My Social Print Studio book has arrived!

The whole concept of creating a photobook on your phone would have been mind boggling years ago in the age of mobile flip phones and cordless telephones at home. Now, with our iPhones and other mobile devices being more powerful than our desktop computers of the 80s, we’re almost accustomed to them doing practically anything.

This year I’ll be making more of an effort to print my photos, and having the convenience of doing so on something that’s with you at all times, makes it even easier to do.

Print Studio (Printstagram) by Social Print Studio

When I heard that Social Print Studio (formerly Prinstagram) had recently enabled full bleed printing on their photobooks, I decided to give it a try on my iPhone 6 Plus with the many photos that I’ve been taking this very cold winter season in Toronto.

Their app is free to download and gives you the ability to create beautiful prints, posters, framed prints, and photobooks all with just a few taps on your phone. I have to say, the hard part was choosing which photos to include in my first photobook order from my phone!

As a disclaimer, this review is based on a complimentary copy of my photobook. I didn’t have to do this blog post detailing every step of the process though; it’s just something that I wanted to do to let everybody know what is involved. Don’t let this fool you either—let the product speak for itself.

Read until the end for your chance to win yourself a free photobook courtesy of Social Print Studio.

The Steps

The steps to ordering your photobook from Social Print Studio’s iPhone app is as easy as:

  1. Select Photobook from the main menu
  2. Select 38 photos to include in your 40-page book
  3. Crop and position photos to your liking
  4. Create your cover
  5. Order your photobook
Social Print Studio app

Social Print Studio iOS app

A Few Notes

When you’ re selecting the 38 photos to include in your photobook, make sure you know the order in which you would like your photos within the photobook. Then select the photos in this sequence. You’re not given the option of changing the location of a photo after you’ve imported the photos into the app, except for the one Shuffle button which randomly shuffles the images throughout the book.

After you select your images, you’re given a preview of how each page will look. You can then change the position and/or cropping of the image on each page. Keep in mind though, that these photos will always snap to fit the max. width of the page, so you will not be able to have white borders around your page. For example, when I imported square photos, they stretched to fill the max. width, leaving white borders above and below—although strangely, in some instances, my square photos stretched to fill the entire height of the book too.

Arranging photo positioning and cropping

Arranging photo positioning and cropping

You are limited in terms of how you want your pages to be layed out, but that’s the sacrifice you’ll just have to accept for the sheer convenience of having the ability to order a custom-made book from your phone.

Each page only allows one photo in this app, however if you choose to order a book from your desktop computer, you’ll have the option of selecting either 38 photos or 319 photos for a book with multiple pictures on each page.

The Cover

When choosing your cover, you have a few more choices for its layout, but are still limited to their templates. For the most part though, these templates should suite people’s tastes just fine; they’re modern, stylish, and fun. I would have loved the option to choose additional fonts or add more text to some lines though.

Selecting your cover and text

Selecting your cover and text

The Finale

Apart from completing your purchase, that’s pretty much it. All of your photos are then uploaded to their servers—they suggest having a strong wifi signal for fastest uploads. My 39 photos took about 21min. to upload—most of my photos were high quality. Instagram photos should upload much faster.

Success screen after you have finished your order

Success screen after you have finished your order

Final Thoughts

The tag line on their app says “No Hassle Photo Printing,” and that’s pretty much what this is. At the expense of some creativity along the way, you’re given a simple-to-use, intuitive interface that creates a custom photobook for you.

Being a print designer myself, I love creating my own layouts. But even I have to admit that sometimes it’s quite liberating to have some automation along the way. This process was painless, and if a printed book of your own photos isn’t enough of a reason for you to order a photobook, maybe seeing that Instagram Kitten is! (I have no idea what this is all about, but it gave me a laugh that’s for sure!)

The screen after you have finished your order

The screen after you have finished your order

The Book

The photobook was ordered on Feb. 27, 2015, and came to my door (via FedEx) on March 4, 2015. Now that’s super quick!

The cover of my photobook from Social Print Studio.

The cover of my photobook from Social Print Studio.

The interior of the book looks just as great as the outside does.

Full bleed pages with landscape photos centred on each page.

Full bleed pages with landscape photos centred on each page.

Full bleed pages with portrait oriented photos on each page.

Full bleed pages with portrait oriented photos on each page.

Print sample.

Prints looking good!

The wraparound cover houses two spacers on either side of the book to accommodate the minimum thickness of the spine.

The wraparound cover has two spacers on either side to accommodate the width of each book.

The wraparound cover has two spacers on either side to accommodate the width of each book.

The pages feel smooth, thick, and have a glossy finish to them.

Pages are not thick, have a matte feel to it, but have a glossy finish to them.

Pages are thick, have a smooth feel to it, and have a glossy finish to them.

Book feels nice.

Book feels nice.

Careful not to edit your photos too much (that includes enlarging them!), otherwise it’ll show some signs of it on the print.

Heavily edited photos may show some grain.

Heavily edited photos may show some grain.

The inside covers are lined with a blank sheet of paper to hide the ends of the cover.

