There are boatloads of ways to print Instagram photos – from cheap to pricey, from easy to a pain in the butt – and not all of them good. Even with so many options, it’s surprisingly hard to find ways to print Instagram photos that are decent quality, don’t cost a fortune, and are quickly delivered into your hot little hands . So I printed Instagram Photos from several popular companies to find the best combination of quality, convenience, and cost. Find out which 5 made the cut.
When I ordered several prints for my Instagram Photo Wall Collage as part of my travel gallery wall, I discovered boatloads of ways to print Instagram photos – from cheap to pricey, from easy to a real pain the butt – and not all of them good. Since I knew I’d be ordering more prints in the future, I was looking for a go-to place to print Instagram photos that were decent quality, didn’t cost a fortune, and were in my hands quickly so I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel each time I ordered more. And speaking of time (or lack of it), I also wanted to print Instagram photos directly from my phone.
Should be a slam dunk, right? I mean, we’re not moving plutonium here, we’re printing Instagram photos for gawd’s sake.
But like most things, there’s more to it than meets the eye. If you’ve ever tried to print Instagram photos, you know you could squander a lot of time weeding through all the options out there, and there’s more popping up each day. And who wants to waste time and money on Instagram prints that don’t have the features or quality you’re looking for to begin with? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Except me. So I did the legwork for you and printed Instagram photos from 9 popular companies, hoping to find one with the best combination of quality, convenience, and cost. These were the main features I was looking for:
- The ability to upload photos directly from Instagram.
- A user-friendly app where I could order directly from my phone.
- The option to add a matte finish and a white border.
- The ability to order the standard 4×4″ or 5×5″ size print.
Some of these features may be more important to you than others, but I covered them all equally so you can decide for yourself which is best for your needs. The results were surprising, as you’ll see below:
I ordered from Walgreens and Printicular first because I could pick them up in an hour, and I really wanted to get this whole wall collage thing done. I’ve lumped these two companies together because they both print Instagram photos at your local Walgreens, and they both offer apps that allow you to upload photos directly from Instagram. Neither company offered a matte finish or border, but I plunged ahead. The pictures were ready in an hour as promised, and I eagerly opened the envelope, to find this.
Clearly, they just slap a 4×4″ picture onto 4×6″ photo paper. And the print quality was meh. So, as much as I had high hopes for this option, they were scratched.
This company’s app was very user-friendly, and within minutes, 4×4″ Instagram prints were on their way. I didn’t see an option to order with a matte finish or a border, so I emailed the company in case I was missing anything, and sure enough, it’s not an option at this time.
Hopefully, they add this in the future, because the user experience of their app was refreshing, and the prints I did receive were decent quality.
- Sidenote – see that little white line on the bottom of the bicycle print? That’s because I didn’t crop this photo perfectly square Instagram. Since the app allows you to crop to different dimensions now, you just want to be aware of this when ordering prints with no border – most of the time it shouldn’t be an issue.
I’ve ordered 12×12 prints from them before for other photo projects, and I liked the quality. Their app was not user-friendly at all, but they offered a matte finish, so I plowed ahead. They didn’t allow the option to order prints with a border, although the prints without the border were good quality. The 4×4″ prints came to $.49 each, with $5.00 flat shipping, no matter the quantity.
No border for that price was a deal-breaker for me, but if having a border is not a big deal to you, you may like this option.
I knew they didn’t offer the standard 4×4″ size, but they offered a 5×5″ print instead for $.39 apiece. I was intrigued, so decided to order a few to see how they compared. Their app was not user-friendly at all – in fact, I never got the damn thing to work. But I uploaded Instagram photos to their website fairly easily. If you decide to use a 5×5″ print like this for an Instagram Photo Wall Collage, use a 20×30″ frame instead.
The quality was okay. You can see that they lean towards that fake, over-processed look.
A matte finish was offered, and after uploading photos directly from Instagram on their app, I was able to choose the border (black or white). I selected a .1 inch white border, but there are a few different sizes to choose from . You can also choose to have a caption printed on the back of each print for archiving purposes – Shutterfly was the only company I tested with this feature. And this company always seems to offer discount codes, so after using their current 40% off coupon, the prints came to only $.20 each.
You can print 4×4″ Instagram photos with a matte finish, but there is no option to add borders. However, they advertised on their website that borders and pickup-in-store are “coming soon”, which kept them in the running. The app was fairly user-friendly, and the prints were only $.17 each after using the 60% off coupon code they were advertising at the time.
I was surprised by Walmart’s photo print services. You can print 4×4″ Instagram photos with a matte finish, a border (black or white), AND you can pick them up in the store in as little as an hour. The photo paper was flimsy and the quality was not as good as some of the others, but depending on your project, it may be fine for your needs. the downside is that you can’t print Instagram Photos from their app, and their website is not intuitive.
But for $.19 per print that can be picked up in an hour, you may find that it’s worth a little extra butt pain.
These prints are the most expensive of the bunch at $.88 each for a 5×5″, but they are proof that you get what you pay for. The prints are true archival quality on super-thick cardstock, and gorgeous. And big. I mean, I’ve never ordered prints this nice. In fact, I’m thinking of starting another Instagram Photo Wall Collage in a 20×30″ frame just so I can use these (I ordered 25!). Or maybe use them as gift tags, or cards. Something, because these suckers are too nice to be thrown in an album. Their app was also a breeze to use and included the ability to pay with Apple IPay.
If you are looking for the highest quality and the price doesn’t scare you away, go with Artifact Uprising – you won’t be disappointed!
Like Artifact Uprising, Social Print Studio takes printing Instagram photos to the next level. They treat it like an art form, delivering archival prints that are extremely high-quality and can be ordered directly from their user-friendly app at $.50 each for the 4×4″ size, with the ability to pay with Apple IPay. Social Print Studio sits in that sweet spot of providing high-quality Instagram prints for a reasonable price. This ultimately became my go-to company to print Instagram photos for my 16×20″ Instagram Photo Wall Collage.
Whew! Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to go through all that butt pain?
Is your head spinning?
Don’t fret, bubeleh – I’ve narrowed it down to these 5 companies that made the cut:
So, now you have no excuse to start printing your own awesome Instagram photos! Have you used any of these top 5 companies? Have you done anything unique with prints of your Instagram photos? Let me know in the comments below!