It seems ironic that, since the dawn of the high-resolution smartphone camera, we’re all taking more pictures than ever, and yet doing very little with them— once they hit your social media feed, it’s pretty much end-of-life for most of them. Remember printing photos? I do too— especially how great it is to have a box or an album of them on the coffee table to flip through with friends and family. The ritual of dropping film off at the drugstore is no more, but thankfully, these print services make printing digital pictures as easy as saying “cheese.”
1. Printic — If there’s one piece of analog photography I miss, it’s the Polaroid snapshot, with its white border that was perfect for adding a note before hanging on a bulletin board or sending off to a friend. Printic, an Android and iPhone app, prints photos ($0.99 each, including shipping) from your camera roll, Instagram or Facebook accounts exclusively in retro Polaroid-style. The company requests a minimum of three prints per order, but with the number of photos on my camera roll (thousands!), a minimum order is the least of my problems.
2. Piccolo — Subscription services are my shopping Achilles’ heel (I’m looking at you, Birchbox), and with the number of photos I take every day, Piccolo’s photo printing plans may be one of the most worth-it line items on my credit card statement. Plans start at $10 per month for 20 prints, under a one-year contract. I just link my Facebook and Instagram accounts, then Piccolo sends me a monthly email recounting all the photos I’ve shared so I can pick which ones to print, or (even better!) I have Piccolo select the best prints based on each photo’s social network popularity. Hello?! They’re doing all the work for me! Brilliant. 3. Kindred — The photo world has an overwhelming amount of keepsake book options, so many in fact, that though I always mean to make a vacation book for the grandparents, it just never happens. No more excuses! Kindred is another subscription service that, for $4.95 a month, prints a six-inch square photo book using images uploaded to its Android or iPhone app from a phone’s camera roll or Instagram and Facebook accounts. Like Piccolo, it will send you reminders each month to make a book. For a commitment-phobe, one-off Kindred books are $11.95, shipping and tax included.
4. Print Studio — Use Print Studio’s app to select pictures from your photo album or Instagram account for a gallery-style print on heavy matte paper. The white border prints come in four sizes: mini squares ($15 for 48), 4×4 squares ($12 for 24), mini prints ($15 for 48), and 4×6 prints ($15 for 24). Print Studio is also my new stop for hard-to-frame prints, as 12×12 photos can be expertly framed in a black or white frame for $60. Yes, that is the sound of your holiday gift list being completed.
5. Picplum — As easy as photo printing apps are, my snapshots find themselves in a variety of online homes over time: Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook. Picplum lets me upload photos from almost anywhere they’re hiding. Prints come in 4×4/4×6 ($0.50 each), 5×5/5×7 ($1 each), and 8×10 ($4 each) sizes. Their service make a great hostess gift, and just like my holiday card address solutions, Picplum will send an email on your behalf asking friends to add their addresses to your mailing list. What better way to say thanks for the fun weekend than a stack of pictures of all the good times?