Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oh, hello!

I used to be a far more prolific blogger - not that I was ever the post-a-day type, but definitely more than once every 7 months. Ah well.

Life changes.

It feels somewhat silly to point that out, but as I think about it, it feels almost profound. (Almost - and probably because, at the moment, it's a quiet Sunday morning with just me and my thoughts.)

Anyway, I just got the Blogger app so I thought I'd give it a try. Maybe you'll hear more from me in the near future...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Printing Instagram Photos

For my 31st birthday, I finally got an iPhone!

...waaaaaay back at the end of November (yes, long time, no blog, blah blah blah...), John and I both needed new phones (I was being very vocal about this - he acted like he didn't care, but I knew he didn't really like having a phone with a cracked screen) so off we went to the Sprint store.  A couple hours and a brand new family plan later, I was the very happy owner of an iPhone 4S (John traded his iPhone in for a Samsung Galaxy.)

One of the first apps I got (and the point of this blog post) was Instagram.  I love the way the filters make my random photos look "artsy" and I love the square shape and I love the frames it adds.  The online sharing is pretty cool, but I just love an envelope full of freshly printed physical prints

I was not interested in doing any extra work in PhotoShop (that would be pretty much the opposite of what I love about Instagram) and I did not want to deal with printing them at home (I don't even have a photo printer at the moment and I know I'd be very greedy with my ink if I did).

I just wanted a quick, easy, inexpensive way to print the square-shaped photos as-is.

I know there are sites that specialize in printing Instagram photos, but the ones I looked at seemed a little pricey and I worried I'd be way too impatient waiting for them to arrive.  The solution was actually very simple and familiar:  Shutterfly!

The Process

Instagram gives me the option to post every picture I share to Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr (among other social networking sites that I don't use) - I post a select few on Facebook and Twitter, but they all go to Flickr.

Then, since Shutterfly isn't linked to Flickr, I downloaded my entire Instagram album using the free version of Bulkr. It is super fast and super easy!

Next, I uploaded the entire folder to Shutterfly (just like normal...) and edited each one to ensure I'd get my beloved square-shape.  I guess this is the most time consuming part, but I like to print photos fairly often and typically at least review each one before printing anyway (I don't trust their "smart cropping" at all!)  Here's what I did:

1.  Log in to Shutterfly

2.  Go to "My Pictures"

3.  Go to my Instagram album and select all

4.  Edit > Crop

5.  Select the "Custom Crop tool" and crop as a square

6.  Add a border - I often prefer the black background, but sometimes white looks better - I decide one-by-one, but it does give you the option to apply the same border to all your pictures if you want to save some time (you still have to crop them to the square shape, though.)

7.  Add to cart - I always choose "matte" paper (personal preference)

That's it - easy-peasy, huh?  They look pretty awesome too -

You can follow me on Instagram as bc7ate9 or find me on Flickr as amy_jane!