Wednesday, 17 April 2013


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If you are like most of the people I know, you are probably totally into Instagram now. Am I right? Haha Instagram has grown to become like the go-to platform for everyone's day to day pictures. I love Instagram and having my photos up in my account, but lets take it to the next level shall we?

I love the filters and how they make my photos look so sweet, but in Instagram photos are cropped to a square. I have always found that an issue because what if I wanted to print them out? I would have to open my photo editor, arrange and fit them onto a 4R photo size (and they wouldn't even fit well), before I can get it printed. So that was quite annoying.

So into the market steps Portagram. I've long read about cool online printing services in the US that allow you to print out your Instagram photos, but this is so far the first time I've heard of such a service in Singapore so naturally I was psyched!

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On Portagram, you sign in with your Instagram account, choose your photos, pay for them, and they will send the prints directly to your house! How convenient is that? You have to purchase your photos in sets of 12 (per "roll of film"). One set is USD6 (with free shipping!) but more often than not Portagram has some pretty neat discounts up on their Facebook page. Not only is it convenient, the quality is pretty good too! All photos are 3"x3", printed on paper that is thicker than usual (300gsm), and you can even choose what type of paper and printing style you want! Theres Standard (Vintage), Classic (Glossy) and Premium (Pearl Shine). I've only tried 2 types so here's my opinion!

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I tried Premium on my first roll and Classic on another 3 rolls (they had 50% off at that time) so here's the same picture on each type of paper. On the left is the Premium Pearl Shine paper and on the Right is the Classic Glossy paper. As you can see the same B&W photo photo came out slightly tinted with the Premium print. In fact the photos in that stack had similar colour changes, so I'm not sure if their intention is to add a vintage effect to the Premium print as well. But I'm definitely liking the Classic prints' colours more. 

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It isn't very clear here but I wanted to show you the pearl shine effect on the Premium print (left). I would say that the pearl shine paper gives the print a pretty shimmer throughout, but it also makes the image a bit more cloudy, which might not appeal to everybody.

In general the images are not as sharp as when your photo is in Instagram, but this might have to do with the fact that they are not printed on photo paper. The images tend to be more on the pixelated side. But overall, the Classic does pretty well for me; I quite like it. Its a matte print, and the colours come out well. I mainly use Instagram for day to day happenings and not as a main outlet for my photos, so these seem good enough!

Portagram's customer service is also pretty great. Your rolls should reach you in about a week, so if you're in a rush it might not be the thing for you, but if you're printing photos for fun then it won't be a problem. You also do not have to worry about when and whether your prints are going to come! When one of my rolls didn't reach me, they responded to my query and offered me a solution efficiently, so I must say they handle these types of situations well.

Portagram might not become my main printing go-to (because I like to print 4R photos and not all of them are on Instagram), but it'll definitely continue to be a great option! After all, I have more and more Instagram photos every day, and if I start on Project Life, these are the pictures I would want to use. It's super convenient and pretty affordable so I do recommend it! 

If you want to try it out for yourself, Portagram is having a 30% discount on their Facebook page right now! Have fun printing all your Instagram shots! :) Eunice

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