I wanted to share a couple of findings I've discovered in the past year. Many of you may have already known about these wonderful resources, but it was news to me! The world of photography has changed so much in the last 12 years as digital cameras and especially Iphones leveled the playing field and has made capturing amazing imagery available to everyone. No longer do you have to know where to process film or spend hours in the darkroom yourself (though I recommend it!).
However in the midst of this modern day photo explosion, I think we've lost some of the wonder of having to wait for you photos to be developed, or at least being able to carry a printed picture around in your hand (or wallet, like the old days). To say the least I was very excited to join in the nostalgia of polaroid cameras and Printsagram.
Fuji came out with the instax-mini in the last couple years. What I love about it is the mini-size of the photos (slightly smaller than a debit card) and the affordability of the actual camera. It's around $65.00 dollars to purchase and is compact enough to throw in your purse or glove compartment of you car. The film is a slightly different story and it will run you around $1.40 a picture. My initial response to that was, "LAME." Then I realized that having to salvage a moment, consider it, shoot it...and then cherish it...was a good discipline to learn (since we are so used to just shooting away on digital cameras). It's helped me really consider my composition and if I'd want to freeze a moment in time...or not. AND, it's loads of fun. You can also get the Fuji Instax 210, which gives you a large, horizontal print. It's hefty (you can drop kick it and I think it would survive the fall)...about 3x the size of the mini...but produces awesome images. Mine just arrived in the mail, I'll let you know how it goes.
An alternative to the polaroid craze (if you aren't interested in losing $1.50 every time you shoot a picture) is printing your Instagram photos. There are many cool print sites that allow you to upload your Instagram pictures for print, but my favorite is Printstagram. They offer many different products that have that same retro polaroid look, but run much cheaper (I got 48 of the mini-squares above for $12.00). They are great for sticking in your wallet, an album or inside a letter or greeting card.
Both the Instax and Prinstagram have given photographers a charming way to gift their clients. I like to shoot polaroids during wedding, maternity and couples shoots and then give them to my clients as a way to tide them over while they wait for me to send their photos to them. It's pretty much an incredible amount of fun!
Does anybody have a favorite print service or polaroid camera? I have a few vintage polaroid cameras but find them to be more high maintance if I'm in a hurry...would love to hear thoughts in the comments below!