I am beyond excited about my Fujifilm Instax! It’s like a Polaroid camera, but new, and wide-format! I’ve had it since Christmas, but FINALLY bought film for it a few weeks ago.
I had been waiting for the perfect moment to use the film, or the perfect subject to capture, but yesterday I realized that any moment can be the perfect moment. So, I whipped that beheamouth of a camera out of its box, inserted the film, got really excited, and then… read the instructions. Anticlimactic, I know. But don’t worry, the exciting part is coming.
I had no idea what to take a picture of, so I settled on the Asian paper parasol I’ve had forever (I don’t even remember when I bought the thing), pretty stuff in nature, and my face! “You can never go wrong with paper parasols, nature, and a face,” a wise woman somewhere must have said once.
There is nothing like seeing an image develop before your eyes. I literally stood there, holding the developing picture with both hands, really close to my face, mouth open, and eyes wide from anticipation. I’m pretty sure I looked like a crazy person, but fortunately, I was alone in my room and didn’t freak anybody out.
Here are the things I learned, things that may help you in your Instax futures:
When your heart rate jumps to 500 beats per second because you’re about to take your first instant film picture and you don’t want to screw it up, realize that the first click of the button only yields a black sheet of boring plastic whose only function is to cover up the film before use. Don’t fall prey to the bitter disappointment that plagued me at that very moment – now you know.
When in doubt, use the flash. I was hoping that my first try at Instax artistry (you only get 10 attempts per film pack) would be perfection, but like anything else in life, it didn’t go according to plan. When the source of light is coming from behind your subject, with no source of light in front of your subject, use the flash, or you will end up with a frustratingly dark and useless photo that you can’t re-take.
When you’re really close to your subject, the viewfinder is extremely misleading. It looks like the subject is in the middle, when it’s really in the top, far-left corner, and basically doesn’t exist. Position the subject in the bottom right corner, no matter how wrong and contrary to logic it feels. The camera comes with a little attachment that is supposed to help you line up the shot correctly, but I failed – miserably. This one isn’t too bad, but definitely not in the center.
And those are my tips! Hopefully they help, if you have the camera, or decide to get one.
I’m really wanting to visit Portland, Oregon this summer, and I think taking this camera along would make for some really cool travel/road trip type photos. Hoping it works out!