Giving Your Photos a Life Beyond Instagram and Facebook

(This post is part of a 2-part series on iPhone photo apps. The first was a round-up of my favorite iPhone photo apps.) Part of what makes our phone-cameras so handy is that they're with us everywhere. Most folks would agree that having a camera in your pocket at all times allows you to capture your life in a way that you never did before, including glorious sunsets, an especially amazing meal, laughable moments with our pets, and nearly every adorable thing our kids do. The ability to take photos at any given moment has the power to magically transform even the most mundane activities of daily life into photographic treasure, thereby allowing you to relive the fun at any time, while giving future generations a very insightful glimpse into your life. Pretty darn amazing.

Of course, if these photos never make it past your hard drive (or "the cloud"), in a sense—it's almost as if they don't really exist (for future generations at least). And what's especially tragic, is that sentencing your photos to a fruitless eternity spent decaying in the digital abyss of your hard drive is entirely avoidable Your phone, combined with Instagram, make it fantastically easy (even fun!) to give your images the chance to live on in the real world.

Below is a summary of various apps and websites I've used to ensure that my Instagram images will be around long enough to give our future kids an idea of who their parents were when we were young, or at least—to give them a good chuckle.

Blurb I love Blurb and make Blurb books on a regular basis. Perhaps the awesomeness of merging your Instagram photos with Blurb is best summed up in this great clip of multimedia journalist Richard Koci Hernandez.

Stickygram Who doesn't love magnets? Especially when they have your photos on them? Makes a great gift, and crazy fun to receive in the mail. Not sure if this code still works, but it saved me 15%: SOMETIMESSWEETPROMO Good luck!

Printstagram Prinstagram offers stickers, minibooks, and posters (among other things). The mini-books are fun, but aren't as large, robust, or high quality as a Blurb book. Of all their products, I like the stickers best.

Postagram Postagram makes it possible to turn one of your photos into a postcard, and send it from your phone. We used this service often while on the road with The [UN]tour. The results? Mixed reviews. Most of the postagrams we sent arrived without incident, but others were dramatically delayed, by as much as two months. Verdict? Still a very fun app. Just don't use it for something urgent or extremely important.

Fun feature? The photo "pops out" to easily be added to your recipient's fridge, bulletin board, etc.

PostalPix If regular old fashioned prints are what you're looking for, PostalPix is for you! Ordering is simple, directly from your phone.