My first foray into instant photography came a couple of years ago while planning our wedding. Our initial thought was to have a Polaroid camera for guests to take photos of themselves to add to our guestbook. I knew that Polaroid film was not longer being made but had heard of the Impossible Project. After seeing the price and sensitivity of the film this was not going to be a viable option. Enter Fujifilm Instax mini.
After a quick search on Amazon I came across a bundle for the Instax Mini 90 and 250 exposures. At the time the Canadian dollar was on par the American dollar which made the total price around 75 cents per picture compared to almost $4 per picture for the Impossible Project film. Decided to take the plunge and did not look back.
Our next idea was to have pictures on our guests tables with photos of themselves and us. Enter the Instax SP-1 printer. This allowed us to take our favourite photos and print them on to Instax film using an iPad/iPhone. The idea was to have them scattered on the dinner tables so guests had some old goofy photos of us along with photos of themselves to reminess or start conversation with guests seated together who did not know eachother.
We printed almost 150 photos using the Instax printer which was a fairly painless process and we got pretty good feedback. It is kind of neat visiting friends and seeing an old photo on their fridge which was on the table at our wedding. I would definitely recommend the printer. It can also be used to print directly from the Fujifilm X-T1 and Fujifilm X100T cameras.
The Instax Mini 90 also worked fairly well for guest book photos. I did not provide instructions on reloading the film which did cause some issues with people loading the film cartridges in backwards. The camera will not startup if the film is loaded backwards and our guests assumed the batteries were dead. I did have a couple of people keeping an eye on it though and we did get around 95% of the guests with photos. I also picked up a couple of extra batteries in case they did die as a backup. I would also recommend the Instax mini 90!
I still use the camera once in a while for outings, but the pictures are a bit too small for anything other than snapshots with friends. The Instax printer sees more use for an Instax mini picture frame that I rotate photos through (mainly phone pictures).
This foray into instant film has led me to pick up a Polaroid SX-70 camera from the 70s and shoot some Impossible Project film, but we shall save that for another post.