Things to do with your instagrams (part 2)

I posted here a while back about my enthusiasm for instagrams, and mobile phone photography in general. I decided to try out a few of the services I mentioned in that post, because I felt like I needed to do go some way towards creating something tangible out of all of those throwaway images I have amassed.

Here is the first set of instagrams I received from firebox. I was impressed with the service and speed of delivery. The prints have a nice matt finish. They don’t really look or feel like Polaroids, but I guess they are more inspired by Polaroids. They are fun and come in a sweet little pack with a free pen. I’ll definitely use the service again. I think it cost Β£9.99 for 12 prints, which isn’t too bad, but delivery was another Β£3-4 on top of that.

In contrast, I wasn’t so impressed with the postagram service. I ordered a couple of postcards back in March just to see what they were like; one to me and one to my mum’s address. They didn’t show up and I forgot about them. Then I re-ordered them a few weeks ago and they both turned up last week! I’m not sure if mum has got hers yet, though.

I found the website fairly unhelpful in terms of customer service. It was near impossible to find out how to contact someone about the missing postagrams and all I was able to do was re-order (which I had to pay for). I wasn’t that impressed with the size of the image or the quality either (you can pop it out of the postcard), and adding text to the card was difficult. I spent a long time trying to align the words properly and they still came out wrong. I had had an idea to do a little project with some postagrams, but I think I will use the firebox prints instead for this.

The final service I signed up for was instacanvas. Again, I like the idea of it – being able to order canvas prints of your and others’ instagrams from an ‘artists’ website sounds quite cool – but the website is lacking in content and style. It’s easy enough to sign up and navigate (though you have to wait a few weeks for your site to open), but there are pages which aren’t ready yet (like the stats page) and it doesn’t look particularly polished. It feels like a site which is very much a work in progress. To me it seems that there is a lot of hype around these new instagram services and not much (at least yet) to offer.

You can advertise your page with one of their buttons (see my widget on the right hand side under the main blog page) but these don’t look particularly, well, appealing in my opinion. Your photos upload directly from instagram and you can pick and choose which ones go into your gallery, which I like, but in reality what happens is people upload much better images they have taken with their SLRs (probably) to instagram from their computer via their iPhones after they have worked on them in Photoshop or whatever, so you see a lot of images (not all) which really couldn’t have been taken with instagram because they are beyond the capability of instagram, which is fine, of course, but then I wonder what the point of the instagram feed is at all. Most people don’t use the filters (they do have a feeling of uniformity to them), and there are other apps which have better filters and functionality out there. Instagram is starting to feel quite gimmicky; a vehicle for exposure as opposed to a ‘proper’ camera app.

(I know, I know I raved about it before, but hey, I admit I am a fickle creature…)

I haven’t ordered an instacanvas yet so I can’t comment on their quality. I will, but they are quite expensive, and at the moment we can’t hang things on our walls so I’m going to wait until we move.

I really wanted to try the postalpix service, which looks great, but sadly they are not operational as yet in the UK. I hope they get their acts together soon and offer a service to us UK customers as I really like the look of their square prints. Meanwhile, if anyone can recommend to me another service which can produce nice square format prints directly from your phone and/or computer I would love to hear about it!

Anyway, that’s it, for now! I have some ideas floating around of things to do with some of these prints. I will update more soon!

Β© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

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83 Comments on “Things to do with your instagrams (part 2)

  1. Very cool! I wasn’t even aware that these services existed. I love the look of your first set of prints – dreamy! Sometimes I wish I had an iphone…Thanks for exploring and sharing! πŸ™‚

    • yeah they are great things, but there are other phones out there which do much the same thing for much cheaper. I was pleased with the prints and I just got my second set back.

  2. This is really nice πŸ™‚ In my country, people don’t mind the type of filter they get to use with instagram for as long as they can post a picture of their FOOD in Facebook. LOL πŸ™‚

  3. Awesome entry! Congrats on getting FP! πŸ™‚

    Have you tried StickyGram? I’ve been meaning to buy from them. They are Instagram magnets, it’s free shipping worldwide $14.99 per pack of 9.

    • no I haven’t yet. I read about stickygram the other day. I quite like the look of them. That’s a reasonable price too. Thanks!

      • You’re welcome! Hope you visit my site too πŸ™‚ Have a good one!

  4. always wondered what they looked like…but the cost sounds very high, don’t you think, compared to what you can print for yourself? Appreciate the experimentation. thanks :]

  5. great!!… this is new to me, good to find out abt it…. and that first bunch of prints look great… so what exactly r u gna do with them?? may be one can glue magnets on these and stick em on fridge…i can totally picture that whole bunch looking great on the fridge

    • yes I agree it’s so nice to get them made into prints and bring them to life. Thanks for the lovely comment and for the link I will check it out.

  6. Pingback: Things to do with your instagrams (part 2) « Live, Laugh, Love

  7. Very cool to see these images in print format. We are taking so many beautiful images nowadays and most of them never leave the digital screen.

    • It’s so true. I love having them in my hands being able to touch and feel them and look at them in a different way. They’re like a little pack of cards or something.

  8. Thanks for letting us know about these services! ItΒ΄s always good to know what alternatives there are available. Some pictures on Instagram are just too good to stay there. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  9. Just when I think I’ve gotten myself up to date on things! My digital is pro quality and takes great photos, but I do love my IPhone pics too. I have never printed them. You’ve opened a door for me, thank you so much!!!

    • now I would respond something in Spanish (I think?) but sadly I don’t speak Spanish, only Italian. Still I think it’s a nice comment, so thanks πŸ™‚

  10. I am also much of a mobile phone photography enthusiast but sadly I haven’t made much progress. And those prints are just amazing I’d say!

  11. Thanks for posting this! I have been inspired by Instagrams, and have been imagining new ways I can use them.

  12. Really nice post. πŸ™‚ will have to start having a look into some of the sites you have suggested.

  13. Great idea! I really loved how it turned out. I have a love/hate relationship with the instagram app, but you can’t deny that it has some awesome photo filters.

    • I do like the filters, but I find I use them less now I don’t like the ones which are really obvious. There are other apps which have cool filters too. I really like vintage camera, for instance. Instagram seems to stick with most people, though. The square format is what I really like, but I still always take the picture in my phone’s camera first and then upload it to instagram.

  14. Ooh! 96 likes!! Great post as always, jealous πŸ˜‰ x

  15. The firebox package of your instagram pictures was cool. I think I’ll tell my brother about this service since he loves the app and has used those pictures for other things before. I’m glad we can benefit from your research. πŸ™‚

  16. I’ve been thinking for a while that I might have some of my instagram photos printed, but I was a bit worried about what the quality would be like.It looks like they turn out alright so I think I will definitely get some printed now. Thanks!

  17. I’m so intrigue about this instagram thing i saw mostly in facebook images. Maybe i’ll join in later and make use of it.

  18. Great article. I have been using instragram for about 2 months now and I did not now this service existed or I just did not care as long as I can post my pictures and when people liked it, I am happy πŸ™‚

  19. Great post! As another commenter said, I had no idea those programs existed. There has been a ton of hype around Instagram lately…the people that I know that use it though, aren’t the most photo-savvy…

  20. This is really great – I’m loving instagram as of late and will try firebox as per your recommendation (hope they ship to Canada). Thanks so much for posting this! x, Mel

    PS. I’m also going to see if I can follow you:)

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