“I don’t want to share all our baby photos on Facebook. I don’t want to be that person who floods my whole timeline with pictures for every Tom, Dick and Harry to see or share as they see fit.”
This is how the conversation started, the one where Small Boy’s Dad and I had to decide where we would post and how we would share photos of our son when he arrived a few weeks later. We had a similar discussion eight months earlier when we agreed that we weren’t going to post photos of the scan.
I rarely post a photo of Small Boy on my Twitter feed or blog and even if I do his face is generally obscured, and I’ve always been quite robust with my privacy settings on Facebook. Facebook is primarily the domain of my husband’s family, close friends and a few work colleagues.
Nevertheless I did have a genuine concern that we wouldn’t know exactly who would see photos if friends liked them, or decided to comment. With every new Facebook update it gets more complicated and if it weren’t for managing a number of Facebook pages as admin, I would probably come off the damn thing altogether. I didn’t want to control privacy settings for each individual post.
Instagram didn’t feel like an option either. It would involve too much work persuading people to join and then there were all the “political” issues about accepting some followers and not others. That felt like a lot of unnecessary stress at nine months pregnant and I’d just come off the back of a fall out with relatives over asking them not to mention our birth announcement on social media before we did (yes, people do that, and there’s a whole other post in that I think!).
Then a friend who had their baby a couple of months previously suggested Lifecake. This is a brilliant little app, although there is also a desktop version which you can use as well. It’s quick and easy to download from the Apple or Android store and within a couple of minutes you are good to go. You create a profile for your child, send an email to whomever you want so they can join too, and away you go uploading videos and content. Think of it as a more private and easier to navigate Instagram. There are some key differences though.
- You can download your content at any time and it will organise in folders by date – great as back up or to store with other photos.
- You can upload to the website directly and manage your photos there – great if you want a bigger screen and also for those who aren’t good with smart phones.
- Based on the date of birth you’ve entered it will tell you not only the date but how old your child is on each photo.
- You can comment on photos without having to have a social media presence – great for my family who point blank refuse to be on Facebook on Twitter and the like.
- You can create gifts, posters and print outs from the Print Store function.
Basically it’s great and two years on I still use it every day. We limit access to grandparents and four other close family members. It’s wonderful as whenever I have a bad day I can open up the app and look through the videos and photos (yes videos too!) and instantly get a pick me up. It’s also nice that I know my family get to see pictures of Small Boy first, and more distant family and friends aren’t pipping them to the post on some other platform. I have thousands of photos and videos on there and don’t seem to have run out of storage yet.
All of that said, I haven’t used the Print Shop as I love the fact that I can look online on any device whenever I want. We have a few printed photos in frames but it’s difficult to pick the one that deserves printing more than others.
When Lifecake offered me a voucher to test drive the print store in return for an honest review I couldn’t really say no. The store is easy to navigate and my order arrived within days which was bit unexpected.
My first thought was to order some print gifts for grannies and godparents – a bag here, a fringe magnet or mug there. Then I thought stuff it! We are moving house soon and I really would like some photos of Small Boy, and ideally us.
The problem of which photos to pick reared their head again. Most of pictures of me with Small Boy are of him sitting on my head, or a self with half my face missing. There are some good photos of him and his dad (hey mums, why are always behind the camera?) and many on his own, but too many to pick from.
The solution was a collage poster – I could pick 54 pics! It was extremely easy to set up, all I had to do was pick the picture I want. Now a word of warning here, the photos are square which means you will need to check your photos or you’ll end up with some with people’s heads missing. I missed a couple in checking so I do have a few with his dad’s face missing from the nose up but the main thing is Small Boy looks great. This was my fault as I wasn’t paying attention, although I wonder if it might be helpful if it prompted you to check the photo when you are actually selecting it, rather than after. Apart from that I’m delighted with the result and I can’t blame Lifecake for me rushing. While I was at it I also got a single poster of the three of us together at Center Parcs, although the quality isn’t great of the pic blown up at and in hindsight I’d probably get the same result on my printer as the single poster is only A4 size.
Overall I am delighted with my Lifecake experience and very pleased with my first attempt at the Print Shop.
I was provided a voucher for the print store by Lifecake in return for an honest, unbiased review.