Gone are the days of film photography and flipping through old photo albums with grainy film photos of your childhood.
Instead, memories are captured and kept through mobile phones, digital cameras, webcams and even the occasional tablet photo. But every once in a while nostalgia hits you when you least expect it and you can’t immense yourself in photo albums like you used to do because, well, everything is digital and in soft copy.
Instant film cameras are my cameras of choice for moments where I know I’ll want to keep a hard copy tacked up on my wall or in a photo album. They’re perfect for days of reminiscence, the thrill of watching your photo slowly develop in front of your very eyes and sharing your memories through gifting them.
1. Film is easily accessible.
You can walk into almost any camera store in Australia and purchase a pack of Fujifilm Instax film or Polaroid 300 film. Run out of film when overseas? It’s not a problem because instant film is so prevalent in today’s market that it’s easily located in countries like America, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. For vintage Polaroid cameras, film can be located through eBay or The Impossible Project, which boasts a wide array of films available, such as SX-70 or 600 Colour. Other popular Polaroid films include Fuji FP-100c, which can be found from various local camera stores or online.
2. It suits those who want a physical copy in their hands right away.
If you enjoy having hard copies of your photos, instant film cameras are perfect for the occasion. They print and develop within a matter of minutes, and you actually get to watch the photo you took come to life in your hands. The feeling of watching a photo develop is unlike any other, and it builds up anticipation and excitement – which will further increase the satisfaction you derive from taking a beautiful photo. Plus, if you’re not satisfied with the photo you took, you can immediately snap another one right away.
3. The colours are uniquely vintage and unlike digital.
While digital photography captures the world in its natural beauty without any colour effects or filters, film offers a more artistic effect. This also explains the popularity behind Instagram’s ‘vintage’ filters, such as Valencia, Rise and Nashville (free), Hipstamatic’s grainy, film camera emulation effects ($1.99) and Afterlight’s dust and light leak overlays ($0.99) as well as Shakeit Photo’s instant film borders ($1.99). Do away with the hassle of filtering your photos and instead snap away freely with an instant film camera. The pictures will come out looking as if they’ve been edited in the camera itself with a slight grain, gorgeous vintage tones and, of course, with a classic instant film border.
4. Make your memories a gift to others.
Not only are instant film photographs a novelty, but they’re also a beautiful gift for your loved ones. Whether you run into a long-lost friend at a cafe, attend important events like graduations or weddings, or go on a holiday to a new exotic destination, any photo you take can be developed and gifted to the other parties on the spot. Hard copies of photos tend to make a bigger impact on people due to the saturation of digital photography in current society, which will make your gift extra special.
5. They’re a great way to preserve your memories in a candid form.
Sometimes we just want to go back to the days where Photoshop didn’t exist. Candid photos have this tendency to look amazing in film because of the vintage colour effect, which distracts from any obvious imperfections quickly revealed in digital photos.
I believe that instant film cameras are a wonderful way to collect your memories and save them forever. Whether you’re a serious photography buff, a stay-at-home mother or a university student, it’s not enough to keep the memories of things and people you love through digital format. Instant film reinforces important values we should all remember: keep photos with care in albums for the future generation’s perusal; save all photos because you never know when nostalgia might knock on your door; and find beauty in candid photos, not Photoshop.
*All photos in this post are taken with a Fujifilm Instax 50S.
Amanda Mabel is a 19 year old fashion/portrait photographer based in Sydney and Singapore. She's also a Vogue Australia Spy Style blogger. This original article was published here.