I think it’s pretty well-established here that I’m a big fan of iPhoneography. That convenient little device you carry with you everywhere is capable of producing some truly spectacular images. But one of the questions I get asked most often is: what should I do with all those iPhone photos? Today I’m going to share some of my favorite ways to get your best iPhone pics off of your phone and into your hands. Let’s start small and work our way up:
1. Turn your Instagram photos into magnets with Stickygram.
These cute little magnets, each about 2-inches square, are a fun, unique way to display your favorite Instagram images. And they make a great gift, especially for grandparents! I got my mom a set for Christmas last year that were all pics of Quinn, and she loves them.
(Not using Instagram, but want to order some of these products that use only Instagram photos? Just download the app and create an account, and if you’d rather not share your photos with the public, turn on the “posts are private” toggle in the “edit profile” settings.)
To make your own magnets, just head to the Stickygram website from your desktop or laptop computer, follow the prompts to connect your Instagram account, and then choose the Instagram images you want made into magnets. A sheet of nine magnets runs $14.99, and shipping is free–but you can get $2 off your first Stickygram order with this code: FRIENDDQ45.
I keep my Stickygram magnets on the refrigerator.
Print quality rating: 3/5
2. Get tiny photo books from Printstagram.
Printstagram is a service that offers quite a few fun options for bringing your Instagram photos to life: posters, stickers, calendars, greeting cards, regular ol’ prints–but my favorite product are their minibooks.
For just $12 (plus $7 for USA shipping) you get two 50-page spiral-bound photo books featuring your 100 favorite Instagram images. The books are about 3.5 x 2.5 inches and the photos are printed on glossy cardstock. The print quality of the minibooks is very good, but unfortunately you can’t control the order in which your images are printed and bound.
I’ve ordered two sets of minibooks to date: one of the images from our trip to NYC, and one an assortment of my favorite Instagram images. I love flipping through them to be reminded of all the random, everyday moments I’ve captured with my iPhone. It’s like seeing your Instagram feed in the flesh! And my kid loves the minibooks too–they’re the perfect size for little hands. But just know that the pages will not withstand teething babies! Check out the corners of the book on the top left…
If you want to order the minibooks or any of Printstagram’s other “specialty” products, you’ll have to do so from their website on your desktop or laptop computer. But Printstagram does have an app that you can use to order loose prints straight from your iPhone. There are four print sizes available: mini squares (2-3/8 x 2-3/8 inches), squares (4×4 inches), mini prints (2-1/8 x 3-3/8 inches), and mighty prints (4×6 inches). They’re all printed on matte paper with a white border, but be warned: it’s not standard photo paper like you’d expect from a regular photo lab. It’s perhaps a bit thicker, and seems to me to have a bit of a film over the surface. But they’re still nice prints and the print quality is very good.
Print quality: 4/5
3. Have them printed like old Polaroids by Printic.
Printic does one thing and does it well: pretty, 3×4-inch prints with a white Polaroid-style border. But the genius of Printic is three-fold: first, you order the prints directly from your iPhone through the Printic app–so it’s incredibly convenient. Second, you can choose images straight from your phone’s photo library–no Instagram account required. And third, you can direct Printic to send your prints to anyone in the world! That’s my favorite feature–perfect for sending photos of the kiddos to a long-distance grandma and grandpa. And they arrive in Printic’s signature orange envelope:
They’re printed on glossy photo paper, the kind you’re used to, and the print quality is outstanding. And now you can even add captions to your photos. Each print costs $0.99 (there is a 3-print minimum), and shipping is free worldwide.
Full disclosure: I’ve recently been having a problem with the Printic app crashing whenever I try to add recipients for my prints, but the Printic staff has been responsive and is working with me to solve the problem. I hope the app works for you, because these are a really lovely product.
Print quality: 5/5
4. Print them the old-fashioned way with Mpix.
Sometimes you just want plain ol’ prints in standard sizes, and for that, Mpix is my go-to. In fact, MPix (a branch of Miller’s Professional Imaging) is the lab I recommend to my photography clients who want to order their own prints from my high-resolution files because Mpix prints are markedly better quality than those from Walgreens and the like.
But now, Mpix has made it almost criminally easy to get affordable prints of your favorite iPhone images delivered straight to your door with their Mpix Tap to Print app. It allows you to order prints from Instagram, Facebook, or directly from your iPhone photo library in all your standard print sizes: 4×4, 4×6, 5×5, 5×7 and on up all way to 16×20. The smallest prints start at just $0.29 each and come in a matte or pearl finish (though pearl is pricier). Shipping costs around $3.95.
As with all standard prints, you can use them for scrapbooks, display them in frames… I even hang them on the walls with washi tape:
Print quality: 5/5
5. Put them in a postcard and send to a friend with Postagram, Red Stamp, or Ink.
Sometimes I like to send Quinn’s out-of-town grandparents and great-grandparents a card with a recent picture of the little dude. For that, I turn to my Postagram, Red Stamp, or Ink apps. All three allow you to customize a card straight from your iPhone, and then they take care of printing and mailing the card to your recipients. It couldn’t be easier.
