I'm answering the burning question today of :
"How and WHERE do you print your Instagram photos!?"
This is a question we get asked on a weekly basis, so I thought it was definitely time to address it properly. Let's get down to business...
First of all, for those of you who don't know... YES! You CAN print your Instagram feed into actual, hold-able photographs! Here are a couple of important things to note though:
1. A camera phone picture, is a camera phone picture.
What does that mean? Well... basically, for the most part, even though sometimes close, Instagram photos rarely, if ever, are going to have the same, crisp quality of a photo that you would have shot with a high-end digital camera. This is the truth no matter WHERE you print your images from. Your Instagram photos, especially if you add cool photo effects to them, will probably turn out a bit grainy... and THAT'S OKAY!
I feel like semi-grainy, Instagram photos that I have printed out are just, if not MORE exciting to me than perfectly pixelated professional ones. My Instagram photos tell stories, help me relive that quick, special memory and for me, there's something really fun about the fact that my kids can look back at them one day and say... "Oh my gosh, remember when people printed photos from Instagram and they looked like this?"
2. Having your Instagram photos IN HAND is more thrilling than you might think.
I've been known to shed a happy tear or two when my Instagram prints come in the mail. Even though I'm the one taking the photo and editing it, the feeling of actually holding that moment in your hands is something that can completely brighten my day. It's tangible. It's something that I can look at anytime I want, without holding an iPhone to my face. It's a memory OUT of my device and in front of me to enjoy.
3. NOT ALL PRINTING COMPANIES ARE CREATED EQUAL.
About a year ago, was the first time that I realized I wanted to print out my Instagram feed. Just like probably anyone else would do, I Googled: "Where to print Instagram photos" and about a billion different places popped up. I finally decided on the cheapest option (what? you would too... a picture's a picture, right?) and ordered a stack of 50 small prints. About 2 WEEKS later, they arrived.
I was sort of annoyed with the turnaround time, because their website stated 5 days or less and shipping was NOT cheap. Strike one. After tearing into my package like a heathen, because I was so excited, I quickly realized that about 10 of my little prints had been shoved into the corner of my package and were all bent up. Strike two.
Of course I was immediately disappointed and tried to look on the bright side, but then I actually picked up the photos to flip through them and came to find that the paper was really bad quality (almost grainy and even scratchy on the back), the finish wasn't great and well... they just looked and felt cheap! Strike three.
I got what I paid for, I guess.
Fast-forward a few months later, and I was ready to brave this crazy Instagram photo printing process again, but this time with a local company that my friend recommended. Persnickety Prints.
I simply used Instaport to download all of my Instagram images into a zipped folder on my computer.
Then I chose which photos I wanted to print and put them into an album over on the Persnickety Prints site.
Next, I selected my paper preference.
When you are ready to order they give you the most popular printing options, but you can also click on "order with more options" and all of their additional sizes and shapes will pop up for you to choose from.
what the "more options" page will look like
There are LOTS of different styles, sizes and paper finishes to chose from. Don't get overwhelmed. Typically if you go with photographic paper or card stock (glossy or matte) you'll be just fine. There are even very specific Instagram printing options to choose from right in that "size" drop down bar!
After that, I sent over my order and I was done! Easy peazy.
You guys, I know I'm local, but not even three full days later, my prints were in my mailbox! Happy Day!!! I was seriously SHOCKED. They were packaged up nice and tight and I kid you not... the BEST quality photos EVER! The colors were clear and bright and the spacing around the edges were perfect! I was seriously impressed.
Luckily, right now Persnickety Prints is offering a FAB discount on any Instagram print order too.
Free (U.S.) Shipping on any Instagram order of $25 or more.
Use code: instaship4 at checkout
Expires: April 30th
I know that a lot of you have some hesitation about ordering things online (as do I) so I thought I'd show you a few sizes and styles that I've ordered my Instagram prints in, so that you could get a better idea of what you might want to purchase, if you decide to use Persnickety Prints too!
First, here are the sizes of prints that I like the best.
The 4 inch prints fit really nicely into my Insta-Life album and the 2 and 3 inch prints are PERFECT for Smashbooking or giving away to friends. I always get more than one copy of photos that include friends, because they're fun to surprise people with. Who doesn't love a picture of themselves with the people they love!?
I was a little confused when I ordered my 2 inch prints because they came the same size as the 3 inch ones, but later, Chari (who owns Persnickety) explained to me that their professional machines can only print and cut so small, without loosing the tiny little photos, so they have to include an extra little frame around them.
I really like the chunky frame, but I also like the prints on their own as well, so I just simply used my paper trimmer and trimmed the white edges off for the specific photos that I wanted really teeny-tiny.
All of those photo examples above are printed on cardstock; a thicker, heavier weight medium.
The photos below, are all printed on photographic paper. (essentially the same sort of material that you'd typically find most photos printed on) but Persnickety's prints are waterproof and the ink doesn't run or bleed. It's almost like the photos are shellaced or something. ha!
This next photo may be unnecessary, but here's a visual below of the gloss vs. matte photographic paper. As you can see, the reflection from the light is different on each. I don't prefer one over the other, I just get whichever I need for the specific project I'm using them for.
These last examples were really hard to photograph, but I still wanted to show you.
The left side shows a couple of metallic photographic prints. Again, it's hard to tell, but OH MAN, the metallic paper from Persnickety is AWESOME! The best way I can explain it, is to compare it to the way gasoline looks on the blacktop when it spills. It has this prism, rainbow effect when you move the picture back and forth under the light that's TOTALLY cool!
The other paper medium I love is pearl cardstock. The example below is a bad one, in the sense that the actual photo itself is really overexposed... but the paper it's printed on is this really pretty, almost crystal-ish looking material that just makes every photo appear lush and glamorous. And if I were going to attempt to compare it to something... I would say it's much like Edward Cullen's skin from Twilight when he steps into the sun.
Weird comparison? ...yes... but it's true, and the only close thing that I could liken it to. eep!
Really, when all is said and done, I've found that Persnickety Prints really just has the BEST photos and their customer service is stellar! Whenever I've sent in an order that may have questionable images (due to the bleed on the edges or something) they always call or email to make suggestions for the best quality print, before they do anything. I love that, because if I'm paying money for something nice, I want it to look perfect!
Ooo, and just a quick side note, I've been a little swamped with SNAP conference planning this week and TOTALLY forgot to print off my business cards, but thanks to Chari and her team, all I had to do was walk in with my design file on a jump drive, pick my paper and they printed them right out!
I took this picture as they came hot off the press... because I'm a nerdy blogger like that.
With some rounded corners I added and my little "Awesomer" button I designed, these are going to be a hit! Now I just hope that people actually FEEL like they're "Awesomer" and wear these on their lanyards.
I'll be MIA the rest of the week from blogging, but will have TONS of Instagram photos to share from the SNAP creative conference each day on our Instagram feed I'm sure; so if you want to stay updated on any of those, just find us under our Instagram username: @houseofsmiths.
I'll also be teaching an Instagram class at the conference, and made these fun buttons for the graduates. Don't worry, I'll make sure to blog all about it, for those of you who aren't going to be there, so you can get in on all of the tips and tricks too!
Have a great week!