back, when they were just launching. Really nice people and very smart. I applauded when Shutterfly incorporated the service into their suite of products. I was even more excited when the folks from Shutterfly asked me to check out the new and improved This Life, which has just launched.
This Life is a cloud storage for all your photos, but much more. You select what services you would like to import from (like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Smug Mug, and – of course- your computer). And I mean ALL of them, except any duplicates. It pulled all my 3,000 Instagram photos over very fast, within an hour. Then we tackled my 45,000 high resolution files from iPhoto. It took several days, and I had the ability to pause and restart the uploader when I needed to, but they all made it. And now This Life automatically syncs up any new photos that go into the services I have synced.
This Life then takes all those photos and organizes them into a timeline that scrolls left and right, beautifully.
The photos are chronological and can be viewed by day, month, year. You can also sort by people, places and tags. If your photo does GPS tagging automatically, this information will come along, but you can also tag photos manually, or change the tags. Any of this type of info from iPhoto imports right along into This Life. All the faces I had from iPhoto was there, but This Life found many many many more matches automatically. You can also dismiss sets of people forever if you don’t need them tagged in your This Life library.
If you made a spelling mistake like I did (many times), or iPhoto has a different name than Facebook, you can just drag and drop to combine people.
So, you have all these organized, tagged photos in This Life. Now what?
Obviously one huge benefit is a dedicated backup system for ALL your photos. But, here’s the thing. I am a photographer and I take a TON of time to organize and share my photos with family, friends and on my blog. It is a huge priority in my life. And my photos STILL become a mess. How do you organize your photos? Friends tell me all the time they feel like they are the digital equivalent of a hoarder when it comes to their photos. They save, save, save – which is great – but they never go back and enjoy them or do anything else with them.
Here are things I have immediately done with This Life, or plan to do:
1. Actually look at my photos.
The timeline format makes it easy to swipe back and forth and see my photos over time. I have already remembered so many things I forgot even happened!
2. Share my photos.
Sure, even my mom is on Facebook, thus sees a bunch of the photos we take. But in This Life, I can quickly select a few photos from a date and share them in various ways like email, a link, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. When people get this link, it’s a simple slideshow and they can download the photos for themselves.
3. Create This Life stories.
These are like slideshows of anything you want. I immediately started making them for our trips, which seems the natural thing to do – so you can share a pretty overview of travels with very little work. But really, a story could be anything you want – like all your son’s karate photos, or pics of the dog from puppihood till now, anything.
4. Use This Life photos on Shutterfly.
Every year, the ONE thing my mom and aunt ask for at Christmas is a calendar of Dex photos. I admit, early December is usually a frantic rush of finding, editing, and organizing photos for this project. Now I can just search for my son within People in This Life from Jan – Dec from any given year and easily pull those photos over to Shutterfly’s calendar section. Don’t tell mom!
So there you have it! My quick overview of This Life. Feel free to ask questions because I have been playing with it for a few weeks now, and also please share any tips you may have too.
I have one standard This Life subscription to give away, which is a $59 value and allows you to upload 25,000 photos.
Either way, check out the free subscription option and let me know what you think! Good luck!
Also cool! Here are some other awesome bloggers who are showcasing This Life:
You have the best giveaways!
Aww thanks Will!
that looks really cool! I will check it out tonight!
Let me know what you think, Jessica!
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Looks interesting….something I’ve struggled with for a while is having pictures all over the place. I put a ton on my Adobe Revel account (my desktop was dying and I didn’t want to lose them!), but still have them all over. I’ve used Shutterfly for a number of projects (including calendars :)), so this could be pretty cool to use!
I like this idea! Thanks for the chance to win.
That looks so easy!
Very cool Aimee! Sounds like a good alternative to Picasa which I’ve used forever but has lost so much of what I originally loved about it. This Life seems way more robust!
I need to look but your whole family is tagged in 100s of photos!
It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of susnihne.
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Essays like this are so important to broadening people’s horizons.
