I’ve always been a digital documentor. The kind of person who has 22,572 photos in their camera roll, capturing every moment in a single frame. I’m sick of the sight of that ‘storage full’ notification, but I can’t bring myself to delete any.
There’s something really powerful about photos and the moments they capture. I’ve always been fascinated by family photo albums and the excitement of rifling through them, asking ‘who’s this?’ while being told stories of family holidays or dad’s first car.
As a lover of photography and photos in general, it’s only natural that I’ve spent the last seven years taking selfies and stealing snapshots of my relationship with Jake, from our first night out, to festivals, holidays, graduations and everything in between.
Over the weekend, we hosted an engagement party for our family and friends – albeit a little belated because of Christmas and New Year – but I wanted to get some photos printed that told our story through the years, and knew CEWE’s retro prints would be perfect.
CEWE is Europe’s leading photo printing company, available in more than 25,000 partner stores across Europe, including in Wilkinson Cameras and Boots stores in the UK.
One of its most successful innovations is the award winning CEWE Photobook, as well as personalised gifts, such as mugs, jigsaws and art prints, which could make for the perfect Valentine’s gift for your loved one this February.
I’ve always loved Polaroid style prints, often taking one-chance-only snaps on my Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. I even had a KiiPix photo printer that would turn my iPhone snaps into polaroids, but at £1 a print, it gets pretty expensive and the quality isn’t all that great.
The CEWE retro prints start at £12.99 for a box of 16, going up to £20.99 for a box of 32, working out around 66p per print. The high-quality prints are printed onto a thick 300g/m² paper, measuring bigger than your average polaroid at 10.2cm x 12.7cm, and can be printed with a gloss or matte finish.
All of the prints come packaged in a gorgeous gift box that reminds me a little of a cassette, with three designs to choose from. I opted for matte-finish prints in a ‘love’ box, complete with a pink and red heart. There are also ‘joy’ and ‘star’ designs, but the heart works wonderfully for Valentine’s.
When ordering on the website, you can upload all of your images to CEWE, and then drag, drop and arrange the images so they’re cropped and framed how you want them to look, you can even add text to the bottom of the photos before confirming your purchase, but I decided to leave mine blank. The images then take 11-13 days to arrive, but I found that my order arrived before that estimated delivery date, too.
Unboxing my photos was really special. The box is beautifully designed and very sturdy, with a pink lid that pops off to reveal the prints inside.
Pulling out the photos, I flicked through the prints, seeing just how much we’ve both changed and grown over the last seven years. The photos ranged from our first night out in March 2016, to the most recent snap on Christmas day, 2022. In between, there were photos from our first holiday, a trip to New York, my graduation, countless festivals, gigs and of course, our engagement.
We tacked the photos around the room at our engagement party as a timeline of our relationship, and all our friends and family loved taking a look at them all. And at the end of the night, we were able to place them back into their storage box ready to be brought out and looked at time and time again.
I really like the idea of ordering a box of these prints every year and making a bit of a tradition of it, keeping them in a box or even on display on a bookshelf – each one a volume of your story.
I love that CEWE is dedicated to helping people share their memories, producing millions of personalised photo products each year, in a modern and visually stunning way. These retro prints go beyond classic Valentine’s gifts like chocolates and red roses, and are instead an individual gift that will show your partner that you have designed it especially for them.
For an unmistakable way to say ‘I love you’, you can design your Valentine’s gift with CEWE online here.