I Ordered Instagram Prints From Walgreens, Here’s What I Thought

So at the end of the year, along with a gift card and a flowery note extolling our gratitude for the fact that she taught 27 Kindergarteners for an entire year while pregnant and wearing four inch heels and without losing her mind, I really wanted to give Eli’s teacher a picture of him reading.  I harbor no illusions that she will keep this picture clutched to her breast for the next 30 years of her teaching career, but you know, she taught the kid to read. I thought it might be nice for her to have a picture demonstrating that fact.

The picture I had was in Instagram and I really thought it would be cute to have it printed out all Instagrammy – square with that white border.  It seemed more “fun inclusion in a card” than a random 4×6. However, school ends next week and I didn’t have time to have the picture printed anywhere online, so I had it printed at Walgreens, because right now I am pretty sure they are the only game in town if you want to print and pick up an Instagram pic in store.

So how does it work?  First, you download the Walgreens photo app onto your phone from the App store.  That was really easy.  Then you open the app, choose “Photo” and then you can either choose photos from your regular Camera Roll on your phone, or you can link to your instagram account and choose photos from your Instagram account. On Twitter, people said that the resolution is higher if you don’t use the Instagram account picture, but that was the only way I could get it to print in the 4×4 size. If I just chose the picture from my camera roll, the app didn’t give me the 4×4 option.

I printed three versions of the same picture to see what I thought.

The first annoying thing is that I had to place two orders.  You can’t order an instagram pic and then order regular 4×6 pics at the same time. Why? I have no idea.

The second annoying thing is that you never get asked anything about the paper, the finish, or borders. I wanted the Instagram pic to have a white border, but there were no border options.  So it’s easy to put in the order, but you get zero choices.

Thirdly, I placed my order at about 3:30.  I was told that the aproximate pick up time for the picture was 4:11, but that I’d get an email letting me know when they were actually ready.  The regular 4×6 prints were ready at about 4:45, but the Instagram pic (remember, I had to place it as a separate order) wasn’t ready until 7:40.  Which, ok, fine, but then don’t give me an estimated time of 4:11, maybe.

So this is, left to right: The regular 4×6 print off my camera roll, the 4×6 of the picture that had been instagrammed but was still in my camera roll, and then the picture that the Walgreens app used straight from my Instagram feed.  Each of the 4×6 pictures was .29 cents, the Instagram pic was .39 cents.

Eli reading2

I am perfectly fine with the quality of these pictures, but I am super annoyed that the Instragram 4×4 doesn’t have the white border. I think to get a white border on the Instagram shot I have to re-Instagram the picture, add a border in Instagram, and then print it again, which 1. I don’t know how to do and 2. would require an additional trip to Walgreens, which is just the dirtiest store and I am not a fan, so in general, I don’t know.   I pretty much am hoping that Target gets on the ball and offers this service soon, and that when they do, they let you add borders when you place your order.

Questions? Holler.

Edited to Add: I figured out how to re instagram the picture, so I am going to add a border and order the picture one more time, just to see if it comes out printed with the border. Will report back.



3 Responses

  1. So I wanted to print off pictures from a jump drive at Walgreen’s because Walgreen’s is the only game in town (unless you want to go to Walmart and I really don’t), but they don’t have USB ports on their machines. WTF?!

    That’s my story about my frustration with printing actual photos.

  2. I have no experience with instagram, so feel unqualified to comment (although: the whole thing sounds annoying), but the picture is ADORABLE. I bet she WILL keep the photo close to her heart for many many years.

  3. Photo printing is one of those things that’s on my list to research but I never quite get around to it. I keep thinking I’ll buy a photo printer, maybe one of those tiny ones that just prints from your phone even. I trek to Walgreens all the damn time.

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