I recently visited my friend Dustin at work and, as he perused snaps of potential wedding dresses, he asked “Um…when was your appointment?”. When I told him it had been that past weekend, he looked up with increduility and said, “you’ve taken 2,000 photos since then”. Oops. A serial snapper, I’m known for having my phone attached to my hand at all times…and also have a bit of a reputation for never printing my pics.
Well, the jokes on all of you: I’ve printed dozens of photos in the past week. The best part? I haven’t had to leave my house, upload photos to my computer or buy special paper for my printer to do so. For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Fujifilm instax SHARE smartphone printer and have fallen madly in love with it. Here’s why.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a bit…shall we say…undersized in the height department. My hands have followed suit – my ring is sized to a 5.5! The Fujifilm instax SHARE smartphone printer is just a bit larger than my hand and weighs in at about half a pound. I’m a sucker for all things cute and this diminutive printer is exactly that – tiny, functional and oh so cute. It’s decidedly portable – you could easily pop this into your purse – but its small size also means it can be easily stored.
How it works:
The Fujifilm instax SHARE Smartphone Printer works right out of the box – hooray for instant gratification! All you need to do is download the instax SHARE app (for iPhone & Android), pop in some AA batteries and film and connect your smartphone’s wi-fi to the printer. Set-up takes 5 minutes max, and that’s if you’ve got a slower internet connection.
The printer shows the battery level and number of photos remaining in each pack of film right on the device. There are zero guessing games required.
The dedicated app’s interface is easy to use and intuitive. Users have the option of taking a photo within the app, choosing one from Facebook or Instagram or selecting an image from the phone’s camera roll.
Once a photo’s been chosen, the user can ‘enhance’ the pic with built-in filters or opt to add a variety of pre-set greetings or colour blocks to the photo. Template options include Square (colour blocks and opportunity to add text), Real Time Template (add location, weather, date and time to a photo taken within the last 5 minutes), Limited Edition (print multiples with a special number on each) or SNS (photos pulled from social media, complete with how many likes its received). Click on “connect and print” and the printer will spit out a small, credit card-sized instant photo. Magic!
Square template with text, Real Time Template and SNS (Instagram & Facebook)
A few drawbacks:
I found the quality of the print-outs wasn’t amazing. The ones I printed out didn’t have the crispness I was expecting. In my opinion, this is an alright trade-off for the immediacy as long as you aren’t hoping for professional-quality printouts. They look a bit vintage/retro and that’s fine by me.
I also found connecting to SNS and the real-time photos a bit clumsy. Since you’re attaching your phone’s wi-fi to the printer’s signals to make it function, I found myself constantly switching back and forth between my house’s wi-fi to connect to Instagram/Facebook and then back to the Printer’s wi-fi to print. Since the real-time template requires that you print the photo within 5 minutes of taking it, you’re a bit constrained unless you take a photo and print immediately.
The cost of the prints is a bit prohibitive as well if this is something you plan to use on a daily basis. If you’re mostly planning to use it on special events or whenever the mood strikes, you’d be best to keep a bunch of multi-packs of film purchased in bulk on hand.
For someone who rarely prints photos, I soon found myself with piles of pics. The whole family and my coworkers thought it was pretty cool, too. I love that it combines the immediacy of smartphone photos and social media with a physical printed object. For anyone considering a polaroid-type camera, this is the perfect bridge between having to purchase a whole new device and being able to enjoy the immediacy of instant photographs.
The Fujifilm instax SHARE Smartphone Printer retails for $199.99 (but is currently on sale on Amazon for $164!) and film is available at a cost of about $1 per photo. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves the retro feel of instant photos, crafters & DIYers, new parents…pretty much anyone. It’s a versatile piece of tech that you’ll love and continue to find uses for. This little guy is returning back to Fujifilm soon so I just might have to pick one up of my very own soon.
PS. You can use it to create your own photo booth at parties – it prints doubles! Imagine using it at a wedding…one photo for the guestbook, one photo for the guest.
Fujifilm Instax Share DIY:
Most of my photos are tucked into my mirror in a bit of a retro display, but I decided to capitalize on the timeliness of the photos and pull together a quick DIY photo display for my new desk.
What you’ll need:
– 3 to 5 Fujifilm instax SHARE printed photos
– a frame
– cardstock cut to fit the frame (or the fake photo that comes with it)
– decorative tape
This little DIY is the simplest ever. On a piece of cardstock (or the fake photo that comes with the frame, like I did), arrange 3-5 printed photos. Secure with decorative tape (mine is washi). Pop the finished product into the frame.
The best part about this DIY? Not only are you framing a photo…you can frame multiple from a very recent event with minimal effort![disclaim]This product was provided to me on loan from Fujifilm Canada. As always, I’m sharing this with you because I love it and think you will too! This little guy will be on his way back to Fujifilm soon and yes, I’ll probably be purchasing one for myself shortly thereafter. [/disclaim]