What do you do with all the pictures in your camera roll?
By: Maureen Revait
When the founders of Fun-In-The Box asked me to write this blog I was excited because I too am a firm believer in having physical pictures — tangible memories — to look back on that aren’t lost on some hard drive somewhere or in ‘the cloud’.
I first heard about Chatbooks about a year ago when I saw the Facebook ad with the woman fully clothed in her bathtub trying to wrangle all of her kids. The video is priceless!
Fun-In-The-Box Co-Founder Michelle was excited to partner with Chatbooks for their inaugural Winter Box because she’s been ordering from the company for more than a year now. She started using Chatbooks because she hated the idea of tossing her precious photos into the of abyss of social media, where they would soon be forgotten and never seen again. She liked those tangible memories — something she could hold onto and something she could sit down with her kids and look through. Michelle rarely posted to social media before because she didn’t like the idea of her pictures "just being on the internet.”
I was excited to see what Chatbooks had to offer thanks to this opportunity through Fun-In-The-Box. So, I signed up through an app on my phone and ordered my first book. My concerns were never with Chatbooks itself, but with the quality of pictures taken on my phone. A phone takes great pictures in perfect lighting or when outside during the day, but I can’t depend on it for all the memories I want to capture. Nevertheless, Michelle assured me the quality of the prints within Chatbooks is always spot on.
“The books are great quality. I’ve never had an issue with the quality of the pictures. The app even gives you warnings when it thinks the photo is low resolution. I’ve left those pictures in and they still print pretty good,” says Michelle. “And I love the format of the books. They are a good size and look great sitting out on display. They are not in your face like some of the photo books I’ve seen from other companies.” So, I downloaded the app and got started. It was extremely simple to use. You choose whether you want to start a subscription or start by just printing one book. Then you can choose to select photos from your phone’s camera roll, Instagram, Facebook or Google Photos. You select your photos and they are automatically put in the book with a date stamp on them. You have the option to caption them if you want or the app will take the caption right from Instagram or Facebook.
And that’s it. It really is that simple. As soon as you have at least 30 pages (60 fit in a book) then your photo book is ready to order. Click order, put in your shipping and payment information and wait for your book to arrive. Michelle uses the subscription service and she says it’s so simple because everything is automatic. Every photo she takes on Instagram gets saved to a photobook and when the book is close to completion she gets a notification to look over her book. “It’s a great little surprise. Every few months I get a notification that a book is almost ready to print. And the kids love when they arrive. Last summer we went on a road trip out east, so almost an entire book is from that trip. It’s a great keepsake,” she says.
Michelle also boasts about the company’s customer service. When she first started using the app, she accidentally ordered the same book twice. The company recognized the mistake, sent her both books and credited her account for the mistake. “They were really great to work with. You can tell they really care about their customers,” says Michelle.
The thing I love most about Chatbooks is that it captures and prints those everyday moments. Not just special events or family outings that you bring your camera to but those unpredictable moments that you want to capture and hold onto forever. Those moments when your kid does something adorable or creative and you just pull out your phone because it’s the closest thing to you. Before Chatbooks, those moments would stay on your phone until your storage gets full or be posted on Instagram and then lost on a newsfeed never to be seen again. Now, Chatbooks creates an outlet for all those moments.
When my book arrived in the bright teal package, I was excited to examine the product inside. The pictures looked exactly as they did on my phone. (but bigger of course). They were not pixelated or gariny in any way. I chose the soft cover option and it is a nice car stock thickness and the pictures inside are printed on a sturdy, semi-gloss photo paper.
Ultimately, I would recommend this product to anyone who doesn’t print pictures regularly. Your memories are priceless and deserve so much more than just being saved on your phone or your Instagram account. In 20 years will Instagram even exist anymore? What will happen to your photos when it doesn’t? And when your grandkids ask to see photos of you or their parents growing up will you have something to show them?
Excited to give Chatbooks a try? Want your first book for free? Subscribe to our newsletter at www.fun-in-the-box.com for an exclusive Fun-In-The-Box coupon code. Scroll to bottom of our website, click “Subscribe” and in the Referred by box, type “Chatbooks Blog”. Offer expires October 2018.