I have loved making photographs for a great many years. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, digital photography and social media, many more people than ever before are taking photographs of themselves and their surroundings but, with a little bit of knowledge and thought, you can make photographs. Ones that you created and are, quite rightly, proud of.
However, most of these images now live only online. I used to produce photo albums of my favourite moments and, even long after I stopped using my analogue cameras, have always adored selecting the best images to hold in my hands or to frame. I’ve used photo print services to produce photobooks, greetings cards or novelties like fridge magnets but they always seem to be overpriced or lacking a certain something when the goods arrive, so I just… stopped.
That all changed when I was contacted by Cheerz, asking if I’d like to review their products. Tempted by their bright cheerful Moo-like website, I said “yes please!” and decided to order a pack of strips – like you used to get from the old passport photobooths – and a poster. Although I could have downloaded the Cheerz app to place my order, I decided to order via their website using my laptop, with my feet up and a cup of tea, as I knew it would take me a while to choose which images to print!
The process is really simple and quite fun. Once you’ve selected your product, you can either upload photos or select them from your Instagram, Facebook or Google+ account. Cheerz tells you how many photos you need to choose for the product you’ve selected, and I spent ages selecting and de-selecting images from my Instagram feed until I had just the right combination. For the strips, you can choose the background colour and add text at the bottom of each one. For the poster, you can choose the orientation (landscape or portrait) and rearrange your photos to find the perfect combination.
You get a pretty good idea of how your product is going to look before you place your order, and I was impressed that I got a message the next day to say that my order had been printed. As Cheerz is not based in the UK, I had to wait a few days for delivery, but it was definitely worth the wait! The strips arrived beautifully packaged (in an envelope that reminded me of the wallets I used to pick up my prints in from Truprint in the 90s) and with a cute fridge magnet and a sachet of iced tea mix. The poster was safely packaged in a hard wearing tube and both products are printed in excellent quality on wonderfully thick satisfying glossy paper.
The main thing that struck me about the whole experience – from using their website to select my photos, through to unrolling my poster – was just how much it made me smile. In a week where some truly awful things have been in the news, I am reminded that looking through old photos can be a source of much needed joy. Re-living the year I spent snapping Tube roundels during my everyday journeys across London has resulted in a rather pleasing poster, and many happy moments are now proving to be happy all over again in their bookmark sized paper form.
Buy them for yourself or buy them as a gift, but definitely buy them. You won’t regret it!
DISCLOSURE: I was sent the photo strips and poster free to review by Cheerz.