Like anyone else, I’m a bit of an amateur photography enthusiast. I’m all about getting those angles, the right lighting and taking a really gorgeous picture – even if it’s only from my phone. I love capturing those moments where someone is mid-laugh or gazing at a stunning sunset, or just looking really authentically themselves in the moment. There’s nothing better than a candid picture of someone you love.
But after I capture that perfect photo, it ends up just tucked away on my phone.
Sure, maybe it goes up on Instagram, or I scroll through my gallery occasionally to have a look through some of my better ones, but for the most part, they don’t see the light of day. I think it’s been about two years since I’ve printed photo, so there’s years’ worth of memories and moments and people just hidden away in phone gallery.
So getting to try the instax link WIDE printer was a really exciting and creative experience for me! I’m not the most technologically literate person in the world, so I was a little hesitant about setting it all up myself, but I was bowled over by how easy it was to use and how stunning the prints were when they came out!
The printer itself is super compact and user friendly. It’s super light at just over 300g and can be brought along with you wherever you go really. Once you charge it, you simply slot your film pack (which contains 10 pieces of film) into the printer itself and switch it on. You then download the instax link WIDE app (make sure it’s the wide app, not the mini or square, as those have different formats and will distort your picture) which is just like the photo editing app in your gallery.
The Bluetooth linked up to the printer right away and then I simply had to select a picture to print. I chose one of a recent holiday to Rome in front of the Colosseum which had lots of background detail, because I was curious to see what the quality of the picture would be like when it was shrunk down for the wide frame. I could then adjust the lighting, apply the rich filter which did a little tweaking of the colours, saturation and sharpness of the image and then literally just had to press the print button.
When I think of using printers, I think of frustration, things not connecting properly, images coming out distorted and strange…basically, I dread when I have to print something. But this picture was printed from my phone into my hand in 10 seconds flat.
I was a little confused at first, because it seemed to have come out blank, but then I could see the photo slowly developing and within 5 minutes, I had the clearest, most detailed photo you could ask for. It was like I was right back in Rome staring at the stunning scenery and incredible ruins! Absolutely crustal clear with the perfect balance of colour and sharpness, it still had that lovely film effect that your phone’s digital pictures just don’t quite capture.
You can adjust the image in the app however you’d like. I printed a few in black and white, but you can also use a sepia tone so everything looks vintage or you can have a softer look with the natural filter. You can also add in some really cool features, like a QR code. So if you’re gifting a picture to a friend, you can record a message in it that they can hear when they use the code – like you’re favourite catchphrases! You can add in emojis and captions and frames – however creative you can get, the app can keep up!
The photo was also a lovely size, like it could fit in your wallet, but also wouldn’t get lost if you were to frame it or pop it up on your wall. It had a cool vintage-y feel to it that I loved it’s definitely perfect for travel photos. I think the handiest thing is that there’s no big long set up – you literally just need the phone, the app and Bluetooth and you’re ready to go, which is great for someone like me who isn’t at professional photography levels, but loves to take cool pictures of my own on my phone. Of course, you can also print straight from your Fijifilm X-S10 camera too if you want to.
I’ll definitely be gifting these this Christmas, because they’re so cute and a lovely way for people to actually use and see their photos rather than just forgetting about them. The instax Link WIDE smartphone printer is available in two colours, Ash White and Mocha Gray, and is available for purchase at €150.00 and their Black instant film (which is a gorgeous contrasting frame to your picture) includes 10 pieces of film per pack and comes in at about €11.50. For more info on the printer and to see where to buy it, check out their site, here and check out their tutorial video below!