The inside covers are lined with a blank sheet of paper to hide the ends of the cover.


Social Print Studio: http://socialprintstudio.com

Print direct from iPhone or Android: http://printstud.io/app

Print your Instagrams: http://printstagr.am

Drag-and-drop your JPEGs: http://printstud.io


Bonus!

Phew! That was a long read! Go pat yourself on the back because you’ve just earned yourself a chance to win a free photobook from Social Print Studio! Yay!

Just leave a comment on this blog telling me what photos you would like to print for your book, and I will hold a random draw on March 24, 2015 for the winner. But remember, you have to leave a comment below, and a way for me to contact you, should you be picked!

Good Luck!

20 replies
  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    Great read Taku! This year I told myself I would print more of my work than just store them away on my hard drives. I’d love to have some of my IG prints printed out in a book like this! Yours look great! I’d love to take a deeper look at it 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  2. Yulia
    Yulia says:

    I was thinking of putting all of my cinematic shots of Toronto together in a little book. Didn’t know that it is so easy with Printstagram! Even if I don’t win anything here, I will most certainly give them a try!)) Thank you, my friend, for posting this – very useful)

  3. Carol
    Carol says:

    Always love ur photos Taku— I felt like I traveled to all these beautiful places flipping through ur albums. Amazing works!! and this seems like a really easy app to use and the book is great quality. ^^

    For me—- my next photo book is def my baby’s 1st photo book! Just can’t stop shooting her — (that is photo shooting of course :P)

  4. Grace
    Grace says:

    Very cool, thanks for the great read! And looks like an outstanding product, your pictures turned out beautifully! If I ever made a book, it would probably be ones of the city (you know where my loyalty lies!) but I’d want little stories to accompany them, lol.
    GC

  5. Ally
    Ally says:

    Taku, great read and good tips for printing photo books.

    I agree that a collection of my low light photos would look great in print. I would probably start however with my desolate moments collection of photos.

  6. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    Looks fantastic Taku! I will definitely do this to create a book of pics of my son. (Don’t let your babies grow up to be jpegs, lol!)

  7. michaelcallejodizon
    michaelcallejodizon says:

    This is the comment I meant to leave here, but I want to reiterate again the awe-inspiring moments I feel looking at your photos. I’d love to get this photo book, but also to meet you one day and share a photography session of our own together. Keep up the amazing work.

    “For a long time, I’ve had this intense fascination for nature and landscapes, especially for waterfalls. I’ve also had a strong wanderlust to travel to Japan because I feel it is a place of ultimate tranquility – cherry blossoms and all. I saw your photo on Top Toronto’s Photo IG feature, and looking at one eventually led me to your blog. I literally went through an hour of your portfolio (especially the photos you took during your trip to Japan), and honestly, your photos are the photos I dream of taking if and when I travel to Japan. You made me feel as if I was on the journey, and I was breathless by the perspectives of every shot. Please, if you could write a blog about how you arranged your trip to Japan (from flights to accommodations), it would provide great help when I plan my own trip to Japan some day. Hope we can meet up and take Instagram photos together around the city one day. I’d love to learn about your story and your inspiration for your photography.”

  8. gabriele
    gabriele says:

    Gabriele @GJJanes
    Very enjoyable read and a wonderful discovery. I have become lazy at printing photos but this app will change that! The first book I want to make will be photos I took this winter – landscapes. And hopefully we can all start taking spring photos soon! I love your work – keep shooting! ????

  9. Helen
    Helen says:

    Very cool!! I would definitely print a book of Algonquin Park. It would be wonderful to flip through pages of the park when I’m city-bound and needing a pick-me-up! Plus, how cool would it be to show people a little piece heaven if they’ve never had the chance to visit themselves?! Thanks for this post and info, Taku! And, of course the chance to win ;o)

  10. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I love this!!! I want one now! So hard to decide on what I would print. I like the idea of having Panama pictures but I haven’t gone out as much… I’m going to count and see if I have 38 pics lol! I love lines and architecture… I’m sure I have enough to choose from. Thanks for the blog!

  11. Helen
    Helen says:

    Awesome, Taku! Your book looks fantastic. Not sure mine would look as great but, of course, I’d love to publish images of my travels.

  12. Jeff Louie
    Jeff Louie says:

    Fine… here’s my comment.

    Maybe I’ll use my Japan shots. From this trip and the last one. Though all the shots in the book are portrait. Most of my shots are landscape. Booo. We don’t have to upload the shots now, do we? Talk to you later.

  13. Jacob
    Jacob says:

    This is such an amazing blog Taku! Ibam so late to the party, but I have to say, I am officially your fan boy! I am available to stand outside your place with a pink neon sign that reads “Taku for President!” or “I *heart* Taku” . Nevertheless, great photo book, it looks perfecto! 🙂

  14. Taku Kumabe
    Taku Kumabe says:

    Thanks for playing along everyone! And many thanks for all your lovely comments! I’ve contacted the winner of this draw so if you didn’t get an email from me, then please try again next time! Thanks everyone!

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