So you want to free your holiday photos from your smartphone and into the real world? Instagram users have choices when it comes to photo printing. Forget regular rectangular prints, creative professionals and amateurs can take advantage of square format products that make the most of their retro-style shots.
The first thing you’ll need are great photos, of course. Famous landmarks, pictures of family parties, and selfies are all perfectly valid choices. Get creative with your Instagram filters, then use these sites to create analogue versions of your favourite retro-digital shots and travel souvenir photos.
There are lots of photo printing services on the web. In our experience, Photobox is one of the better ones. It offers a good range of products, including 5″ x 5″ Instagram printouts, photo blocks and coasters, and quality is consistently very good.
While its web interface is clumsy, it’s nowhere near as bad as some of its competitiors’ efforts. But there’s an even better way to print out your most creative Instagram shots. Use the Photobox iOS app to automatically download your photostream from Instagram, then order directly from your phone. Just remember delivery costs extra.
Give your Instagram photos an added twist by ordering Polaroid-style hard copies from Polargram. The company places each shot into a white frame measuring 10.5 x 8.5 cm.
Polargram has a minimum order of 12 prints, but delivery is free in the UK. The website’s FAQ and Contact links are the wrong way round, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but the results look good – providing you can cope with the fact that it’s just a square photo in a fancy frame.
Printstagram offers simple Instagram prints aimed at creative people who want something a little classier than the average photo site. It’s run by Social Print Studio, a company that also makes unusual accessories, ideal for dressing up a creative workspace.
On Printstagram, you can create prints, cards, books and more on the web or using the iOS app. If you just need a pack of photos, try Print Studio’s prints in four sizes – two square, two rectangular – all with a minimum order of 48. The company has another arm, BluePrints, for Facebook snaps. Phew.
From Photobox comes Stickygram, an offshot site dedicated to printing your Instagram shots on magnets and Apple device cases. Bizarrely, you can’t print on stickers at all. The website is based in the UK, but in an affront to its home-grown customers, all pricing is in US dollars.
Stickygram is more stylish and well designed than Photobox; it’s a shame the company can’t invest some time into developing its main website as well. The products are good quality but the range is very limited and the iPad cases certainly aren’t cheap.
Bored with box frames? Peeved with all of these prints? Try Boomf: your Instagram shots printed onto fully edible marshmallows. Each order ships as a box of nine 4cm x 4cm sweets. This is another project from the brains behind Photobox, yet it’s not linked from the main site at the moment.
Boomf ships internationally, and the marshmallows are affordable: £12 for 9, including postage, which is fine as a gift or novelty. Beware that its marshmallows are not halal, kosher or vegetarian; a real shame, since vegetarian marshmallows would be really easy to make.
Ready to Print?
Print your favourite snaps and get creative. From phone cases to fridge magnets, creating ‘hard’ (or edible) versions of your Instagram snaps is a great way to experiment with your best shots.