This post is brought to you by HP Instant Ink; all opinions are my own.
I have boxes of photos from our life before digital cameras became readily available. They’re unorganized, and I’ve meant to scan and digitalize them for years. But lately I’ve been thinking about all the digital photos I have stored in various places around the web, some forgotten behind passwords and logins set up with emails discarded long ago. They’ve been duplicated, triplicated, and more to be sure they weren’t lost in the crash of a hard drive or an accidental deletion.
But I’m the keeper of the family memories, and no one else knows where to find them. But what will happen to our photo history should I be the first to leave this earth? Would my husband and kids want the photos? Of that, I’m sure. Though they’re men, they all have a nostalgic side, granted not enough of one to pull out pictures and look at them from time to time as I do. But in the event of a life changing event, I know they’d want to refer to them to nudge happier memories of our times together.
But how do I bring a lifetime of memories together into one place? The traditional prints from the 70’s and 80’s that we scraped up change to pay for and the multitude of digital photos that clog my smartphone, camera, and laptop memory. It seems so easy, but there’s a huge time commitment, and that’s one thing I don’t have right now. But I do want start organizing the massive backlog of digital photos so I decide I’d start printing the best of them to create a piece of living art. No, it doesn’t solve my disorganization, but it does get a few of them from my social media feeds into print where we can see and enjoy them while I tackle the larger organizing and archiving of our family’s history.
What’s stopped me in the past was a lack of planning. Printing photos requires photo paper and ink. Sounds easy, right? But I can’t be the only person who gets to the store and stands in front of the ink cartridges wracking my brain trying to remember which printer I have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought home the wrong set and let me tell you, that’s a very expensive mistake.
HP Instant Ink – Never Run Out Again!
Thankfully HP has come up with an excellent option for people who just want to print without having to think about the mechanics of it. They’ve launched HP Instant Ink. It’s a brilliant program that uses an HP Instant Ink compatible printer and a low monthly membership (based on your printing average and starting at $2.99), to deliver ink to you right when you need it. Postage is included in the price, there are no annual fees, and since the cartridges are larger than HP XL ink cartridges, you’ll change them less often.
Plus you’ll be saving up to 50% on your ink, and you’ll never run out again. You’ll be able to print in both color and black for the same low price. Plus you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time – you’re never locked into a plan.
HP Instant Ink: How It Works
You’ll need an eligible printer (see the list below) and a few minutes to sign up online. Once you’ve provided your information (name, address, contact, billing info, etc.) you’ll link your printer to your new HP Instant Ink account. Don’t worry, the online instructions walk you through the set up, so it’s simple. In a few days, you’ll receive an HP Instant Ink Welcome Kit in the mail. As soon as you install the HP Instant Ink cartridges your service begins. Your printer will contact HP when you’re running low on ink, and they’ll send out a new cartridge!
Current HP Instant Ink Compatible Printers include: HP Officejet 4630 Series, HP Officejet 5740 Series, HP Officejet 8040 Series with Neat®, HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series, HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series, HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series, and HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series, HP ENVY 4500 Series, HP ENVY 5530 Series, HP ENVY 5660 Series, and HP ENVY 7640 Series. You can check the list online anytime at HP Instant Ink.
With an HP Instant Ink Compatible Printer and HP Instant Ink Service, you’ll likely never run out of ink again!
HP Social Media Snapshots – Print Your Instagram Photos At Home & Create a Wall of Living Art
I have several photo projects in mind, but I started with a large but simple photo art project for a hallway. Since it’s a narrow hallway that leads to our bedrooms, it’s a busy one, so the art can’t have any depth to it.
I started with an enormous laminated map of the US. I chose a laminated map so it will take the wear and tear of us rubbing up against it now and then when we carry large objects up the stairs. It also means that if I don’t like the layout of the project, I can remove almost anything from it and start again.If you’d prefer a more artistic map, choose one with just the silhouette of states or one printed on a fine parchment paper. Mine is a full- color map with highways, parks, waterways, and more. I love the extra details, and it helps me find the exact location of our travels.
I used HP’s new Social Media Snapshots paper and the coordinating free app to choose photos from my Instagram and Facebook feeds to print. Unfortunately, there isn’t a laptop/desktop version of the app, and my phablet, a Galaxy Note 4 isn’t compatible. Thankfully I also have a Samsung Tab S tablet that is compatible. You may want to verify your device will work with the app by before purchasing the paper.
Creating Prints with HP Social Media Snapshots
Download the HP Social Media Snapshots app from iTunes or the Google Play Store and install it. Once installed, you’ll have a chance to connect the social media accounts that you’d like to use to create prints.
I connected my Instagram account and was disappointed to find that it would only allow me to look at the last 30-days or so of pictures. Unfortunately, the photos I wanted were much older. Next I connected my Facebook account, and since I auto post my Instagram photos to Facebook, the photos I wanted were there and available for me.
I chose a picture to print and took a moment to change the text by removing the hashtags and other unnecessary info. I tried on several of the pre-made photo frames, there are currently approximately 10 frame options, and each comes with a predetermined color, font, and font size. Since these can’t be changed, it limits which frames can be selected for certain photos because the text has to fit.
The app doesn’t allow the removal of the social media icon, the date, or the number of social shares, but I’m OK with that and it doesn’t distract from the purpose I’ll be using the photos for. If it’s a problem for your project, you can cut them off.
Once I was happy with the text and frame, it was time to print. Thankfully printing is easy since my HP Instant Ink compatible printer is available via my Wi-Fi network. I loaded the 4″ x 5″ Social Media Snapshots paper into my 4″ x 6″ tray and selected print. That’s it!
All of the printer settings are pre-loaded by the app so there’s no room for mistakes and no second guessing that could result in wasted paper. The prints are bright, crisp, and as beautiful as the original photo file.
Once I printed all twenty-five pictures I sorted them by location and then I started applying them to the map. Too late I realized I should have been more careful because I damaged a few prints. It was completely my error.
I removed the paper backing to expose the glue while holding a few others photos in the same hand. When my fingers shifted, the exposed glue attached itself to the next photo in the stack. Although I tried to carefully pull the two pictures apart, the glue removed the top layer of paper along with the text from the bottom print. Argh. I don’t know what I was thinking!
I didn’t want to waste the photos, so I cut off the damaged portion with scissors. Initially, I tried decorative scissors, but the plastic backing was still intact and it made a mess of the cutting. I switched to standard scissors for the second print and it worked fine.
I also nearly ruined a third print by digging too deeply into the corner of the print to remove the plastic backing. Instead, I put my fingernail between the two layers of paper. All of the printing mistakes were caused by my operator error.
I continued to apply the photos to the map and realized that a repositionable adhesive would have been a better choice for my project. If I want to move one of the photos, I have to pull off any that are placed on top of it and reprint them all. A minor annoyance, but I’d love to see HP create Social Media Snapshots with repositionable glue. That would open up a whole world of temporary decor options that aren’t possible with this more permanent adhesive.
I’ve run out of HP Social Media Snapshots paper, so I have to stop for the evening. Plus I’ve decided to purchase some large molding with a thin profile to create a framed look that will give my vacation map art a more polished look. I hope to have that done, and more photos printed soon. Then when we have new experiences, like our trip to Hawaii this fall, we can print photos and add them to the map in minutes! Thankfully, with
Thankfully, with HP Instant Ink and my HP Instant Ink Compatible printer, I can create a living piece of art that allows us to capture our travels instantly without worrying about running out of ink. That means I can print new photos until the map disappears beneath a sea of memories!
What would you print if you had the HP Instant Ink service and didn’t have to worry about running out of ink ?