Auto-generate contact print style photo book
June 19, 2020 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a photo book printing service (like Shutterfly, etc.) that has a particular feature/book style: I want to essentially create a book of contact prints/sheets of a large number of photos and have it populate automatically by date.

My photos are in iPhone (not on iCloud) and I used to do this somewhat laboriously with the desktop app-- when creating a new print book, I'd add the maximum number of 4x4 grid template pages and then select a folder to auto-populate those pages. iPhoto doesn't offer print services anymore, but they link to dozens of services that supposedly do. Anyway, I'm just looking for a way to print 1,000 or so photos, 16 to a page with no captions, without having to manually drag each one in.
posted by gwint to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you want them sorted by date or a new page for each date - assuming you have 20 pics for a single date, 16 on the first page and four on the next? How many dates is the span?
posted by soelo at 1:00 PM on June 19, 2020

Response by poster: Just sorted by date, with no breaks, so the spans between dates aren't important (and the dates aren't displayed) just literally 16 images per page for the whole book, in chronological order.
posted by gwint at 1:26 PM on June 19, 2020

Shutterfly offers unlimited free prints in either 4x4 or 4x6 if you use the app. You do have to pay for shipping though. I understand wanting a book, but this option might be cheaper.

Assuming you do want a book, I would still use Shutterfly. Upload them all to the same folder (use the app + wifi) and then start a photo book on the website - 12x12 or 8x8. Pick a 16 photo layout if they have them - you will probably want to edit it to make the pictures larger. If they don't have a good one, then you can create your own. Then copy that page 62 times to give you 63 pages total. Then you add all pictures in the folder to your project (might have to be done in chunks) and have it auto fill the pages. If the regular tool won't do it in the right order, I would email them for help. Books are 50 percent off now, expiring on Monday, but they are always running sales, so wait for the next one if you can't catch this one.
posted by soelo at 1:37 PM on June 19, 2020

Response by poster: I decided to roll my own by writing some code that generates an html file that is then saved as a pdf and uploaded to the print on demand service Lulu.
posted by gwint at 11:07 AM on June 25, 2020

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