A couple of months ago, the lovely people at Printrbook offered a few bloggers the opportunity of getting a customized book of their own Instagram photos in exchange for a review. I was doing very, very badly at the time, having just gone off antidepressants and not found a place to move yet, and after hitting rock bottom and the memory of having gone through a similar episode having been the one thing that comforted me, I thought: you know what, I need to remind myself that there are people I love, and who love me, and that I’ve made it through worse, and that I’ve come so, so very far.
So the theme of my Printrbook was born: Things That Matter.
And on the first page, as you may expect, is my cat.
But there’s more.
Notes, left-right, top to bottom:
- a photo Annemari took of me on an exhilarating photo walk along the Thames (cover);
- my cat on my bed, on my legs, in April, the month before I moved country;
- Annemari and Ashley lounging on Ashley’s couch in Marylebone & me drinking Starbucks on my bed at the hotel where I roomed with Annemari;
- my feet on the Waterstones carpet & a view of one of my favorite paintings within one of my favorite movements, the Lady of Shallott by Waterhouse at Tate Britain*;
- me drinking coffee at Costa & Annemari laughing about something (probably life) (probably Nick Grimshaw) in our hotel room;
- a glimpse at the Hampstead Green Lanes between Pond Street and Haverstock Hill, where I shot these photos as well as portraits of a temporary flatmate in Hampstead Heath;
- Hampstead Heath on a rare early morning I was up & the cat I took care of in Streatham back in May;
- rock bottom: the day I ugly cried at Victoria Coach Station for hours, juxtaposed with the day I came back to London via the same coach;
- me, taking pictures in Belsize Park — just like the pictures for this collage were taken, only back before I knew I’d end up living here.
* Tate Britain is the museum I planned my first trip to London around, back in 2007. They had a Millais exhibit going that started in late September, so in late September I went. The Eve of St Agnes is my favorite painting of all time, and I don’t say those things lightly. Had no time at all to reacclimatize to Spain before I was in college in Madrid, missing London instead.
As you can see, this was a bit of an emotional purchase for me — I’ve been carrying it around in my bag since I got in July or early August, which is why it’s a bit battered. It’s hard for me to talk about it from a printing viewpoint, as a review, but I’ll try!
The book is small, pocket-sized. I was expecting something bigger and was surprised, but I love that it’s pocket-sized — I love that it barely weighs anything and I can take it anywhere. I found the website really easy to use and create my book through, though part of the ease of use was a lack of options, particularly for designing the cover. The paper is really nice and thick, and the printing quality is not what I’m used to as a photographer, but considering they pull the photos straight from Instagram, I’d say it’s pretty good. I’ve seen worse, I’ll tell you that.
It’s a little treat, not something I’d consider buying for myself since, as you know, I have no disposable income, but I do love having it as a reminder that I am loved and that I am resilient. I also like the idea of giving friends little printrbooks of Instagram photos instead of loose 4×6 sheets that end up inside an envelope in a drawer somewhere accumulating dust. This is truly easy to keep around and I think it’s a really sweet concept with room for improvement on the technical front. In short, for personal use? Yes. If I wanted to sell booklets of my iPhoneography or something? I’d find something else. (And Printrbook doesn’t market itself that way; that’s just me thinking outside the box/inside my box.)
Printrbooks are available to customize and order through their website — just sign in with your Instagram account and the site will guide you through the process of choosing and printing your Instagram photos. The price is £10 for a 50 photo book, and you can get 10% off with the code “LIX10”.
So what do you think? Are you getting one? If you did, what theme would you go with, or what photos do you think would make it into your book?