My Nightmare Experience Creating a Travel Photo Book with Snapfish

My Photo Book Collection
My collection of photo books that I have designed and ordered from Snapfish in the past.

As an avid travel photographer, I love to take photographs when I travel.  In addition to writing about travel and sharing my photographs on this blog, I really enjoy documenting my travels with my travel photographs in photo books.  For years I have used the Snapfish website to build and print my photobooks and I have been a very happy, loyal, and satisfied customer.  However, that all changed this past holiday season and the experience was so bad that I feel obligated to share it with you in hopes that it happens to none of you.

I started working on a photo book documenting my trip to Peru and Ecuador this past December and the plan was to order one for myself and then give one to my parents for Christmas.  This trip had long been a dream of my father’s, which we fulfilled, and I wanted my parents to have something nice to remember the trip.  I was really excited to create this project and is typical with all my travel writing and travel photography projects, I put a lot of time and effort into designing the book.

Photo Book Lima.png
Page from my photo book I tried to order from Snapfish.

However, shortly after ordering the photo books I was notified by Snapfish that my order had been canceled because some of the photos that I uploaded and used in my photo book had become corrupted.  The recommendation was to re-upload all of my photos and recreate the photo book that had taken me countless hours to create.  Alarmed, I called Snapfish customer service to get clarification.  Surely they couldn’t possibly expect me to completely recreate this project.  Surely they must have some way to determine which photos are corrupted so that I could just replace those photos.

After speaking to Snapfish customer service personally, I was informed that I only needed to replace the photos on some pages and then resubmit my order.  I was asked to make sure I saved my photo book and ensured that the changes saved before ordering.  To be safe, I completely removed the photos they mentioned from the existing photo gallery, not just from my photo book, and uploaded new photos to a completely different photo gallery.  From there, I added the photos back to my photo book.  When I was finished, I saved the photo book, closed the photo book, and then re-opened the photo book to ensure that my changes had been saved.  When I saw that they were, I re-ordered two copies of the updated photo book.

Photo Book Huayna Picchu.png
Page from my photo book I tried to order from Snapfish.

Here is where the frustration really begins.  A few days after re-ordering two copies of the updated photo book, I was informed by Snapfish support that my order had again been canceled.  It turns out, there were still corrupted photos used in my photo book.  This time, the email I received didn’t instruct me to recreate my entire project, but it asked me to re-upload several photographs, including some that I had already removed and re-uploaded.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I called Snapfish support to discuss the matter further.  This time, I asked to speak to a support manager.

Email From Snapfish.png
Email I received from Snapfish saying my order was canceled and asking me to, again, re-upload photographs and edit my photo book.  After calling Snapfish, I was told by a manager that this would NOT fix my issue and that the ONLY resolution was to completely re-upload all of my photos and completely recreate my photo book.

What I was told by the manager absolutely frustrated me.  He informed me that my only option was to re-upload all of my photographs and to recreate my entire photo book.  Not because they had exhausted all other options, but because this is the ONLY option when a photo gets corrupted on upload to Snapfish.  In other words, I had completely wasted my time re-uploading photos and editing my photo book previously.

For those that follow my blog, you know that I am an optimistic person to almost a fault.  I find the good in every destination that I travel to and I like to focus on and write about the good in the world.  However, I also feel an obligation to my readers to help you avoid dangers, scams, and other frustrations such as this when it comes to all things travel and travel photography, including creating travel photo books.  If I am being asked to re-create a photo book that took me countless hours to create in the first place, then chances are that other people are going thru the same frustrations as well.  I don’t want you to be one of those people.

Snapfish has offered to give me a free photo book, minus all of the extra pages that I added to the photo book I created and minus the 70% discount code that I used when I originally purchased my photo book.  In other words, if I am unable to find a current 70% discount code for Snapfish, even with the free photo book I will be paying more than I did on my canceled orders to re-create my photo book.  This just adds insult to injury.

Photo Book Galapagos.png
Page from my photo book I tried to order from Snapfish.

I am not the kind of person who is vindictive and is going to tell you to not use Snapfish for your photo needs, but I do want you to be aware of my experience so that you can make an educated decision of your own.  If you are looking to create a photo book of your travels, I would strongly caution using any service that will force you to re-create your entire project if your photographs get corrupted when you upload them to their site.

I would expect the site to notify you before you create your project that photos that were uploaded weren’t uploaded correctly or at least not let you add corrupted photos to your project.  Finally, in this day and age, I would expect their software to allow you to re-upload just the corrupted photographs if a problem occurs and not have to completely re-upload all of your photos and re-create your entire project.  In my opinion, any company that is ok with telling its customers that doesn’t appear to care all that much about their customers or their time.

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  1. Technology. Such a great invention when it works as intended. When it doesn’t, such an aggravation. Did you end up redoing the whole project, or move to another platform?

  2. That is so frustrating!! I’ve created photo books before (but with Shutterfly). They take so so so much time. They’re fun to make… when you only have to make them once. Having to recreate from scratch would make me want to scream. Sorry you’re having such bad luck with them.

  3. The same thing just happened to me! I created two 130-page art books for my kids and after ordering yesterday was told that my images were corrupt because they had been left on the Snapfish site for too long and were now archived, making them “corrupt.” That means that if you begin a project, you need to finish it very quickly or else all your work will be wasted. I can’t understand a company that would force a time limit on finishing a project. I also want to scream. I have four kids and the time it took me to do this was precious time that I need to be spending with them. I don’t think I will ever use Snapfish again. I’ve made numerous books on Shutterfly and never had this problem. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this too.

    • I am so sorry this happened to you as well. So frustrating!!! I was also told that my photos were on their for too long, which made no sense in my case because I had only uploaded the about a week before. In my opinion, it’s an excuse by Snapfish because their photobook software has issues. They should be able to determine which photos are having issues so that you can correct just those.

      Thank you for sharing your experience so that others are aware. Hopefully we can save other people similar frustrations.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post. I’ve been an avid user of Snapfish as well and having been making photo books through their platform for the last 7 years. I just had a similar issue in where my book did not save. I contacted two different snapfish representatives through chat and neither were able to retrieve an the version I worked on. Both told me I didn’t save my work, which I know is false since I worked on this book for several days and then let it sit for a month. Also, snapfish had a auto-save feature, that used to work. Today I was told to ‘save my work’ and recreate the book. I’m super hesitant to spend hours and hours recreating my book. What service did you end up using for your photo books moving forward?

    • I am so sorry to hear that you had a similar bad experience! I know how much time and effort it takes to create these books. It is do frustrating, and they don’t seem interested in improving their faulty software. I hope your experience ends up better than mine did. I gave up after recreating my book from scratch several times 😣

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