My Photojojo wishlist includes pretty much everything in the store, so I was really excited when they invited me to try out their brand new photo printing app, Parabo Press! I take a ton of iPhone photographs, and I think like a lot of people those photos tend to wind up taking a path from the camera roll on my phone to my computer’s hard drive to an external archive hard drive…and then it’s like they never existed. Sure, some wind up on Instagram, but even that is a sort of ephemeral existence. I need prodding to print a photo. Parabo Press is a good prodding.
The first test print I did was of a photo I took of the staircase at Note Design Studio during my trip to Stockholm last year. I loved this photo before I even took it, and I’ve always thought I’d like to do something with it. iPhone photos aren’t high enough resolution to make large-scale prints at a place like Society6, but for a massive 36×48″ engineer print, the lower resolution is just fine. (The app will tell you whether your resolution is high enough, by the way.)
(Chihuahua provided for scale.)
My second test was a color newsprint. They’re smaller than engineer prints, and the paper is…well, it’s newsprint, obviously. They come folded into quarters, and the printing is lo-fi. The effect is very “flat,” which is appealing to me—it takes the edge off of bright colors, and whites are toned down considerably. I printed one of my #D16tilemadness photos, and I can’t get over how much I love it! It would be cool to order a whole series of my floor tile photos on newsprint and hang ’em all up in a row.
In addition to making prints, Parabo Press also sells simple tools for hanging them. I hung mine with skeleton clips, but they also have pierce-free Pon Pins, metallic mylar tape, and these really nice oak rails, which are kind of a fancy version of the frameless frame I made a couple of years ago.
My third project was a little more involved—an accordion zine with 14 photos! I can’t remember the last time I made a photo album, but it’s something I really would like to start doing more often, particularly after trips. I documented my March trip to Marfa with Daniel. The cover looks like white marble, and the title is stamped on the front with gold foil. Such a nice touch! Seven photos go on each side of the accordion in a variety of formats (landscape, portrait, square). I’m so happy to have this little keepsake from my trip, and a duplicate copy went to Daniel.
My next Parabo Press project is going to be one of these hardcover books collecting photos of Door Sixteen. The cloth covers come in the prettiest colors! I can actually see making one of these annually, collecting favorite photos from the year.
(And after that, there are neon-ink Risograph prints, cute little geometric shape prints, and super Instagram-friendly square prints to try!)
I’m pretty excited about Parabo Press, and they’re not paying me to say this! I am just genuinely excited about having a simple iPhone photo* printing service that makes really nice-looking products. I’m very happy with the results of the products I tried, and I have all kinds of ideas for what to put on paper in the near future. Check out the app, take a look at the website, and see what you think.
*You don’t need to use iPhone photos, of course, but you do need to create your products through the app. If you want to use photos you took with another camera (or if you’re like me and you want to make color adjustments/add texture layers in Photoshop first), just email the photo to yourself, download it to the camera roll on your phone, and knock yourself out.
That’s such a cool idea, especially about making a book each year of your favorite photos. Such a great way to preserve memories.
What an awesome idea. I went right over, but I’m an android person… it’s only for MAC and IPhone, IPads… ::sad face::
An Android version is coming soon, Rosie!
Love it!! Thanks for sharing, Anna! xo
I do like the styling of their products and layouts.
Also just a note because I’m not sure everyone knows this but you can get engineer prints at Staples for as low as $5. And, if you’re not happy for whatever reason they’ll reprint it AND let you keep the less-than-perfect version which comes in handy for wrapping paper or other paper projects.
Thanks for introducing me to this. Can’t wait to try it.
Question about the accordion zine: How does the fold in the page affect the image? (You know how sometimes a fold in the paper can kind of “crack” ) Is it scored well so the ink isn’t affected?
I love how thoughtful this review is. I’m always on the lookout for new printing apps, just downloaded Parabo Press after reading this!
This looks awesome! I’m downloading it right now. I’m due to have a baby this month, and a book would be a really cool way to document his birth!
Thank you for telling me about this. I just played around with the app a little bit and it is so easy and creates really neat looking products. This could be revolutionary for me and the zillions of pictures languishing on my computer. I trust your judgment about the quality of items and services after reading your blog for eight years! I hope you are really well.
I always feel the need to buy everything I see in your posts. I am currently obsessed with that Lolly-slighlty-muted kind of pink and its your fault. Now I can see a new obsession forming. But you are SO right! digital photos have an odd existence. We take a million of them, because we can. Then we forget about them, because they are disposable. We tend to not live-in-the-now because we are busy documenting life on our phones and then never do anything with the ‘evidence.’ I Love the newspaper print. Christmas wrapping paper here we come.
Oh I so love these options, especially that accordion zine to document trips with friends, and the books for documenting home renos, both those ideas are going to the top of my list, thanks Anna!
This is fantastic! Been waiting for an easier way to make low res phone photos tangible without needing to go into Kinkos or printing shops. Thanks for sharing!
Hi, off topic question: Are the posts not coming up chronological anymore? I’m confused…
Hi Ruth, yes, everything is still chronological! You’re commenting on the most recent post right now.