I started using the Instax wide as “behind the scenes” images, or as I described once to a model, “these are the ones I don’t care about.” Which was crazy because they cost more per image than digital, they were collectible/ marketable, and often they would be the superior version of an image if I did both instant film and digital.
Over the last two years, seeing the response to the analogue images and also wanting to avoid spending a lot of time on the computer messing with images, I decided to take my analogue shoots “seriously”- actually work on getting good images. Compose without having clutter in the background, come up with concepts that would function on the instant film while still having the quirky and/ or special effect look that I normally try to present. I strongly feel our photographic styles should have some consistency through whatever tool we are using, be it digital still, analogue, video, web presentation…
What was helpful was this book, which we have at my local Chandler library, “The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation”:
It’s a lot of images from the 60s-90s where people were radically altered images with paint, exacto knives, chemicals, did unusual subjects, meta photography, and so on. I just checked it out again last week to get inspired.
For sure certain subjects lend themselves to better images- the more cluttered the scene, the worse it looks, in the same way that Guns N Roses several-million-dollar video “November Rain” looks like shit today on a phone screen vs. Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. The less “posey” the person, the better the photo looks. Also a strong graphic design to the wardrobe/ background is helpful, a shoot I did Friday w model Kelly Eden had pastel candy stripes as the wall and looked great in the instax.
Anyways, about the gear:
The Instax Wide camera is huge and not really something I can fit in my camera bag while having all my other cameras, lenses, lighting accessories, gopro etc. Last year I got the Fuji Neo Classic camera which is smaller and retro styled, and makes Instax Mini. The Neo Classic is also the only camera I am aware of that does double exposure images (amongst other more specific controls).
People pay the same amount on Etsy for Instax Wide and Instax Minis, and the minis have a wide array of borders you can buy (like cartoon borders, funky colors, etc).
Models love the analogue stuff because of the novelty factor, also they tend to make people look younger than they really are.
If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it! For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.