Hey Art, I am 42, and can retire in 3 years if I play my cards right. But I have always wanted to have a stageshow in Vegas. I thank the “Journey” for helping me go with my dream! I think all of gen pop should follow your example. All it takes is clubbing alone and annoying former celebrities that need a free birtday party and chumps like us will pay for them! Genius!
Dear Mr. Redmond, I thought your article was well written. I have a question. Is there any way to detect the neural rfid by way of MRI or Cat Scan? Is there a univeral rifd detector or reader. We are comeing to terribly frightening times. Your answer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Jenn
it all. also, i like the random posts. if it's too formatted it can get boring. you try to write something to fit the format instead of write something to be interesting. also, i love craft blogs. i love "before and after" pictures. anyway, those are my thoughts.
My photos are organized only because iPhoto auto splits when I upload. I don’t even think I’ve backed up recently. Such a mess, This Life seems awesome!
I do love how iPhoto splits everything, and This Life does it similarly -which is good. But then you can view it in a timeline left to right more like a slideshow that is easy to zip through.
This is a great idea for organizing images. I currently use Lightroom to help organize.
I use iPhoto but I like how This Life is online so I can share pieces with family and also use it for back up – kwim?
Looks like a great solution to the issue of what to do with all these digital photos!
I think you will really like it, Christina!
I need to be more organized ! And need to keep my pictures safe!
I have started using iphoto to store my iphone pics, but I love how this can get pics easily from so many locations!
Yeah Chris! I think that is the best thing, honestly – that you can choose to compile from the places you need it to.
Very cool service, thanks Aimee!
oh my lord, I have so many photos all over the place. I really need the help girl!
What happens with all the photos you have in two places?
Wow, thanks for letting us know about this!
Does it also store video?
Desiree, it does store video, although I haven’t had a chance to pay with that part yet. I plan to though! Here is the pricing grid: https://www.thislife.com/#pricing
This could be very useful! I really want to make albums (“stories”) out of my photos, but organizing them all seems too overwhelming.
I like how you can quickly look through and grab photos for stories, and I think mass tagging also helps with that Susanna!
Wow, so glad I saw this giveaway. Cool idea, I hope I win!
Can you use the photos saved in This Life and print them anywhere or do you have to use only Shutterfly services to print and create books? I like to use Costco and other programs to make videos and hope that by using this program that it does not limit you to only using Shutterfly to print, create books, videos, etc.
I have been using Shutterfly to store photos for many years. Would you continue to upload to Shutterfly or switch all your photos to This Life?
I realize this is an older post but I am curious…are you able to type in text notes for individual pictures? For example, can I have a text note for a specific picture I took on vacation? Thank you for your response.
I haven’t used Parallels so I’m not 100% sure, but I imagine the pecorss would be the same. From the OS X environment, copy your library to an external hard drive. Then from your Win XP environment, copy your library from the external hard drive onto your Win XP’s virtual hard drive. I’ve only done this on Windows 7, so there may be some small differences in folder names and locations on Win XP that you’ll have to account for. Keep in mind that this method will in effect double the amount of hard drive space that your iTunes library takes up because you’ll have two libraries; one on OS X and one on Win XP, and they won’t be in sync. There may also be a way for Win XP to see the iTunes library on OS X without moving it, depending on the capabilities of Parallels.
You’re on top of the game. Thanks for sharing.
That’s a well-thought-out answer to a challenging question
Like you I am a photo-a-holic! I’ve used every service under the sun and this one is HANDS DOWN- THE BEST EVER. I am ECSTATIC that I’ve found ThisLife! And it’s unbelievable that the features I value most, are COMPLETELY FREE!!
Thank you SHUTTERFLY! This Life was made for me!!!
Two quick questions: 1.) can I TAG entire album? I might just be missing how to do that and 2.) can I change the name of an album. I’m knee deep in using it and totally in love but I’ve just missed these two perhaps simple things….thank you!