I have four Instagram accounts.
Yes, four. One, @wedgienet, is my main account for snapshots of my illustration work, arts and crafts, and nice shots of my cats. The second one is a private, personal account for real-life friends where I post random stuff, food, not so nice pictures of my cats, and my travel photos. My third IG account is @pusspins. The fourth is a long-forgotten and abandoned account I created solely for pictures of my cat, Tiger, but I’ve since found out it takes a lot of time and effort to catapult a cat into Internet stardom (LOL).
Between those accounts, I have over 1,700 Instagram photos, none of which I save and backup. I figure it’s “on the cloud” so after I post photos on Instagram, I delete them off my phone. I didn’t think it was a problem– not until I needed to have my photos printed.
I recently got to try printing my Instagram photos via Pixaroll. Pixaroll is a service that lets you print photos from your phone. Just download the free app, select your photos, and pay via Paypal. You’ll get your 4×4 or 4×6-inch photos (depends on the size you set) in the mail afterwards. For a lazy bum like me, I love how convenient it is to do all that even without having to stand up. Hahaha.
As I don’t have any of my original photo files on my phone, I downloaded the Instagram pictures I wanted to print off my account on Webstagram. It’s not high-res, but I thought I’d try and see if it’ll look good as a 4×4 print anyway. I uploaded my relatively low-res travel photos on the Pixaroll app on the App store (also available on Google Play and Windows 8 phone store) and received my prints in the mail from the Pixaroll HQ in Singapore seven days after.
The prints came printed on 190gsm matte photo paper. Remember when we used to have film pictures developed and printed? No? What are you, 11 years old and too young to remember? Anyway, the paper is kind of like that– not thick, but not flimsy either. The print quality is pretty fantastic. I have a graphic design background so I’m more particular than most about things like pixels, resolution, and print quality, but considering I used non-high-res photos to print, Pixaroll passes the test. I still can tell (if I look very closely) that my printed photos were originally low-res, but the difference in quality is negligible. The average person (non-designers and non-professional photographers) probably won’t be able to tell, even.
And the colors! It amazes me that the photos turned out exactly the way they look on my phone– very vivid and saturated, as they were originally. It’s really hard to get colors to print the way they look on screen, so this impressed my inner graphic designer.
I also uploaded several of my 4R and 6R-sized Pusspins illustrations for printing– who says you need to stick to printing just photos?
Again, Pixaroll knocks it out of the park with color matching. The images on top are my digital files. The photo at the bottom is how they came out printed: fabulous! And since I uploaded high-res files this time, I saw just how crisp and clean printing was for these graphics. On a side note, wouldn’t these Pusspins images make great greeting cards for cat lovers? 😛
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with Pixaroll. I love how they’re able to reproduce in print what you see on your screen, and I love the convenience of doing it all straight from your phone. And as an illustrator/designer, my head is just filled with lots of ideas I can use Pixaroll for, beyond just photo keepsakes: wall art, product hang tags (print strips of images in one file, cut up the strips), drink coasters (Mod Podge your images on cork board?)… I can even use these to show around a mini-portfolio of my illustrations. And the price of their prints aren’t bad– a 4R print is $0.39 USD each if you have more than 20 photos printed.
Pixaroll FAQ page: http://pixaroll.com/smile/?page_id=106
Facebook (Philippines): http://www.facebook.com/PixaRoll.PH
Facebook (general): http://www.facebook.com/PixaRoll
[ Full disclosure: I am part of Pixaroll’s Star-Rollers (“a community made up of our customers that love to share their PixaRoll experiences through their crafts”) and received fifteen free prints from Pixaroll to try them out. I ordered five more prints I paid for myself. This is an unbiased review of their service, which I am happy with and see myself using again and again 🙂 ]