I, like many other 21st century, iPhone owning half-hipsters, am in love with Instagram. While it will never replace the photos taken on my SLR camera, it is certainly a welcome improvement to the sometimes bland and poorly lit images that my iPhone’s regular camera takes.
I’m not really big into using a lot more of the dramatic filters (I mean, has anyone in the history of Instagram EVER used the Kelvin filter?!). Answer:
Sorry, just needed to get that out of my system.
Anyways, few months ago I discovered the website Printstagram. It’s a simple concept: you log-in to your Instagram account through the site and then you can print your photos in a variety of forms, from posters to photo books to stickers.
A number of times I would log onto Printstagram, carefully filling up my digital cart with photo goods, only to forget about the screen, and mindlessly press “Command Q” on my Mac, flushing my progress into an online dumpster. I finally decided I would get serious about my order, mostly because I had been inspired as to two ways I could put the final prints to actual use. They are as follows:
1. Print photos of Norbert.
You know Norb. He’s that adorable ball of non-allergenic fluff (thank goodness) that shows up on every blog post and social media site I have. My Instagram feed was barely tolerable before I moved in with Jen, Ian, and Norb, what with all the food photography I posted. But then I added cats. And the Internet sang and the prophecy guiding me towards the destiny of “worst online person ever” was fullfilled. Now, Norbert has become the primary subject of my Instagram photos. It’s Norbert crouching next to our orchid plant this and Norbert cuddling beneath blankets that, and Norbert giving the camera a look that balances both cuteness and mischief.
So when I saw that Printstagram could create stickers out of my Instagram photos, I knew it must be done. My original intent was to print a bunch of them (I believe there’s 250 in a pack for $10) and stick them in random places around the house for Jen and Ian to find and subsequently “oooohhh” and “awwww” over. That changed as soon as I got the stickers in the mail. I’m bad at containing my excitement for things, and immediately ran across the newsroom to show Jen what I had done. Like a kid handing out high fives, I went around and gave cute Norbert stickers to a number of my other cat-loving co-workers, thereby convincing one of them that she wanted to print her own stickers of her cat, Murphy. See what I’ve done?
And, since 250 stickers is a lot to have made of just one little feline, I also sticker-ized some other images… from scenes of my outdoor explorations, to cute photos of my family, to a shot of the massive snowbank that once threatened to take over the front door of CBC.
Since printing, these stickers have been sent across Canada (to Jen and Ian’s families in B.C.) and across the world (where Ariel and Natalie now have a good collection of cat stickers to hang up around their London flat). While the edges of the stickers cut off a bit of the image, I couldn’t be happier with the result of a $10 purchase. I’ve already started to brainstorm a whole series of ways these could be used for future projects.
2. Print photo cards of my two-years-ago European travels
One of the things I hate about iPhone photos (or any digital photos for that matter) is my tendency to never ever print them. So they sit on my computer (or even worse, on a gigantic external hard drive packed away in my closet), only to be scrolled through on occasion, rather than admired in a frame or photo album. I had a bunch of Instagram shots I had taken while travelling across Europe with my friend Gord two summers ago. These were photos I loved – ones of all those key destinations: the Eiffel Tower as shot from Sacré Couer, a night market on the bank of the Tiber River in Rome, looking down on the mismatched roofs of Florence, à la Assassin’s Creed. Printstagram printed 24 for me for $12. They are now strung up on some photo wire on the last spare wall space I have in my bedroom.
Yikes, is it time to move out when you have too much art to fit in your bedroom? One day my apartment will be filled with well-placed do-dads, framed prints, and my ever-expanding art postcard collection. Also: I’ve stopped hanging things up with tacks – that means I’m a grown up, right?