How to Print Polaroid Style Photos From iPhone?

Kyle Adam
Kyle Adam
Founder at - Printers Guider

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for...Read more

Polaroids are a fun little way of commemorating memories in pictures. While Polaroid cameras were the only way of getting those instant photos previously, that tech has evolved quite a lot over the years. Now people can get their own Polaroids even from smartphones.

The best way to print Polaroid-style photos from iPhone is either using a dedicated Polaroid printer or using photo editors. Both offers slightly different results as you’ll see in the latter parts. There’s also another method which we call a hybrid system.

Moving on, how to print Polaroid style photos from iPhone? Here’s a detailed guide.

The Polaroid Print Mechanism

Generally, a Polaroid comes as a case of a film that is inserted into a Polaroid camera. The camera works just like any other point and shooter lens. What you get is an instant print that completely develops into a picture in a matter of minutes.

But nowadays, you don’t need a dedicated camera for that anymore. There are portable printers from Polaroid itself that print a Polaroid-style photo from any mobile device like iPhone.

It uses the phone’s display to create a digital image of the picture and print just like a photocopier, albeit at a much smaller scale.

How To Print Polaroid Style Photos From iPhone?

As mentioned above, there are mainly two ways to go about it and an optional third as well. Let’s look at each of these processes in detail to see which one will work best for you.

How to Print Polaroid Style Photos From iPhone

Method 1: Using Portable Printers

There are mainly two types of portable printers – Polaroid Lab and Polaroid Hi-Print

1. Polaroid Lab

This is the most realistic way to print Polaroid-style from an iPhone. For this, you will need the Polaroid Lab printer from Polaroid. The process is fairly simple and takes a few steps. Plus it doesn’t have the hassle of pairing or connecting anything.

One thing to note is that Polaroid Lab only works with iPhone model 6S and above. Follow the below steps for your own custom Polaroid print.

Step 1: Insert the film case

Just like the Polaroid camera and Instax, there are specially designed films for the Polaroid Lab. They come in colors, black and white, and different other shades depending on preference.

Pop in the film on the back of the printer and turn on the device. You will need to click the print button once to take off the film cover.

Step 2: Getting the Picture Ready

In the next step, open the Polaroid app on your iPhone. You can take a photo directly from the app or sideload from the gallery. After that click on the print option, and it will open a new window with the image and two buttons.

Align the buttons with the two buttons above the printer.

Step 3: Print

The printer should make a confirmation sound when it’s aligned properly. After that, all you have to do is hit the print button. Let the Polaroid sit for a minute, and you should have the perfect Polaroid print, straight from the phone.

2. Polaroid Hi-Print

Polaroid Hi-Print is also another great option to get Polaroid-style images from iPhones. This is a more direct approach and is more portable compared to the Polaroid Lab.

In addition to the printer, you will need specific printing papers for the Hi-Print and the Polaroid Hi-Print app on your iPhone.

Step 1: Connecting the Printer and Phone

The first step is to connect the printer with the phone. Open the Hi-Print app and connect with the printer.

Step 2: Using the Film

After connecting the phone, insert the films into the printer. Press the print button once to take off the film covering.

Step 3: Select the Picture and Print

After that simply navigate to the picture you want to print. Check for the alignment and color composition. If you’re satisfied, hit the print button.

The Hi-Print doesn’t print like a traditional Polaroid. Here each of the RGB color layers is put on one by in an inkjet system. As a result, prints are crisper and sharper with great details compared to Polaroid Lab.

Method 2: Using Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop can be a great tool to turn any normal photo from your gallery into a Polaroid print. You can follow the easy steps below.

Step 1: Fade and Curves

The first thing to do is open the photo in Adobe Photoshop. After that head over to the Adjustment Menu from the Images section.

how to add Fade and Curves Using Adobe Photoshop

Here you can add a fade to the image and increase the color curve based on your Polaroid color preference.

Step 2: Reduce Image Highlight

Head over to the Shadow/Highlights window from the same Adjustment Menu.

how to Reduce Image Highlight

Here, use the cursor to adjust the highlight as per preference.

Step 3: Add Grain and Blur

Open the Filter Menu from the Images section. There you will find Add Grain and Motion Blur option. select each of these options and set the grain and blur according to preference.

how to add noise to get polaroid style photos

Step 4: Use a Polaroid Frame

Lastly, download a free blank Polaroid film from stock images. Open it in photoshop and alongside the image. Use drag and drop to position the picture on the film stock image. Lastly, make a print, and you’re good to go.

Bonus Method: Hybrid Method

If you want to bypass the hassle of using Photoshop, head over to the Appstore and download the app called Nomo. It’s a fun little app that completely mimics a Polaroid camera. From the interface to the button, everything is just like a Polaroid.

how to get polaroid style photos using Nomo

Point and shoot a picture with the app, and it will slowly develop an exact Polaroid copy inside the phone. Simply make a print from a normal printer to get a makeshift Polaroid image.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Polaroid-style photo prints from iPhone.

Does the Phone Screen Calibration Affect the Polaroid Print?

Yes, Polaroid Lab and most other similar printers use the phone display to make the print. As a result, it is important to make sure that the display is set to normal or RGB color calibration.

Also, make sure to turn off the blue light filter and dark modes to get accurate prints of your photos.

Should the Polaroid Prints Be Shaken?

Initially, the Polaroids used to come in a technology that required the films to be shaken after taking a picture. But nowadays, shaking isn’t required anymore.

More precisely, it’s even explicitly prohibited as the chemicals are meant to develop themselves, and shaking only disrupts the processing quality.

Will Edit Polaroids Be the Same as Actual Polaroids?

It will be the same to some extent. The Polaroid made from a Polaroid camera and printer uses a special type of film which is a bit thicker compared to the standard photo films. It also has a distinct edge to them.

While edited Polaroid can have the same borders and image edits, it won’t have the exact same page as the specialized films.

Does a Hi-Print Printer Require a Cable Connection?

No, it doesn’t require a cable connection. The attached cable is for charging the printer only. The printer connects with the phone using Bluetooth.


Polaroid photos are a great way to preserve memory and keep it on the go. However, it isn’t really a cheap hobby as both Polaroid cameras and films are a bit expensive. Also, you get one shot per film, so every shot has to be precise.

But using phones to get a Polaroid print completely changes the game. Now you can easily choose a picture of your liking and get a print afterward. It also reduces the cost of wasted films.

While Polaroid Lab and Polaroid Hi-Print are the best proper options out there, Photoshop and dedicated Polaroid picture apps can also be an even cheaper and easier option.

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for a renowned printer manufacturing company as a printer technician. Besides his job, he also loves to do research and write about what he is dealing with in his everyday life; Printersguider is the result of that. Kyle created this site to educate those who need a specialized printer but don’t have proper knowledge about it.

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