Postagram–the black postcard on the right–prints your message on the left side of the postcard, and on the right a small square photo that the recipient can pop out of the postcard. No frills, but a nice way to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. Postagram can use photos from your iPhone photo library, Facebook, or Instagram, and they cost $0.99 each to print and send.
Red Stamp–used to create the Easter and Halloween cards in the center–offers a ton of card templates for every occasion you can imagine. Not all of them are designed for photos, but many are, and the Red Stamp app allows you to add photos from your iPhone photo library, Facebook, or Instagram. Once you finish customizing your card, there are a number of different delivery options: you can send it via text message or e-mail, or post it on Facebook or Twitter, all for free. Additionally, you can turn your design into a paper postcard that Red Stamp will print and send for you. The cards are 4×6 inches in size, and cost $1.99 for one card, or $1.59 each if you send two or more. I’ve been really happy with the quality of these postcards.
Ink–used to create the two cards on the left–is quite similar to Red Stamp, but paper postcards are the only delivery option. There are hundreds of customizable designs to choose from, and the app can utilize photos from your iPhone photo library, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa. These cards are printed slightly larger–5×7 inches–and cost $1.99 each to print and send. The quality of these cards has been good in my experience, though my Valentine’s card was originally sent out appearing so dark that there must have been a printer malfunction. I notified Ink and they promptly re-printed my cards and sent replacements to all of my recipients at no charge, though by that time, unfortunately, the holiday had passed.
The quality of any of these cards isn’t what you’d expect from a top-notch greeting card specialty company like Minted or TinyPrints, but the convenience of ordering them straight from my iPhone, and the ability to send cards to just one or two recipients, makes up for it.
One final note: being postcards, none of these are sent with envelopes–so they can suffer some damage in transit. They all have a laminated-type finish, however, to minimize scratching and creasing.
Print quality: 3 (Postagram) or 4 (Red Stamp & Ink)/5
6. Order a quick-and-dirty photo book right from your iPhone with Mosaic.
Mosaic is a fun concept that allows you to create a simple, minimalist photo book directly from your iPhone with the easy-to-use Mosaic app: twenty photos, twenty pages, twenty dollars! Can’t beat that for convenience. Just choose your twenty favorite photos from your iPhone photo library or Facebook, drag them into your preferred order, choose a white or black page background, and place your order. For $20, plus tax and shipping, you’ll have one of these lovelies in your hands in just four days:
I made this album with my favorite iPhone photos from our trip to Cozumel last year. The album is 7×7 inches, has a black linen cover, and silky smooth pages. I could wish for a few different cover design options, but you can see where the name “Mosaic” comes from. The best thing about these albums is that you can design one of these bad-boys from your phone in less than five minutes, and get the finished product in your hands while the memories are still fresh in your mind. Like I said, it’s a great concept. Oh yeah, and the print quality is excellent too–best press-printing I’ve seen, in fact.
Print quality: 4.5/5
7. Create a gorgeous album of your best iPhoneography with Artifact Uprising.
Artifact Uprising is a relatively new company that just keeps hitting it out of the park with their fabulous, eco-friendly photo offerings: hardcover and softcover photo books, square prints, wood clipboard calendars, wood blocks that hold loose prints, and–beginning today–postcard packs. Their products are worthy of showcasing even the best professional photography, but I want to focus on their softcover Instagram-friendly photo books, which they market with the tagline, “Off your device, into your life.” Just what we’re after, right?
I absolutely love these 5.5 x 5.5-inch softcover photo albums. As you can see, I’ve used them to document Quinn’s first birthday, our trip to New York, and our most recent vacation in Charleston. The covers are a heavyweight eggshell paper, and the interior pages are 100% recycled and have a nice matte finish. And the price for these beauties is incredible: a 40-page album is just $16.99, plus tax and shipping. Additional pages are just $0.25, and you can fit up to 120 pages in one album. There are pricier 8.5 x 8.5-inch albums available as well.
You must design your photo book online from your desktop or laptop computer–no app yet. So all the image files you plan to use must be transferred to your computer and then uploaded through the design software. There are lovely cover templates and page layouts to choose from, but I have to admit that I find the design software a bit clunky. You can’t go back and add a page between two others, for example–you can only add pages at the end of the book. And I’ve found it takes me quite a bit of time to design my books, usually because I’m using 200 or so photos. But the finished product is definitely worth it.
These softcover photo books are the prettiest, most cost-effective way I’ve found yet to preserve my iPhone photos on paper. We look through ours all the time. In fact, Quinn picked the Charleston album to “read” before his nap today.
Print quality: 4.5/5
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So that’s the rundown of my favorite things to do with my iPhone photos. I hope you’ve seen something you like. Have you discovered other cool products aimed at iPhoneography? Let me know in the comments!